Resource November 7, 2017

Meet the Journalists: Uri Blau and Akela Lacy

Illustration by Adi Emanuel for the Federation Files. Haaretz, 2017.

Together, more than 148 non-profit Jewish federations hold assets of $16 billion in the United...

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Illustration by Adi Emanuel for the Federation Files. Haaretz, 2017.
Illustration by Adi Emanuel for the Federation Files. Haaretz, 2017.

At the heart of American Jewry is the net of Jewish Federations. Existing twice as long as the State of Israel itself, the federations' overarching purpose is to promote Jewish life and values. Over generations, a sprawling system of 148 Jewish federations, 10 in Canada and 138 in the U.S. was created, plus about 300 network communities. These foundations in turn support thousands of institutions and nonprofit organizations in America, from schools and libraries to welfare and culture centers to synagogues. Their total combined assets are about $16 billion, just like a small country. Now for the first time the federations' finances and practices have been mapped by Haaretz, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and its researcher, Akela Lacy. Figures from four years of tax reports by every Jewish Federation in the United States, and dozens of community foundations, have been concentrated into interactive maps. What they show may not always be what you expect, including some salaries that seem to be beyond the norm among American nonprofits, duplication in efforts that might seem to achieve little beyond the employment of friends and family, support to settlements in Israel, and other potentially problematic practices.


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