The Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania is the parliament of the Jewish communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania and includes Lackawanna, Pike, Monroe, and Wayne counties. Metaphorically speaking, the Federation is the “garden” and its funded agencies in Northeast PA, Israel and around the world are the “flowers” within our garden, and each and every one of them fulfills an important role in defining our community. In short, we are “Family.”
As such, the Federation raises funds through its annual UJA Campaign and allocates these funds locally, regionally, as well as internationally for Israel and overseas Jewish needs through the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) in 59 countries throughout the world.
Locally and regionally…….
Last year, the Federation allocated $656,113 (or 72%) of the funds raised during our annual 2017 UJA Campaign to our many Jewish educational, social, cultural, recreational and family service agencies in Northeastern Pennsylvania including:
- Scranton Jewish Community Center
- Jewish Family Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania
- Scranton Hebrew Day School
- Yeshiva Beth Moshe
- Bnos Yisroel of Scranton
- Bais Yaakov of Scranton
- Scranton Ritualarium (Mikvah)
- Jewish Resource Center of the Poconos (Stroudsburg)
- Jewish Discovery Center/Chabad of the Abingtons
- Temple Hesed Religious School (Scranton)
- Jewish Heritage Connection
- Jewish Fellowship of Hemlock Farms Religious School (Lords Valley)
- Temple Israel of the Poconos Hebrew School (Stroudsburg)
…..and to many important programs, projects and services that include (and have included) …..
- the conduct of our annual UJA Campaign
- humanitarian relief efforts in response to national and international disasters
- annual Missions to Israel
- Israel Emergency Campaigns during times of war or other crises
- Participation in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York
- our annual Federation Mission to Harrisburg for discussions with our state-elected representatives on matters that affect the Jewish communities of our region (organized by the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition – our Jewish lobby group in Harrisburg)
- the development of the NEPA Jewish Film Lending Library – advertised in each and every issue of the Reporter and available at no charge to members of the community for their viewing enjoyment
- the establishment (with the Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania and Jewish Family Service) of the Jewish Resource Center (JRC) of the Poconos (Stroudsburg) that provides quality programs for the Jewish communities of the Pocono region
- funding for JCC Purim Carnivals, Chanukah events, Yom Ha’Atzmaut/Israel Independence Day programs, and Israel volunteer programs like Sar El, Birthright Israel, and Holy Day-related programs
- continuous research on Jewish demographics in Pike, Wayne, Monroe and Lackawanna counties
- The Reporter newspaper
- the sponsorship of H.E.R.C.’s annual Teen Holocaust Symposium at the Hilton Conference Center in Scranton for over 1,400 students from schools in Northeast Pennsylvania and upstate New York
- grants (from the income of the Federation’s Unrestricted Endowment Funds) to many of our agencies to assist them in offsetting specific capital repairs to their institutions and to provide them with critical funds (through our Grants Committee) necessary to develop creative and innovative programs
- through its Community Relations Committee, the Federation supports Israel through editorials in local and regional newspapers and the mainstream media and communicates on Israel’s behalf with elected representative at all levels of state and federal government. The CRC also provides High Holy Day information to the school superintendents and principals of the public schools of Northeastern Pennsylvania. These mailings and meetings include a schedule of the important Jewish Holy Days with explanations and requests to avoid school programming conflicts where possible and to recognize student absences as excusable, and
- Security-related issues – The Federation provides security materials and advice to its agencies on the process for obtaining Department of Homeland Security grants for high-risk, non-profit Jewish summer camps, institutions and synagogues in Northeast PA especially in the wake of increasing acts of anti-Semitism across the nation this year.
Israel & Overseas Needs
Last year, the Federation allocated to Israel and Jewish overseas needs $252,657 (or 28%) of the funds that were raised during our annual 2017 UJA Campaign that ended last May.
This represents one of the highest percentages of Israel/overseas dollars contributed by any Federation our size in the American Federation system.
Funds were transferred to the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and to the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) for allocation to Israel and 59 countries around the world – from Singapore to Santiago, from Athens to Budapest, and to the far reaches of what is now the former Soviet Union – wherever Jewish communities are struggling to survive.
With dollars raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the JDC funds relief and rescue services through Hesed Centers (providing free medicines and health care), community centers (for social and recreational programs) and provides financial assistance to isolated Jewish communities struggling to maintain a semblance of Jewish life for themselves and their families.
In addition, through the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), a significant portion of these funds provide for Israel Experience programs like Masa Israel Journey, the Teen Israel Experience, and the Birthright Israel programs.
They also cover the costs of …………..
- arranging aliyah to Israel for thousands of Jews now under serious threat in many European countries by covering the expenses of their immigration to Israel and facilitating their absorption into Israeli society through UJA-funded Hebrew-immersion programs at specially-designed Absorption Centers set up throughout Israel where they are assisted with financial aid, counseling, mortgage assistance and job placement – all funded exclusively by our UJA dollars,
- sending Israeli emissaries to Diaspora communities to strengthen Jewish identity and promote Israel Experience programs in those communities,
- providing summer and winter Jewish-experience camps, Sunday Schools, youth and student activities for Russian-speaking Jews in the former Soviet Union, and
- our UJA dollars are also used to assist the victims of terrorism suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, protect Israeli schools and school children, and assist in the construction of bomb shelters to protect Israelis from missile attacks.
Please join us in reaching our 2018 UJA Campaign goal of $910,000 to ensure that we fulfill our responsibilities to one another – here, in Israel and around the world.
Support our annual UJA Campaign by directing your 2018 UJA Campaign pledge or check in any amount to:
2018 UJA Campaign
Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
601 Jefferson Avenue
Scranton, PA 18510
You can also donate online or with the 2018 UJA Campaign pledge card featured in each issue of The Reporter.
However you choose to give, please know that whatever gift you make to our Campaign will be directed toward improving the quality of Jewish life in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Israel and throughout the world.
Thank you for caring enough to give.
We wish you and your family good health and our best wishes for the New Year.
Dr. Joel and Leah Laury
2018 UJA Campaign Co-Chairs