12 Jewish Charities Featured on Forbes’ Top 200 List


Taking a Closer Look

On Forbes Magazine’s list of top 200 US charities, 12 Jewish foundations are featured.

Who are they? I think you will find their names no surprise based on Forbes’ criteria of “charitable commitment, fundraising efficiency, and donor dependency.”

Foundation Net Assets Charitable Commitment Fundraising Efficiency Donor Dependency
American Jewish Committee $110 million 81% 91% 65%
American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee $347 million 92% 99% 89%
Anti-Defamation League $21 million 79% 88% 85%
Hadassah: Women’s Zionist Org. of America $675 million 84% 93% 40%
PEF/ Israel Endowment Funds $134 million 98% 100% 97%
United Jewish Communities (Federation system):
Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Miami,
New York, San Francisco
See details below See details below See details below See details below

Forbes’ Criteria: Taking a Closer Look


So who are the largest US Jewish foundations and what do we need to know about them?

First let’s talk about who they aren’t. Forbes’ criteria eliminated from its list private foundations, academic institutions, and community and religious organizations without high degrees of transparency.

Foundations were assessed on the basis of three characteristics: charitable commitment, fundraising efficiency, and donor dependency. Forbes’ evaluations were based on major gifts, not total revenue.

  • Charitable commitment: how much funding goes to program support compared to how much is used for management
  • Fundraising efficiency: how much funding goes to the actual gift compared with how much is used for overhead expenses
  • Donor dependency: “how badly a nonprofit needs your contribution to break even”

The Jewish Foundations

Note: the Forbes’ list is organized alphabetically, not by rank, so you can easily navigate your way around the site.

American Jewish Comittee

AJC Logo

The American Jewish Committee is one of the oldest Jewish advocacy organizations worldwide.

Established in 1906 to help protect Russian Jews from the pogroms, it has since spoken out on the behalf of Jews in vulnerable communities across the world.

Take note of the AJC’s special projects, which include:

  • Its blog, the AJC Wire
  • The AJC Archives (an amazing historical and cultural resource)
  • The Green Project, which seeks to make its national offices compliant with LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System)

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

JDC Logo

The best place to read about the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is here: “Know Your Jewish Philanthropy: the Federations, the Joint, and the Jewish Agency.”

The Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (aka the JDC or “the Joint”) helps vulnerable Jewish and non-Jewish populations worldwide. Its primary program areas are: rescue, relief and recovery, renewal, and Israel.

Note that the JDC’s Dr. Rick Hodes has recently been recognized as one of CNN’s Heroes for his medical outreach to disadvantaged populations. Dr. Hodes is currently serving as the JDC’s Director of Medical Programs in Ethiopia.

Anti-Defamation League

ADL Logo

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is an activist organization fighting hate and anti-semitism around the world.

It is the number one best recognized organization of its kind in the Jewish world. The ADL has made a name for itself politically for its anti-hate and civil rights campaigns.

Note the ADL’s special section for governments and schools on Negotiating the ‘December Dilemma.’

Recommended reading: “Yad Vashem Recognizes Albanian Muslims Among Righteous Gentiles.”

Hadassah: the Women’s Zionist Organization of America

Hadassah Logo

Hadassah has long been renowned as the central address for Jewish women’s philanthropy.

You’ll notice in the comparison chart above that with a net worth of $675 million net assets, Hadassah is far and away the wealthiest organization on the list.* This is true even more than you think: Hadassah women are loyal devotees of the organization and many women active in the Jewish community have lifetime Hadassah memberships.

Hadassah is probably best known for its support of medical organizations. If you’ve ever been to the Homeland, you know the important work they are doing here on behalf of the State of Israel. I am also a big fan of their print magazine (and wish they would migrate online).

* Not including federations.

PEF/ Israel Endowment Funds


Confused by the PEF part of PEF/Israel Endowment Funds‘ name? That’s Palestine Endowment Funds and yes, the organization has been working on behalf of Israel since the beginning.

PEF acts as a conduit for Jewish giving to Israel. If you look at the numbers and percentages in the chart above, you can see that they are doing their job well. With little overhead, many major Jewish American organizations trust PEF to get the job done.

