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New York Federation Ranks High Among Foundation Grantees

Foundations contributed nearly $35 million to the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York in 1992-1993, making the New York federation the third-largest recipient of foundation money in the country, according to a new survey.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art headed the roster of non-profits receiving foundations money, according to the latest edition of “Who Gets Grants/Who Gives Grants,” published by the Foundation Center, The Chronicle of Philanthrophy has reported. Harvard University ranked second.

Explaining the New York federation’s high ranking in the survey, Adam Kahan, chief operating officer for financial resources at UJA-Federation, said, “We invest a great deal of time and energy in outreach to foundations.”

Kahan said the foundation money comes “in the context of the total financial resource development of UJA,” referring to the full gamut of fund raising, including and beyond the annual campaign.

In 1993, UJA-Federation raised a total of $207 million, of which $139 million came from the regular campaign and Operation Exodus. The rest came from a capital campaign and other means of planned giving. Foundation grants were included in both figures.

Although no other Jewish groups made the list of top 100 foundation recipients, there were several groups that made up top 10 lists arranged by categories.

The New Israel Fund, which funds grass-roots projects in Israel, ranked fourth among groups dealing with “international affairs.” It received a total of $2.7 million in grants.

Among civil rights groups, the American Jewish Committee ranked ninth, having received $1.4 million.

Two Jewish groups ranked in the top 10 among religious organizations.

Machne Israel, the Brooklyn-based social service arm of the Lubavitch movement, received 18 foundation grants totaling $2 million.

The Mesorah Heritage Foundation, which underwrites translations of the Torah and Talmud published by ArtScroll, received three grants totaling $1.1 million.

Thirty of the top 50 non-profit organizations on the list are colleges or universities.

Barry Shrage, president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, said the success of the universities should be an example for federations.

That success, he said, provides “a wonderful opportunity to make the case for Jewish cultural literacy and learning.”

Sharge has strongly advocated that Jewish federations move beyond the annual campaign to aggressive competition for major donors.

Sharge said for Jewish institutions not to pursue foundation and endowment support with the vigor shown by universities, “what we’re saying in essence is that we really have accepted the myth that our culture, our intellectual heritage, is inferior to the rest of Western civilization.

“And the truth is, we don’t really believe it,” he said.

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