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UJC takes step towards more layoffs and budget cuts

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After initially tellling JTA it wanted to cut its budget by 10 percent, the UJC’s budget committee decided yesterday to cut it by 18 percent, including 31 layoffs:

NEW YORK (JTA) — Under pressure from the federations that it serves, the United Jewish Communities took a step toward implementing an 18 percent budget cut that will include significant layoffs — the second time this year the organization will be forced to enact major personnel cuts.

The budget committee of the United Jewish Communities, the North American arm of the federation system, approved a plan Monday to reduce the organization’s budget from $37 million this year to $30.3 million in 2009-2010. The cuts will come primarily from the elimination of 31 jobs, the organization’s top professional and top lay leader told JTA.

The cuts became necessary because local Jewish federations have on average seen their annual campaigns significantly drop during the recession, and many federations are making significant budget cuts and staff reductions on their own, UJC officials said in a telephone interview following the budget meeting.

“We surveyed our federations to see how campaigns were going, and a wide array felt that in general the campaigns probably averaged down in the low- to mid- teens," The UJC’s chairman, Joe Kanfer, said.  “Some are down more than that and some are down not nearly as much. We felt this was an appropriate number given what federations are doing in their own communities.”

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