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First Woman Elected President of the Greater New York UJA

February 3, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Elaine Winik has been elected president of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York, the first woman to hold the position since the philanthropic organization was founded in the grim days of Nazi persecution in 1938. She succeeds Stephen Shalom, who held the presidency for three years.

In her capacity as president, Mrs. Winik will supervise the distribution of tens of millions of dollars derived from the effort of the UJA-Federation, the UJA fund-raising arm in New York, to agencies helping approximately two million people throughout the world, from new arrivals in Israel to the aged in rapidly disappearing Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.

Mrs. Winik, who has devoted much of her life to philanthropic service, becomes the second woman to take over a top leadership post in New York Jewish philanthropy. In July, 1980, Mrs. Laurence Tisch was named president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, beneficiary of the UJA-Federation organization. The Federation is the largest local voluntary organization of its kind in the world and UJA of Greater New York occupies a position of equal stature in service to Jews on a world-wide scale.

The network of agencies supported by UJA includes The American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HI AS), New York Association for New Americans (NYANA), the JWB and ORT. Their involvement covers every conceivable human need.


Mrs. Winik, whose reputation is as one of the most active and effective workers in UJA’s 43-year history, has held or continues to hold an array of volunteer posts. She is associate general chairman of the 1982 UJA-Federation campaign, a trustee of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, a member of the executive committee of the JDC and has served as both chairman and president of the National UJA women’s division.

Mrs. Winik, whose parents were founders of the UJA after Krisallnacht in 1938, said she hopes to strengthen the organization’s ties with other leading Jewish philanthropies, including the National UJA and the Council of Jewish Federations nationally and the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies locally. She plans an extensive effort to involve people who are on the periphery of Jewish communal life. “Once we bring them in, ” she said, “they will take part in what we are doing.”

Mrs. Winik also is New York chairperson of the Campaign Development Committee, a special agency created by the Council of Jewish Federations and the National UJA to work with demographic data on New York area Jews to determine what the real capacity of fund-raising in New York and other communities might be.

Mrs. Winik, who has travelled to Israel 42 times since 1950, is an “honorary citizen” of the Israeli town of Dimona, the first to be so named. A high school there came about largely through her efforts.

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