Top North American Jewish Charities

Forbes Magazine recently ranked the 200 top Charities in the US (as of Dec. 31st, 2006). Twelve Jewish charities made the cut and most were at, or well above average in terms of Fundraising Efficiency (the cut of gifts left after subtracting the cost of getting them).

Name Private Support ($mil) Net Assets ($mil) Fundraising Efficiency (%)
UJA/Federation of New York 196 908 85
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Org of America 116 675 93
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit 70 501 95
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago 120 463 90
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco 63 456 94
Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland 74 372 91
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 234 347 99
Combined Jewish Philanthrophies (Boston) 88 331 94
Greater Miami Jewish Federation 48 145 91
PEF Israel Endowment Fund 65 134 100
American Jewish Committee 58 110 91
Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith 69 21 88

Do note that academic institutions, private and community foundations and religious entities are not included on this list. You’ll have to go elsewhere for the dish on them. You might want to try some of the philanthropy related blogs that have popped up like the eJewish Philanthropy blog or The New Jew but don’t expect any dirt there. Nothing on wasteful expenditures, cronyism, mismanagement and outright lechery within the hallowed halls of our top philanthropic institutions. Because of course, none of that ever happens.


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  1. Maya Norton

    12/3/2007 at 4:32 am

    Thanks for the mention, Jewlicious.

    I will be posting an entry on these findings today (Monday), so please stop by.

    Maya Norton

    The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy

  2. Maya Norton

    12/3/2007 at 12:15 pm

  3. ck

    12/3/2007 at 12:22 pm

    does it include salacious details?

  4. Maya Norton

    12/3/2007 at 1:05 pm

    I wish it did. That would have been fun to write.

    I’ll try to put a little into my next post– got to keep the readers happy.

  5. John

    12/4/2007 at 6:55 pm

    Just this list have combined assets (unless I miscalculated) of $4,463,000,000.00. Why are there poor people in Israel?

  6. Maya Norton

    12/6/2007 at 4:30 pm

    Hi John,

    That’s a lot of zeros for sure and a question that I ask myself every day. The simplest answer is that it is a problem of distribution and priorities.

    1. Depth of the problem.
    Poverty is complex and just pushing money to solve problems isn’t going to fix everything (not that I think we’ve tried enough). Consider a parallel example: hunger. There is certainly enough food in the world, in fact the US destroys surpluses each year, but there are still millions of hungry people worldwide. How can this be? It’s the same as there being enough money, but there still so many poor people.

    2. Distribution and Priorities.
    First there has to be something to distribute (money, food, etc). Then there has to be strategic planning and a destination to say that’s where the money should go. Last, the money actually has to get to the intended parties and be used in such a way to have the maximum impact.

    We in the Jewish community certainly have a lot more thinking to do on this issue. As you’ve noticed, some pieces of the puzzle are markedly absent.


    The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy

  7. Jewish Mother

    12/10/2007 at 10:22 am

    Four-fifths of Jewish foundation grant money goes into the general community, not to Jewish or Israeli causes, at least according to this:


  8. Maya Norton

    12/23/2007 at 5:49 pm

    Dear Jewish Mother,

    There was a lot of discussion about that on my blog.

    You can read more about it here as well, “Top Jewish Foundations and Their Philanthropic Giving.”


    I’m wondering what your opinion of that is.

    Shavua Tov,


  9. Dan

    12/26/2007 at 1:44 pm

    While the purpose of the eJewish Philanthropy blog is to highlight what’s new and great in the world of Jewish philanthropy, when we find something reeking of “wasteful expenditures, cronyism, mismanagement and outright lechery” you can count on it showing up. Check out these two posts:

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