Photo: Justice Louis Brandeis (pictured), Rabbi Stephen Wise, and Robert Szold were the original founders of PEF in 1922.

United Jewish Community Federations

UJC Logo

The United Jewish Communities (UJC) is the keystone for giving in the Jewish world. When people talk about “the federations,” what they are referring to is the UJC’s federated regional offices.

You can see purely from its net assets that the UJC’s regional offices are in powerful command of donor dollars. Knowing what we do about fundraising, the UJC’s information indicates that they are considered a primary giving destination in the American Jewish community that has deep impact and strong results.

If you haven’t read it already, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the UJC by reading: “Know Your Jewish Philanthropy: the Federations, the Joint, and the Jewish Agency.”

Let’s take a look at Forbes’ breakdown of the 7 UJC federations that topped the list: Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.

Federation Net Assets Charitable Commitment Fundraising Efficiency Donor Dependency
Boston: Combined Jewish Philanthropies $331 million 89% 94% 52%
Cleveland: Jew. Comm. Fed. of Cleveland $372 million 89% 91% 77%
Chicago: Jew. Fed. of Metropolitan Chicago $463 million 85% 90% 70%
Detroit: Jew. Fed. of Metropolitan Detroit $501 million 89% 95% 25%
Miami: Greater Miami Jewish Federation $145 million 83% 91% 41%
New York: UJA/Federation of New York $908 million 78% 85% 51%
San Francisco: Jew. Comm. Fed. of San Fran. $456 million 88% 94% 46%

Recommended Reading:


Forbes’ list of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” is a definitive list of who’s who in the world of global giving.

In closing, Forbes recommends that you: “Treat any would-be donation like you would an investment. After all, as a supporter, you become a stakeholder. Do your research and learn all you can.”


Flickr images sourced from the following, with thanks– Martin, Sarcaser, and Michelle Zliman under the Creative Commons license. All other images sourced from organizations’ websites or credited within the text.

Thanks to CK at Jewlicious for the tip off.

Links of Interest


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33 Responses to 12 Jewish Charities Featured on Forbes’ Top 200 List

  1. Nurit Robin says:

    thanks maya!!

  2. thenewjew says:

    Nurit, it’s great to hear from you.

    Hope all is well and best wishes to you and your family for a Happy Chanukkah.


  3. Hey Nurit! Drop me a line sometime. gewirtzj at optonline.net

  4. thenewjew says:


    I’ve forwarded your message and contact information on to Nurit to ensure she gets it.


  5. […] Read more about Hadassah: “12 Jewish Charities Features on Forbes’ Top 200 List” […]

  6. […] Links For An Obvious Contrast Between Jewish Charities & Christian Charities. Then Click On, A Closer Look At Jewish Charities, & See How Jews Only Help Other […]

  7. angella nalwanga says:

    am awoman director of aids in children here in our community and kindly reqesting for help in this mission
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    angella nalwanga

  8. Gerald Miley says:

    what is the name of the organization that helps Jews immigrate from danger? The Russian co-founder of google was a beneficiary of this, but I cannot find its name or where contributions can be sent to them. Thank you.

  9. Keitha Sibley says:

    What is the name of the jewish charity that assist jews with going back to their homeland?

  10. […] 12 Jewish Charities Featured on Forbes’ Top 200 List « The New JewDec 3, 2007 … 12 Jewish Charities Featured on Forbes’ Top 200 List. MBiskoping. Taking a Closer Look. On Forbes Magazine’s list of top 200 US charities, 12 … […]

  11. maribel nieves says:

    I woulf like phone contact information re jewish charities also to get some important information from them.

  12. maribel nieves says:

    First i’d like to say i love the chosen people and we pray for israel constantly, I would like to get contact information for jewish charities i have some extremely life and death information for them as well as i would like some emergency assistance for myself and my family to move us out of ny and miami to puerto rico by the end of this month before its too late.

    • maribel nieves says:

      I Maribel may be contacted via cell phone 609.743.9260.plz leave a message since i have no ringtone.thx.God bless u.

