The UJA-Federation of New York is laying-off 15% of its workforce, according to a person familiar with the matter. The layoffs at the charity, which is often described as the world’s largest local charity organisation, are a sign of the tough economic times. Tough fund raising in the year ahead is being blamed for the cutbacks.
Last September, the UJA-Federation held its annual dinner at the home of former Bear Stearns chairman Ace Greenberg. It raised $43 million at the dinner, $2 million more than the year earlier.
For years, it has been the charity of choice for many of the big hitters on Wall Street. It’s annual Wall Street dinner attracts thousands of donors. It was traditionally held on the first Wednesday in December, the same day Bear Stearns announced its bonuses.
But financial markets and the economy have taken a sharp downward turn since then, and the charity anticipates 2009 will be a lean year.
Our source says that the UJA-Federation, unlike other prominent Jewish organisations, did not fall victim to Bernie Madoff’s scam. Some of its donors, however, certainly did. But the real damage has been done by the broad downturn.