Press Releases
UJA Launches Multimillion-Dollar Anti-Poverty Initiative Across New York Region
November 24th, 2020

NEW YORK CITY (November 24, 2020) -- In response to the overwhelming need for expanded social services and job training due to the coronavirus pandemic, UJA and several of its network partners have launched a multimillion-dollar anti-poverty initiative across New York to serve tens of thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers. The effort encompasses seven service locations, or “Hubs,” in Jewish Community Centers across the boroughs, Long Island, and Westchester that will operate as a seamless network with program and service referrals based on individual client needs, with virtual appointments and trainings available.  

In Long Island, two Hub sites are available to the community:  

The Five Towns Hub, which is located at their social services center, The S.H.O.P. (Sustenance Hope Opportunities Place), located at 591 Malvin Mall in Maple Plaza, is operated by the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC and offers employment services, mental health support, nutritional counseling, emergency cash relief, kosher food pantry, and access to legal and financial counseling. Three new full-time staff will help the organization meet the needs of more community members each year, and additional help is provided by Commonpoint Queens and New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) on some services.  

The East Hills Hub is operated by Sid Jacobson JCC at 300 Forest Drive, and offers mental health counseling, employment development, legal and financial consultation, and food insecurity assistance. Two new full-time staff will help the organization meet the needs of community members and additional help is provided by Commonpoint Queens, NYLAG, and Central Nassau Counseling.  

“We are grateful to the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC and Sid Jacobson JCC for their partnership in opening the Long Island Hubs and their invaluable work on behalf of the community,” said Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York. “Our goal is to go beyond helping people meet their basic needs and actually move people from crisis to stability, and we are thankful for all our partners in this effort who are truly the engine behind New York’s sustainable recovery.” 

"We are extremely honored and grateful to be partnering with UJA in the creation of the Five Towns Hub," said Aaron Rosenfeld, CEO of the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC. "The Hub will allow us to expand and enhance our ability to provide the community with much needed employment services, legal and financial counseling, mental health services and additional food supports, the need for which has grown by over 125% in the past 6 months alone," he added. “

We are so grateful to UJA-Federation for enabling us to become the East Hills Hub,” said Connie Wasserman, Senior Associate Executive Director, Sid Jacobson JCC. “This one-stop-shop will give our community members access to mental wellness programs, career services, legal and financial counseling, mental health counseling, and vocation training and job searching.”

The seven hubs are located in Elmhurst (Queens),White Plains (Westchester), Cedarhurst (Long Island), East Hills (Long Island),Bensonhurst (Brooklyn – two sites),and the Lower East Side (Manhattan). The flagship site is a permanent, newly constructed $10 million facility in Elmhurst, Queens operated in conjunction with Commonpoint Queens, with another major new standalone Hub site in Brooklyn under construction and scheduled to open next year.

About the Queens Hub 

Opened October 2020, The Queens Hub is a newly constructed $10 million facility in Elmhurst, that will offer thousands of clients a customized package of supports they need to succeed. Operated by Commonpoint Queens, it leverages existing expertise in mental health services and workforce development, providing emotional support and sector-based job training in the areas of healthcare, data management, and retail. New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) will provide essential financial and legal counseling. Hebrew Free Loan Society will offer clients access to interest-free loans, enabling them to invest in their education, meet emergency expenses, start a business, and more. Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty will supply food for the digital pantry.    

About UJA-Federation of New York 

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. To date, UJA has allocated more than $52 million to help respond to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Aid has supported New Yorkers facing food insecurity, UJA partner organizations providing essential health and human services to New Yorkers, Jewish Community Centers, low-income students, single parents, and ensuring dignified Jewish burials. For more information, please visit

About The Marion & Aaron Gural JCC

The Marion & Aaron Gural JCC has been serving residents of the greater Five Towns for over 40 years. Our programs and services bring together people of all ages and abilities. We provide social, educational and support services that address a variety of interest areas and needs. Our three locations offer a welcoming environment for engagement and comradery.  

About Sid Jacobson JCC

Sid Jacobson JCC ( in East Hills provides a full range of cutting-edge recreational, health, fitness, educational, cultural arts and social service programs. SJJCC promotes Jewish identity and provides a comprehensive program based on Jewish values, traditions, heritage, and culture, and is committed to enriching the lives of all individuals and families in its community. SJJCC embraces all individuals and families, and values diversity. See community differently, “Like” the JCC on Facebook (