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 Brooklyn, two Hub sites are available to the community, opened in partnership with SBH and Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst.   

The SBH Hub is located at its 425 Kings Highway office and offers increased workforce development, benefits assistance, mental health services, and case management for those who qualify. In addition, UJA partner New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) will offer probono legal counseling. Five full-time new staff have been added to support the community.  

The Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst site, located at its 7802 Bay Parkway office, will provide mental health services, client advocacy, legal consultations, emergency cash relief, benefits assistance, and expanded workforce development. The Jewish Board and NYLAG will be on site providing support. Three full-time new staff have been added to support the community.   

“We are grateful to SBH and Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst for their partnership in opening the Brooklyn 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.”   

“The global pandemic has destabilized hundreds of vulnerable individuals and families simultaneously in our community,” noted Alex Budnitsky, CEO/ED Marks JCH of Bensonhurst. “Through the generosity and in planning jointly with UJA-Federation, we can now expand our capacity to meet the growing needs on the path towards recovery.”

"Serving our community’s needs throughout the deep and widespread impact of COVID-19 has been very challenging, but through the generosity of UJA and our donors, and through the commitment of our staff and volunteers, we were able to provide an uninterrupted and enhanced level of care to everyone depending on us. We are humbled and deeply appreciative of the incredible network of people that support our mission,” said Jack Aini, President of SBH.

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, and 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 Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst

The Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst (Marks JCH) is a community anchor, providing programs that educate and inspire and services that lift clients out of poverty and put them on the road to self-sufficiency. Over the past decade, Marks JCH has evolved into a full-service human service agency, touching the lives of more than 20,000 individuals each year through comprehensive social services, workforce development, adult literacy as well as educational and recreational programs that meet the needs of the whole family. For more information, please visit   

About SBH

For over forty years SBH has been a pillar of charity and volunteerism within the Sephardic community of New York and New Jersey. With ten unique divisions, spanning that of senior care and career guidance to medical referrals and food services, we aim to provide lasting support to our roughly 70,000 community members. With over 80 staff members and a network of 2,000 plus volunteers, our model functions as the critical link connecting services and support to those in need. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic our team has provided over 11,500 virtual therapy session since mid-March. It is the SBH mission to care for our neighbors as if they were our brothers, to give with compassion, discretion and respect, and ask for nothing in return. For more information visit