JFNA’s History and Predecessors

JFNA is the legal successor of United Jewish Appeal, Inc. (“UJA”) and The Council of Jewish Federations, Inc. (“CJF”). In November 1999, UJA and CJF merged into UJA, and UJA thereupon changed its name to United Jewish Communities, Inc. (“UJC”). In November 2009, UJC changed its name to The Jewish Federations of North America, Inc (“JFNA”). 

UJA was venerated for decades for its lifesaving mission and achievements. UJA was founded on January 10, 1939, when the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (“JDC”), the United Palestine Appeal (“UPA,” later to become United Israel Appeal, “UIA”), and the National Coordinating Committee for Aid to Refugees (later, NYANA, the New York Association for New Americans), merged fundraising campaigns to create a “United Jewish Appeal” in order to provide relief to distressed European Jewish communities. Donated funds helped to save Jewish lives during the war years and fed survivors in the Displaced Persons camps after the Holocaust.

From the declaration of the Jewish State of Israel in 1948, UJA was committed to the welfare of the people of Israel and the ingathering of Jews from the Diaspora. Through the programs of its beneficiary agencies — JDC and The Jewish Agency for Israel — UJA fed, clothed, and provided sustenance and hope for people in Jewish communities from Latin America to Europe, North Africa to the former Soviet Union.

UJA’s lifesaving mission to world Jewry and the people of Israel, and its proud, legendary history, were continued by the UJC and remain the firm commitment of JFNA. UJA’s former offices were located at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY and 99 Park Avenue, NY, NY.

CJF served as an umbrella organization of American and Canadian Jewish Federations, fostering communication between them about common interests and problems, and strengthening their combined impact on global needs. The Federations today are part of JFNA, which carries on the mission of CJF. CJF was located at 730 Broadway, NY, NY.

Following the 1999 merger of United Jewish Appeal and the Council of Jewish Federations, UJC was located at 111 8th Avenue, NY, NY.

United Israel Appeal — one of the founders of UJA — became a subsidiary of UJC and is now a subsidiary of JFNA. Prior to the merger, United Israel Appeal was located at 515 Park Avenue, NY, NY.