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Fund raising down significantly, Phoenix federation cuts half of its staff

In light of significantly down fund-raising numbers, the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix laid off half of its staff last week.

The federation, which has seen its annual campaign dip by more than $1 million from last year laid off 8 of its 15 staff members, including the heads of its communications department, women’s philanthropy department and young leadership department on Oct. 27, the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix reported.

The federation’s campaign dropped from $5.5 million in 2008 to $4.2 million in 2009, after hitting $6 million in 2007. The 2010 campaign, which ends Dec. 31, has raised $3.3 million so far.

"There comes a time when the economy’s effect on the campaign reaches a point that it has a significant adverse effect on our resources," said Steve Gubin, chairman of the federation’s board told the Jewish News. "As difficult as it may be, sometimes scaling down is what you have to do."