CONNECT WITH PURPOSE
Federation is mobilizing community builders and organizations to ensure a strong, vibrant future for us all in Jewish Greater Washington. Together, we are building an open, connected, and vibrant Jewish community that cares for each other, fosters Jewish learning and journeys, embraces Jewish peoplehood and Israel, and acts as a force for good in the world. From addressing our core, foundational mandate of strengthening and sustaining Jewish life locally, in Israel, and around the world; to fostering innovative new partnerships and initiatives that will serve the next generation; to expanding successful efforts to reach more people, Federation is connecting the Greater Washington Jewish community to one another, to big ideas, and to organizations that address critical issues. Explore our latest Digital Impact Report to discover the many ways in which we are connecting with purpose.
To inspire, build, and sustain vibrant Jewish life in a changing world by mobilizing our community in common purpose, intentional innovation, and effective action.
The history of the third largest Jewish community in the country began more than 200 years ago, when the first Jews moved to Washington, D.C.
As the Jewish community grew, dozens of charitable social service agencies emerged to support the area’s growing needs.
But the social service landscape has changed dramatically over the years:
1925: Washington’s disparate charitable agencies merged into the Jewish Welfare Association, to direct community resources more effectively.
1939: The United Palestine Appeal and the fundraising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee merged into the national United Jewish Appeal. The Jewish Welfare Association became UJA’s Washington headquarters, focusing primarily on the needs of Jews in Europe and what was then Palestine. Only a small portion of money raised supported local needs.
1976: UJA Washington became UJA Federation of Greater Washington, the formal coordinator of a community-wide campaign for local beneficiary agencies as well as for Israel and overseas.
1999: UJA Federation became The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington to reflect the broad range of global and local fundraising commitments we have established.
Through the many changes in our region and the world, we have remained focused on strengthening Jewish identity and caring for those in need.