  13. Inna says:

    I am looking for charity organization that can help me.I live in Israel,I am a single Mom with two children,working as a teacher and I hardly can make both ends meet.

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  18. sajid hussain says:

    Hello humble request to USA government and doctors NGO nation please help to us . and please please forward my message to USA government help help as . My son is very serious sick .I want take to him england canada USA or AUS country for treatment.
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    CASE HISTORY CANCER crohn’s disease AND TB

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    My Name is SAJID HUSSAIN .
    My elder Son (WAHIB ALI) 19year,s old is suffering with the hardship of severe dieases.
    he suffer the crohn’s disease from last 13 years,
    and Also T.B ….
    DurinG treatment of crohn’s disease, His TB again move up,
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    Then TB’s treatment again started, but MEdcine of TB,
    fell him into another diease, which relate to Neuron Diease,
    now he is sufferinG neuro pain all the time 24/7 without any relief,
    I spend my all sources of income for treatment of My Dear Son…
    I humbly REquest help me to Save the Life of MY DEAR SOn….
    In Pakistan , his treatment is become very mess and tough ….
    I request again ,,,, Please Help me.
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    If you need original medical ducoment,s and report,s .more information I can send .
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    • Susan says:

      Praying for you and your son, Sajid.

      • Tekle.Bitiro says:

        My name is Tekle Bitiro
        Bank account number 1000021313258
        Bank name Commercial bank of Ethiopia
        Bank branch Bobicho Commercial bank Hosanna Ethiopia

        Marginalization of the Jewish (betaisrael) Community in Ethiopia

        General Overview about the Community
        There are several occupational groups in Ethiopia that have long been engaging in diverse occupations like smithing, pottery production, tanning, weaving, and wood working. One of these peoples, betaisraelgafat in the SNNPRs, Hadiya zone is mentioned. As stated in Belachew (2001), they are completely land less and despised communities though trade plays an important role in their economy as this people are crafts men who make various objects and their job division is based on sexes. Thus, pottery and leather works are left to the females and wood and iron work is made by males. Hadiya zone is one of the 14 zones and 5 special woredas in SNNPR of Ethiopia. Currently this zone has 10 woredas and one city administration as the administrative political unit of the zone. In the zone total population currently is nearly two million. Other than the dominant ethnic groups in Hadiya zone, a good number of social caste groups also exist in the region. For instance, according to Assefa (2013) the betaisraelgafat in this zone before three years was estimated more than 60000 which are more than30% of them are below age 18. According to the same researcher as the assessment of 151 kebeles of the Hadiya zone, the approximate average children size of each house hold of this people was eight. Moreover, these people are known by large family size, and they are denied the right to access all benefits, due to they are highly detached from mainstream communities. Such stigma and discrimination have prevented them from participating in the local collective ventures (wedding, mourning, work, feast ritual, worship, etc), and benefiting from the public and community sectors (Taklehaimanot, 2003).

        Therefore, as stated in Assefa (2013), the economic, social and cultural factors including, gender, ADIS, house hold poverty, ethnicity, minority status, and child labor often interlinked to keep children out of school. Besides, schools characteristics such as negative teachers’ and mainstream students towards betaisraelgafat’s children, lack of parental awareness towards education, large family size and poverty also inhabit children’s enrollment participation.

