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Organization which raises money in the U.S. for the resettlement and rehabilitation of Jews in Israel and throughout the world and for humanitarian programs benefiting needy and troubled Jews in Israel and 33 other countries. Since its founding in 1939, the UJA has contributed to the rescue and resettlement of more than 4 million people, about half of them immigrants brought to Israel. To accomplish this, since its inception the UJA has collected more than $12 billion and distributed it to its beneficiary agencies.

Through United Jewish Appeal Inc., the UJA supports the Jewish Agency’s programs of immigrant absorption and human support services designed to improve the quality of life in Israel. These include initial resettlement services to new immigrants, such as Hebrew-language instruction, vocational training, and subsidized housing; special programs for disadvantaged youth; support of preschool and higher education; health and welfare aid; the establishment of kibbutzim and moshavim, and their support to the point of self-sufficiency. In 1979, the Jewish Agency also began a program called Project Renewal for the physical and social rehabilitation of the lives of immigrant families in distressed urban neighborhoods.

Operation Exodus was UJA’s special campaign to take Jews out of the former Soviet Union and settle them in Israel with freedom and dignity. Since 1990, more than 500,000 Soviet Jews have come to Israel.

Another UJA beneficiary is the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which operates in Israel and 33 other countries throughout the world. In Israel, it provides services for the physically and mentally handicapped and supports extensive programs on behalf of the elderly, as well as special daycare programs for infants and toddlers. Its life-support services among Jewish communities in other countries include food and clothing parcels, kosher meals, medical care, nursery and day schools, centers for senior citizens, and relief-in-transit for Jewish migrants from distressed areas. It also supports worldwide vocational training for Jewish youth through the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training (ORT).

In American Jewish communities, the annual fund raising campaigns support local and national programs as well as UJA-funded overseas services. Local programs include Jewish day schools, daycare, Y’s and community centers, vocational workshops, medical care, family counseling, youth guidance, home and institutional care for the elderly, aid to the indigent, and a full range of resettlement services for the incoming Jewish immigrants. Some 500 communities throughout the U.S. conduct annual fundraising campaigns on behalf of the UJA. A portion of the money is used for local need, and a portion goes to support the UJA’s overseas services. See United Jewish Communities.

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