Poverty and Jewish Poverty in NYC

Poverty in NYC


The high cost of New York City living makes it difficult for the poor, near-poor, working-poor and under-employed to feed their families, pay medical bills and find affordable housing.

There are many factors, both direct and indirect, that contribute to poverty. Some face devastating illnesses, experience a layoff or suffer a life altering trauma, while others may lack access to higher education and a subsequent career track, or have a language barrier.

The most pressing issue facing most of our clients is affordable housing: families often face eviction and are on the brink of homelessness. Others struggle simply to feed their families or keep their utilities on. Families facing illnesses often have to contend with enormous medical bills not covered by insurance. Most, unfortunately, struggle with all of these issues — each and every day.

POVERTY in the nyc Jewish community

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  • Over half a million poor, or near-poor, Jews live in NYC, outnumbering the entire population of Miami, Florida.

  • Since 1991 there has been more than a 100% increase of people living in poor Jewish households in New York City.

  • The poverty rate in the NYC Jewish community is comparable with the general poverty rate in NYC.

  • Jewish poverty in NYC is worse than any other Jewish community in the United States.

  • 72% of Russian-speaking senior Jewish households are poor.

  • More than 180,000 children live in poor or near-poor Jewish households, which is 45% of Jewish children in NYC.

  • In 19% of near-poor Jewish households, both spouses are employed full-time or self-employed.

  • The majority of poor and near-poor Jews live in Brooklyn.

Findings from the Jewish Community Study of New York - 2011 Special Report on Poverty by UJA-Federation in collaboration with Met Council.