         To tackle such extreme problems of the out caste people of the Hadiya zone, some of the educated visionary youngsters lay the Foundation of Harotessa -Ethiopia, one of the indigenous NGOs in Ethiopia. Currently Harotessa –Ethiopia has been making conscientious effort to systematically address the education, capacity, health related needs of the outcaste people dwelling in Hadiya zone.
         The betaisraelgafat community is currently living in many zones and special woredas of SNNPR including Hadiyya, Kembatta-Tambaro, Wolayita, Gurage, Yem, and Alaba.
         For one of these social caste groups in the region the major ethnic groups gave the name fuga. Different authors in the literature used the name ,Fuga.the name Fuga means trumpet blowers in Hadiyic language ,so one of the case for our marginalization is the name Fuga and this name is derogatory name for society.
         In Hadiyya zone, according to Harotessa-Association Ethiopia estimates, there are more than 25,000 the marginalized community members.
         Members of the marginalized community usually do not own plot of land.
         Currently the community members are paying fee for individual land owners for clay soil for their pottery activity.
         Members of the community live in scattered small villages usually located outside the villages of the mainstream Hadiyya community.
         Houses of most of the marginalized community members are constructed in very small enclaves of individual land holders from the mainstream community and located at infertile extreme of the individual’s plot.
         As the land enclave granted by the mainstream landowner for these out cast community member become fertile and ready for cultivation the community member is usually evicted from the home.
         As the result there is no permanent residence for the our community members.
         As they do not own land and have no permanent place of residence, the marginalized community members sustain their life through pottery and other craftsmanship activities.
         However, demand for the products of our community products is low.
         In social relations between the community and mainstream community members, marginalization is manifested in the following manner.
         The community members are expected to salute with respect even minors from the mainstream community.
         Members of the marginalized community are not allowed to share same road at a time with members of the mainstream community. In cases when the marginalized and mainstream come together on the same road the marginalized should live the road and go to hiding outside the road.
         Although government is promoting education for all including our community children, the community children face marginalization in school in such way as they cannot seat on the same classroom desk, despised from working class works and assignments, discriminated from joining children plays and games with children from mainstream family and etc.
         As the result even if they enroll the common trend is dropping out from school.
         The marginalized community is not accessing public health care institutions. As the result:
         Children of the marginalized cannot share the same play ground with children from the mainstream community, they cannot intermarry, cannot share the same meal table, and cannot share the same burial ground with members from the mainstream community.
         Although government is promoting education for all including our community children, the community children face marginalization in school in such way as they cannot seat on the same classroom desk, despised from working class works and assignments, discriminated from joining children plays and games with children from mainstream family and etc.
         As the result even if they enroll the common trend is dropping out from school.
         The marginalized community is not accessing public health care institutions. As the result:
         Mothers are exposed to traditional birth attendants during delivery
         Are not beneficiaries of government provided family planning services
         Have very high birth rate (8-12) children/mother is common
         Hygienic and sanitation problems are rampant
         The community is exposed for various addiction
         They are exposed for HIV/AIDS and other STDs
         Discriminated from participation in local level community based institutions such as Idir, Iqub, and Debbo.
         FGM is common practice among the community.

        Establishment of Harotessa-Association
        Harotessa Association Ethiopia was established by few educated and committed young members of the marginalized community in 2009.
        Objectives of Harotessa include among others the following.
         Combating marginalization of the community and promoting educational opportunities for children of the social caste groups.
         Contributing for the poverty reduction efforts among our community.
         Raising awareness of the community towards the benefits of family planning, personal and family hygiene and sanitation, saving and children education.
         After its establishment the major challenge of the organization was limited capacity.
         The organization used to function at very limited scale using very small fund mobilized from membership contribution.
        The Hadiyya zone government had also provided different types of supports for Harotessa. Under its program on education HT also supports community schools by constructing classrooms, providing desks, chairs and tables, improving teaching and learning environment and opening Alternative Basic Education Centers. Women who have participated in its capacity-building programs are empowered to participate in public affairs and make decisions at different levels. Outcast our marginalized communities are now started claiming both their dignity and humanity.
        The organization believes strongly in integrating economic empowerment and these programs provide tangible, visible improvements in the lives of the people it serves. Efforts are underway to reinforce the existing livelihood, The Livelihood and Women Economic Empowerment program focuses on providing vocational training in income-generating schemes, entrepreneurship development and on organizing women and our communities into cooperatives with linkages to markets.
        We are confident that through time, and with the engagement of our staff, facilitators, stakeholders and relevant national and local groups and representatives, we will achieve our equality and diversity goals, embedding gender equality, eliminating unlawful sex discrimination and harassment, and promoting gender equality in all that we do.
        Our Vision
         To reduce the deep and abject poverty.
         To investigate the social, economic & cultural barriers to achieve primary education.
         To improve health states of marginalized community.
         A society where women are free from all forms of discrimination and violence and are able to attain, equity and equality for themselves and societies at large.
        Our Mission
         To see ensure social and economic integration of the marginalized groups and individual to strengthened independent & self sufficient Ethiopia.
         To realize the socio-economic well being and development of women and marginalized communities through integrated and sustainable interventions that systemically link economy, and Society.
        We strive to realize our mission through
        • Socio-economic empowerment of marginalized social groups women, and girls.
        • Enhancing community capacity towards achieving sustainable primary education and livelihoods.
        • Community sensitization and mobilization on HCPs, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, particularly the reduction of maternal and child mortality and morbidity.
        • Fostering effective participation and ownership of local communities and CBOs in their own development and,
        • Mobilizing the support and strategic partnership of government agencies and our development stakeholders.
        To do away with age old and deep-rooted customary practices that discriminate against women and girls and marginalized social groups and instead promote societal values, norms, and cultural practices that enhance social equality in every aspect, dignity, and harmony; to promote the socio-economic and ecological development of communities and enable them to become owners of their development, and; to serve women, girls, deprived social groups, grassroots community-based organizations (CBOs), the development community, and the public at large as a knowledge base.
        OUR VALUES
        HTA-Ethiopia apprehend the splendid values of equity and equality mainly that of gender equality and equity and respect of human wellbeing especially that of marginalized betisraelgafat community, women and children.
        It also strongly believes in community participation and vigorously supports their initiatives and promotes it.HT- Ethiopia has the motto that “Changes takes Commitment not a miracle” and always applies it to the realization of its goal-combating marginalization and Gender equality.

