UJA-Federation of New York Connects the Jewish Community to High Holiday Services

NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The High Holidays — that begin with Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, at sundown on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 — are a time for reflection and introspection. They also provide a unique opportunity for the Jewish community to reach out to and engage all those who wish to attend High Holiday services but might not have a place to go. In an effort to respond to this need during the Jewish holidays, UJA-Federation of New York has once again compiled a comprehensive guide for New Yorkers who are not members of a synagogue but are looking for a place to connect with the Jewish community during the High Holidays.

Through its free J-1-1 Information and Referral Center, UJA-Federation is able to refer families and individuals to New York-area High Holiday services of all denominations that are open to nonmembers. More than 90 synagogues and Ys are listed on the website, some offering free services to those in need. According to the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011, there are now 694,000 Jewish households and 1.54 million Jews in the five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island, up from 643,000 households and 1.41 million Jews, when last studied in 2002. The recent "Special Report on Poverty" (June 2013) reported that more than 560,000 people in approximately 200,000 Jewish households are poor or near-poor — more than the number of Jews living in other large Jewish communities such as Chicago or Washington, D.C. The report further found that the picture of Jewish engagement is changing, and outside the Orthodox community, characterized by lower rates of formal synagogue affiliation. The free New York-area High Holiday services included in the J-1-1 registry provide important opportunities for the community, particularly those in need, to share in a meaningful worship experience for the High Holidays.

Those interested in finding out about New York-area High Holiday services throughout the five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island are encouraged to contact UJA-Federation's J-1-1 Information and Referral Center Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (ET), at 877.852.6951 or J11@ujafedny.org.

In addition, UJA-Federation offers another free resource, colorful and convenient free Jewish e-cards for the High Holidays to let your friends and family know how much you care. The five designs, from the stylized apple/flame illustration to the shofar mosaic to traditional apples and honey, allow you to send a personalized message to family and friends, near and far.

The High Holidays are not just a time for reflection, but for action as well. Together, the community can make 5774 a better year for the neediest in our community by volunteering its collective time, talents, and energy. High Holiday volunteer opportunities range from connecting with seniors via computer or packing or serving holiday meals.

UJA-Federation of New York provides these platforms for the community to connect through worship, engaging with family and friends, and serving the greater community to create a caring and inspired holiday experience. For more information, please visit www.ujafedny.org/high-holidays/.

About UJA-Federation of New York

For more than 95 years, UJA-Federation has been a central force for communal planning and philanthropy in the New York Jewish community. Through UJA-Federation, almost 60,000 donors pool their resources to help people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities around the world — to address the issues that matter to us most as Jews and as New Yorkers. Working with nearly 100 network beneficiary agencies, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations, our reach spans from New York to Israel to more than 70 other countries around the world, touching 4.5 million people each year. Because we do the most good when we do it together. For more information on how to donate or how to volunteer, please visit our website at http://www.ujafedny.org.

CONTACT: UJA-Federation of New York Shari Harel 212.836.1513 harels@ujafedny.org

Source: UJA-Federation ofNew York