We are proud to announce the release of the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 Special Report on Poverty by
UJA-Federation of New York in consultation with the
Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. 

Drawing on nearly 6,000 interviews, this report is the most comprehensive look to date at the needs in New York’s Jewish communities.

old womanWe encourage you to read the report and learn about the realities of Jewish poverty.

Here are the highlights of the study

Met Council has been at the forefront of shedding light on Jewish poverty for the past 40 years. Conducted every ten years, this is one of many comprehensive studies on Jewish poverty published by Met Council and UJA-Federation: 

familydvMet Council has been working on the front lines of serving New York’s Jewish needy since our inception in 1972. The Special Report on Poverty confirms what we and our Jewish Community Council Network see every day: there is more need in the Jewish community today than ever before. Today, more than 360,000 people in Jewish households are poor—a 50 percent increase since 2002, and a 100 percent increase since 1991. 

Today, 1 in 4 New York City Jewish households is poor and 1 in 10 is near-poor. The Jewish poor and near-poor have many faces, including Russian-born immigrants, seniors living on fixed incomes, the Orthodox, and the unemployed/underemployed. The near-poor are especially vulnerable as they struggle to make ends meet but do not qualify for most public benefits. 

Met Council has responded to this extraordinary growth in Jewish poverty with unprecedented levels of services. But much more remains to be done.

  • In 1992, the Met Council network had 75 units of low income housing; today we have over 2,000 units with 841 in development.
  • In 1992, we provided 400 seniors with home care; today we provide home care to 5,072 clients a year.
  • In 1992, we provided approximately $370,000 in financial assistance; in 2012 we provided $2,297,399.
  • In 1992, we provided less than $50,000 in food vouchers; in 2012 we provided $647,051.
  • In 1992, our food pantry network served less than 200 households per month in two neighborhoods; today we serve some 15,000 households monthly and 540,000 households during Passover.
  • In 1992 we provided career assistance to less than 500 people per year; in 2012 we helped 8,779 people.
  • In 1992, Met Council Crisis Intervention helped just under 10,000 people; in 2012 we helped 33,746.
  • In 1992, we provided information & referrals to almost 70,000 clients; in 2012 the number was 175,543 clients.
  • In 1992, we had virtually no organized volunteer program; in 2012 our volunteers spent 66,214 hours serving communities.
  • Here are more statistics on population trends, use of human services, and geographic distribution of poverty in the Jewish community.

    Met Council will continue working with our 25 Jewish Community Councils across the city to serve 100,000 clients every year. More than ever before, the Met Council Network is the Jewish safety net and needs new resources to help individuals find immediate relief and lasting solutions to poverty.

    We are extremely grateful to UJA-Federation, the Jewish Policy & Action Research team, the Jean Nerken Population Study Fund, the Green Charitable Foundation, the Kroll Kids Foundation, Susan and Scott Shay, David and Patricia B. Silvers, and Nicki and Harold Tanner for their support in making this study possible.