        Partnership with APED
         Partnership with APED was started with the recommendation of Hadiyya Zone Finance and Economic Development Department.
         APED in 2011 organized a two days consultative training for Harotessa leadership and during the consultation capacity problem of Harotessa was identified as major challenge.
         Based on the results of the consultation APED proposed new innovative project focusing on building capacity of Harotessa and secured financial support from CSSP.
         Using support from CSSP APED in partnership with Harotessa is implementing a project entitled “Combating Marginalization and Promoting Functional Inclusion of “Fuga” Community in Hadiyya Zone of SNNPR”.

        Major Results of the Project So Far
         Harotessa relationship and communication with zonal and woreda level government line offices has improved.
         One female member of Harotessa has got employment opportunity in the project and this facilitated knowledge and skill transfer between APED and Harotessa.
         Harotesa is currently handling secretarial and office management activities of the organization successfully by its own.
         Currently Harotessa is developing project proposals and competing for funds.
         Membership base of Harotessa Association has increased very fast and in significant number.
         Self-confidence of the community members is improving from time to time.
         Most members of the community are dropping eating what is considered as taboo in Hadiyya community.
         Awareness and motivation towards taking care of personal and family hygiene and sanitation has shown signs of improvement.
         One day per year is committed to commemorate the contribution and achievements of the social cast community and as a day for exhibiting cultural and material wealth of the community.
         One female member of our marginalized community is elected as Finance Head (management member) of Hosanna Town Administration Women Association.

        By Harotessa-Association Ethiopia
        Hossana Ethiopia

  19. shmuel says:

    dear sir/madam
    my name is sufrin sorin(shmuel) im 53 y old from israel now living in romania.
    my problem is like that : about 14 y ago i had to get out from israel cause i lost my job i got divorced but althought all of that i had still to pay for my kid and without money i was sitting a week in gail a week free and like that for a while. so i went to try my luck over sea but there i couldnt work normaly to pay back the money that i ouw but only for surviving ,
    right now im on the most critical stage of my life, i applay for european citizenship and im approuved but it can take about 3-4 months till i get the passport that i need to move on ! this thing can change my life 38000000000 degree ! but theres always but , MY POCKET cant survive this time that i need for that i have for might bee another moonth to be like a human been, that means 2 things :
    1) that when i finish my money to get back to israel and seat in gail
    2) ill get help to survive this time and when i get the european passport ill work pay back what i ow and live quayetly the rest of my life that god gave me,
    pleas let me know if you can help me with the second choice .
    p.s i have also letters from rabbais that know my situation
    sufrin sorin
    my email for replay is d.shovevani34@gmail.com

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    12 Jewish Charities Featured on Forbes’ Top 200 List | The New Jew

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