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Frequently Asked Questions

See answers to common questions below or contact the JHelp Hotline for specific questions.

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What is Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ?

Federation is the heart and soul of our Jewish community’s philanthropic and humanitarian activities. It is where our community comes together as one to care for people in need and to nurture and sustain Jewish identity for future generations locally, in Israel, and around the world. Inspired by Jewish values, it is the one place that belongs to every Jew, regardless of affiliation.

What area comprises Greater MetroWest NJ? What local Jewish community do you serve?

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ serves as the backbone of the Jewish community for people of all perspectives across five New Jersey counties including Essex, Morris, Sussex, Union and parts of Somerset.

What does Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ do? 

Federation helps Jews in need locally, in Israel, and around the world. We also connect Jewish individuals and families to our Greater MetroWest Jewish community in ways that are personally meaningful to them. We fulfill our mission by offering a wide variety of programs to engage and educate the community as well as funding and supporting a community-wide and overseas network of partner agencies.

How does Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ work with other local Jewish organizations?

We are the hub of all things Jewish in Greater MetroWest NJ. Federation partners with local social service agencies, synagogues, day schools, JCCs, and more to help meet the needs of our Jewish community. We serve the role of convener, ensuring that this network of organizations receives the funding and support they need to most effectively and efficiently serve the community.

How does Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest work with Jewish Federation of North America and other international Jewish organizations?

As part of the Jewish Federations of North America system, our Federation has the capacity to reach every Jew in need with a social service network unparalleled in the world. These resources and the experience and reach of our three preeminent overseas partners — the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and World ORT — enable us to bring lifesaving and life-sustaining care to Jews around the world.

What is Greater MetroWest’s relationship to Israel?

The building of living bridges with our five Israeli partner communities, with Israel at large and our efforts to bring Israel to Greater MetroWest are the hallmark of the Greater MetroWest-Israel connection. Through our Global Connections department, we nurture partnerships that bring us together through personal and meaningful cultural, educational and professional exchanges; missions and visits; and summer and college break trips every year. Each of our partnerships are unique, but all further our commitment to klal yisrael and tikkun olam — one Jewish people and repairing of the world. Learn more about Global Connections.

What kinds of projects does Federation support in Israel?

Among the many projects are Ethiopian absorption in Rishon LeZion, an extended school day for low-income students in Ofakim/Merchavim, English language enrichment in Arad/Tamar, religious pluralism programs, responses to terrorism, leadership development opportunities and Jewish identity-building trips to Israel for teens, college students and young adults.

Where does my donation go?

A gift to the UJA Annual Campaign of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ enables Federation and its partner agencies to meet urgent and ongoing humanitarian and social service needs and to build vibrant Jewish communities. More than 60 percent of the funds raised stay in Greater MetroWest, helping Jews in need and building Jewish community. Nearly 40 percent goes to meet overseas needs such as helping poverty-stricken Jews in Israel, building living bridges between Greater MetroWest and our partner communities in Israel, and helping rebuild and develop strong Jewish communities in more than 70 countries around the world. For a more detailed account of allocations, see our Annual Report.

How does Federation determine and meet funding priorities in Israel and elsewhere?

Our Global Connections team of professionals based in both Greater MetroWest and Israel work closely with professional partners around the world to gain an understanding of the greatest needs and opportunities. Our Global Connections team builds relationships with the programs we support, identifies new, exciting ventures and creates partnerships that help Federation fulfill our overseas goals.

Can I designate where I’d like my money to go?

Undesignated gifts to the UJA Annual Campaign are the primary source for meeting the ongoing needs of the Jewish community worldwide. Beyond this, there are a variety of philanthropic opportunities to designate money towards programs and projects that foster people-to-people connections in supporting unmet global social and human needs. Endowment gifts enable donors to support a general or specific area of interest. Donor-Advised Funds allow donors and their families to partner with Federation in funding those areas most deserving of additional support. Explore different ways to give.

I’m new to the area. Can Federation help me in my search for a synagogue, early childhood center, day school and/or camp that’s right for my family?

Greater MetroWest is home to 80+ synagogues, serving all five counties and every denomination, many of which offer early childhood programs. We can help you find the right fit for you and your family. Start with our synagogue directory. Learn more about our four Jewish day schools, and use our free resources from One Happy Camper to help find the right Jewish camp for your children and your family.

Does Federation offer ways for my young kids and teens to connect Jewishly?

In addition to providing free Jewish books to children ages six months to eight years old, PJ Library GMW offers a variety of programs for families with young children. Learn more about PJ Library.

JTEEN connects teens to unique, fun and educational Jewish experiences. Learn more about JTEEN.

In partnership with Rutgers Hillel, GMW Hillel provides outreach and engagement to the Jewish student populations at Montclair State University, Kean University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutgers-Newark and NJIT-Newark. Together these campuses host approximately 2,000 Jewish students. Learn more about multi-campus hillel.

I have a family member who needs help, who do I call?

Federation’s partner agencies are here for you. From Kosher Meals on Wheels, career services, counseling and help with food, rent and utilities, to domestic abuse, spiritual care/pastoral support, burial, to transportation for medical appointments and disability services. Click to get help with the support you need.

How can I get involved?

Greater MetroWest NJ is a great place to settle down, raise a family and live a meaningful Jewish life. No matter what age or stage you’re in, we have something for every interest and perspective. See the many way you can get involved.