Press Releases
March 23rd, 2020

NEW YORK CITY (March 23, 2020) — Today, UJA-Federation of New York (UJA) announced more than $23 million in immediate financial aid to help meet the ever-growing needs of vulnerable New Yorkers affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). The grants and loans are intended to offer immediate relief to New Yorkers facing food insecurity and to provide financial relief to UJA partner organizations so they can continue to provide essential health and human services to their communities.

“This first round of grants is a critical part of UJA’s broad effort to support the most vulnerable New Yorkers during this crisis. We’re deeply grateful to all our nonprofit partners on the front lines who work tirelessly – day in and day out, and in times of crisis – to sustain our community,” said Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York.

$1,750,000 granted to Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty

Met Council will receive $1 million to help its critical work with operations and supplying food pantries across New York. This grant reflects particular concern about food insufficiency among homebound seniors, children who are not receiving city-funded hot meals, and the unemployed. An additional $750,000 will provide emergency Passover meals to more than 180,000 members of New York’s Jewish community in need.

Passover Meals-to-Go

Many Jewish New Yorkers will face unprecedented hardship this Passover, which begins on April 8. UJA is making $250,000 available for Passover meals to-go that will be distributed to those who are newly isolated or quarantined, have relied on free or subsidized communal seders, or are newly financially vulnerable.

$21 Million Loan Fund at Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS)

UJA will establish a $20 million loan fund at HFLS to offer zero-interest loans to UJA partner agencies that are under financial stress. This loan fund is intended to stabilize at-risk organizations that provide essential health and human services for millions of New Yorkers. An additional $1 million loan will ensure that HFLS can continue to provide loans to small businesses.

New York City COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund

UJA provided a grant and will serve on the steering committee of New York City COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, a consortium of leading philanthropic organizations that support New York City-based social services and cultural organizations that have been affected by coronavirus. The new $75 million fund will provide grants and zero-interest loans to small and mid-size nonprofits to help them respond to emerging needs, cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations, and help them continue their critical work.

“Met Council is on the front lines with UJA-Federation dealing with an unprecedented crisis unfolding in our city. After healthcare, the number one concern that we should have is feeding struggling, homebound and elderly New Yorkers. The emergency food pantry system is strained in a way that we have never seen before. This emergency funding from UJA will allow us to serve hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are now in crisis. We are grateful for the partnership that we have with UJA-Federation and their incredible leadership during these times,” said David G. Greenfield, CEO, Met Council.

“This is a fast, bold response by the UJA-Federation of New York. There is already tremendous need, and it will deepen as we move forward. The Hebrew Free Loan Society and all nonprofits must work hand-in-hand with funders, employers and government to ensure people have access to basic needs as income disappears or payments are delayed,” said Rabbi David Rosenn, Executive Director of Hebrew Free Loan Society. “HFLS was founded in 1892. We have helped New Yorkers survive the Spanish Flu, two World Wars and the Great Depression. We’ll get through this latest challenge in the same way: By serving as a way for people to help each other when we all need it most.”


About UJA-Federation of New York
For more than 100 years, UJA-Federation has brought New Yorkers together to solve some of the most pressing problems facing our community. Through UJA, more than 50,000 donors impact the issues that matter most to them, pooling their resources to care for Jews everywhere and New Yorkers of all backgrounds, respond to crises close to home and far away, and shape our Jewish future. Working with a network of hundreds of nonprofits, UJA extends its reach from New York to Israel to nearly 70 other countries around the world, touching the lives of 4.5 million people each year. For more information on how to donate or volunteer, please visit our website at