Spotlight on Poverty

Poverty isn't "news;" it's a constant—in the Jewish community and in the world. But we can't ignore it. This series, a partnership between JFN and eJewish Philanthropy, aims to keep it in focus.

Poverty: Calling for Meaningful Jewish Attention

(An installment in the series Spotlight on Poverty, a partnership between JFN and eJewish Philanthropy.)

There is an enormous opportunity for the Jewish community to bring new energy, power, and cohesion to the work of our non-profit sector and, especially, of our philanthropy, to address the needs against which our neighbors and often our community are struggling. 

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Poverty: We Can Do Better Than That

By Alex Roth-Kahn, Managing Director, UJA-Federation of NY’s Caring Department and Jeffrey A. Schoenfeld, President, UJA-Federation of NY

(An installment in the series Spotlight on Poverty, a partnership between JFN and eJewish Philanthropy.)

Fifty-four years ago, President Lyndon Johnson first uttered the now famous phrase “the war on poverty” in his State of the Union address.  When he spoke in 1964, a staggering 19% of Americans were considered poor, equaling 36 million Americans at the time. Today, the poverty rate may have dropped to 12.7%, but with our much larger population, that translates to more than 40 million Americans living in poverty.

The more local statistics are no less startling.  One in five New York–area Jewish households is poor.  One in 10 are near poor.  Moreover, 45% of all children in Jewish households live in poor or near-poor households.

We can do better than that.

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Poverty: It’s About Us

By Eric S. Goldstein and Andrés Spokoiny
eJewish Philanthropy

Poverty is about other people, not American Jews.

That’s not something we hear out loud, but it does seem to be a subconscious assumption underlying too many American Jewish conversations – and actions  – about poverty.

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