Who We Are
The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty is the voice of the Jewish poor and the first line of defense for our community’s needy. We fight poverty through comprehensive social services and treat every individual with dignity and respect. Our network of grassroots Jewish Community Councils strengthens families and neighborhoods throughout New York City.
In 1972, two major academic studies on the growing number of impoverished Jews in New York City were released. They estimated that the number stood at approximately 300,000 people. Today, the number of poor and near-poor in the Jewish community has swelled to over 500,000.
These statistics prompted the formation of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty, with support from the American Jewish Congress and the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. With funding from the Human Resources Administration, this group selected Rabbi Jack Simcha Cohen as its first Executive Director and Jerome M. Becker as Chair of the organization. The Lower East Side Jewish Community Council and the Concourse Jewish Community Council were established as the first Met Council-affiliated Jewish Community Councils.
Since then, Met Council has continued to grow. Today, Met Council serves over two hundred thousands clients on site and throughout our network of sixteen Jewish Community Councils in each of the City’s five boroughs. From affordable housing, capacity building initiatives, career services, crisis intervention, and family violence services, to health insurance enrollment assistance, home care programs, home services, immigrant services, and kosher food distribution, Met Council continues to be the voice of New York’s poor and working poor.
Who we serve
In the fight against poverty, we serve immigrants, seniors living on fixed incomes, the un- and underemployed and anyone else in need. As an organization founded on Jewish values, we serve everyone with dignity and empathy, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.
How we serve
We use a strengths based approach that empowers our clients to confront their crisis. Our caseworkers conduct a thorough assessment with the client to create an effective intervention plan and develop a resolution.
We leverage government contracts with privately raised funds from individuals and foundations to increase the impact of our services.
Our culturally sensitive professionals provide an array of services to members of insular and immigrant communities utilizing a nuanced understanding of the clients’ community norms to move them from crisis to stability.
Together with our network of local Jewish Community Councils, we serve as the front line of defense for all those in need, providing essential anti-poverty services in all five boroughs.
We maintain a “no wrong door” policy, serving all of a client’s needs, regardless of the point of entry to Met Council. This holistic approach addresses both immediate and lasting needs in a client’s fight against poverty.
Through advocacy and comprehensive social services, we promote awareness of the needs of the more than 500,000 poor and near-poor Jews in New York City.