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UJC approves budget, reorganization

The United Jewish Communities’ board of trustees approved a $40.2 million budget for 2007-08, effectively endorsing a plan to reorganize the umbrella organization for North America’s federation system.The budget, passed Monday at UJC governance meetings in New York, is up from $38.8 million last year. To pay for the budget increase, the UJC is asking for a 3.7 percent increase in dues from each of its 144 member federations. The budget includes $2 million to be spent on program changes and a $2.6 million savings from cutting 24 jobs, according to a UJC source.According to the reorganization plan, which was introduced informally in March, the UJC will dissolve its pillar system and form two operating units. One will be based in Israel and focus on Israel and overseas fund raising and operations. The other will be based in the United States and concentrate on helping the federations increase their donor base and campaigns.The budget also includes a $1.5 million research and development fund for “new strategies.” The budget “was passed overwhelmingly,” UJC spokesman Glenn Rosenkrantz told JTA.A trustee who asked not to be identified said “there were a number of federations that voted no either on the budget itself or on the dues increase.” Those federations include Detroit, and Palm Beach and South Palm Beach in Florida.