Synagogues and Federations: From Rivals to Partners

By Richard Jacobs

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), Winter 2010

Since World War II, federations have devoted most of their energy and funds to "sacred survival." UJA-Federation led this sacred task of rescuing and resettling, protecting, and sustaining our people from the Former Soviet Union, Buenos Aires, and Addis Ababa to Ashdod and Bensonhurst. Where was the synagogue in federation's core mission? For decades, Jewish power and leadership rested in federations, not in neighborhood congregations. Synagogues with their focus on prayer and study were widely viewed as not nearly as important as federations' work of saving and protecting our people. But so much has changed over the past ten years. UJA-Federation has come to understand that synagogues are not just local tzedakah boxes but rather the primary address for kindling Jewish identity and commitment. Without vital synagogues, federations will not thrive. Without federations, synagogues will fail to care for the widest Jewish community. Mutual respect and interdependence inform the new model of the synagogue-federation relationship.

Topic: Congregations and Synagogues, Jewish Federations, Communal Responsibility, Allocations, Partnerships, Synagogues and Congregations

Name of Publication: Journal of Jewish Communal Service

Editor: Naron Chalew, Gail

Volume/Issue: Vol.85/No.1

Page Number(s): 67-69

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Genre: Article

Coverage: New York, New York , United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Jacobs, Richard. Synagogues and Federations: From Rivals to Partners. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA). Winter 2010: 67-69.


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