UJA-Federation of New York Awards More Than $1 Million in Scholarships to Jewish Students in Need

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NEW YORK, Aug. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than $1 million in scholarships were recently awarded to more than 400 of New York's neediest Jewish students at the 20th Annual Scholarship Presentation at this year's Rose Biller Career Fair at UJA-Federation of New York. The scholarship awards program is the largest Jewish scholarship program in the country. Over nearly two decades it has enriched the lives of thousands of Jewish students, helping them to fulfill their educational aspirations. In conjunction with the Rose Biller Career Fair, undergraduate and graduate students received annual scholarships from the Rose Biller Endowment Fund of UJA-Federation of New York. The scholarship awards program is administered by the Hebrew Free Loan Society.

Alisa Doctoroff, president of UJA-Federation of New York, opened the program, discussing the value of education, and how significantly the scholarship awards program has grown over the years. Guest speaker Robert Friedman, Rose Biller's grandson, relayed how his uncle made the bequest to establish the program in honor of his grandmother's memory, and how the program exemplifies the role of communal responsibility to help people in need.

Peter Brest, chief operating officer of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, delivered the keynote address, stressing that the link between education and poverty is clear, and noting in the past ten years the drop in the percentage of Jews living in poverty in the New York Metropolitan area with bachelor's degrees and the increase in the percentage of Jews with only a high school diploma or who did not complete high school. He concluded that the services Met Council provides to fight against poverty are an expression of the Jewish tradition of mutual responsibility to help those who are most vulnerable and that being a part of the Rose Biller Scholarship program helps this effort.

At the career fair, whose theme this year was Careers in Jewish Communal Service, scholarship recipients had the opportunity to network with professionals from nonprofit agencies who will provide information about the variety of job paths within communal service, as well as the different job openings and paid internships available within their own organizations.

Participating agencies with representatives present during the job fair included: 92nd Street Y, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, FEGS Health & Human Services System, HIAS, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, Jewish Association Serving the Aging, Kings Bay YM-YWHA, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, UJA-Federation of New York, and The Educational Alliance.

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: Shari Harel, 212.836.1884, harels@ujafedny.org

Source: UJA-Federation ofNew York