Citing Economy, New York’s Federation Slashes Jobs

By Rebecca Dube

Published March 11, 2009, issue of March 20, 2009.

The UJA-Federation of New York, the world’s largest local philanthropy, has fired 52 people, 11% of its total staff.

Federation CEO John S. Ruskay confirmed the layoffs to the Forward on March 11, the same day employees were notified. He said laid-off workers would receive severance and other forms of support, and would leave their jobs within a few days.

“We are doing everything we can to maintain support of our agencies and programs,” Ruskay said. The layoffs were part of an overall 12% administrative cut, which Ruskay attributed to the downturn in the economy, including a 10% decline in donations and a drop in the value of the endowment. The organization’s budget was not directly touched by the Madoff scandal.

UJA-Federation is just the latest in a series of Jewish charitable organizations that have made cuts and layoffs due to the ongoing recession.

Last year, the federation withheld 1.5% of all grants in order to meet basic needs; it also cut $1 million from its administrative budget.



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