February 20th, 2007

To: Open letter to UJC, New York, New York
From: David Bedein, Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency Correspondent, The Philadelphia Bulletin

Our piece clearly states that the UJC allocated funds for the calender year 2006 for Sderot and the Western Negev and questioned the UJC allocation for Sderot for the calender year 2007.

The piece focused on a widely distributed December 28th, 2006 UJC letter to contributors which stated that the UJC was allocating an additional $4 million for the calender year 2007 to Sderot and the Western Negev.

What stimulated this article was the news from Sderot and the Western Negev that the allocations to Sderot and the Western Negev mentioned in the December 28th, 2006 letter to contributors simply did not arrive.

The UJC Israel office formally reported to our news agency yesterday, on the record, that the December 28th letter to contributors offering the additional $4 Million was a mistaken correspondence.

Our criticism of the UJC is that the UJC focuses on the fact that the UJC not yet allocated funds for the Western Negev and Sderot for the 2007 calender year.

A February 14th, 2007 memo from the UJC which was sent to contributors which delineates the UJC’s 2006 allocations for Sderot and the Western Negev, with the exception of one allocation – for business loans.

On February 20th, 2007, the UJC distributed another memo to the media, dated February 13th, which delineates the same allocations to Sderot and the Western Negev which has no allocation dates on it whatsoever.

When the press reads the second memo, reporter have the impression that the UJC is now funding current projects in Sderot and the Western Negev to the tune of more than three million dollars.

The question remains: What will be the UJC 2007 allocation to health, education and social services of the Jewish communities of Sderot and the Western Negev, in light of the fact that these communities have suffered more than 100 missile attacks SINCE Israel’s self-imposed cease-fire on November 26th, 2006?


February 20, 2007

… UJC/Federations faced criticism for a supposed lack of funding. David Bedein, who publishes in various Israel-based Web sites, wrote about the imminent closing of a mental-health center in Sderot, due to a lack of municipal funding, and questioned why UJC/Federations have not helped.

In fact, UJC/Federations, through the IEC, have allocated nearly $4.4 million to Sderot and the region near the Gaza Strip, which has remained under missile fire since before last summer’s war, principally for trauma relief services.

UJC/Federations, through the second IEC, also allocated $1.84 million for educational programs and other areas.

And until last summer’s war, UJC/Federations had allocated more than $1.9 million through the first IEC to Sderot and the Gaza region for trauma services and other programs as well.

Please see this report on UJC/Federation funding for Sderot and the region, issued by the UJC Israel office.