The United Jewish Appeal topped the list of America’s 400 leading charities for the fiscal year 1991, according to a national survey.
Raising $668.1 million in donations, UJA pulled ahead of last year’s leader, the Salvation Army. That organization ranked second with $649 million in donations, down from its 1990 total of $658.7 million.
The Philanthropy 400, a list of the nation’s largest non-profit organizations, arranged in order of how much they received from private donors, appears in the latest issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Combined, the top 400 non-profit charities raised $19 billion – up 5.8 percent from the previous year.
Far above the curve, UJA raised 57 percent more than last year, an increase that can be attributed to the Operations Exodus campaign to raise money to help resettle Soviet Jews in Israel.
Rabbi Brian Lurie, executive vice president of UJA, explained that the dramatic increase was caused by the acceleration of payment on both the annual campaign and Operation Exodus, necessitated because of a cash crunch in Israel caused by the Persian Gulf War and increased immigration.
Said Lurie, “We did a wonderful job last year. But now is the reality of 1992, and we have to worry constantly about raising enough cash. We have a tremendous cash need right now” because of the continuing mass immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel.
The local UJA-Federation of New York ranked eight in the national list, with $235.5 million in donations.