United Jewish Communities to become Jewish Federations of North America

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WASHINGTON (RNS) United Jewish Communities, one of the largest American Jewish organizations, has changed its name to the Jewish Federations of North America to more closely align itself with local chapters across the country.

“Our new name makes a clear and bold statement that we embody the Jewish Federation system,” said Jerry Silverman, the group’s president and CEO. “Further, this change enables us to work with our partners to create stronger positioning of the Jewish federations for the future.”

UJC was incorporated in 1999, after the merger of the Council of Jewish Federations, the United Israel Appeal and the United Jewish Appeal. It is the umbrella organization for 157 Jewish federations and 400 independent Jewish communities across North America.

The new name will align itself with 90 percent of local federations, such as the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

The group’s new logo incorporates a circular design and menorah. Some local federations are likely to use the logo as well, to create a unified look.

Other federations are expected to opt for an “endorser logo,” which would symbolize an alliance with the Jewish Federations of North America. This is expected to appeal to some federations that have strong name identification, such as The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

“The Associated is proud to pilot the endorser logo and make a strong statement that we are part of a united Federated system, while protecting the equity of our name in our community,” said Marc Terrill, president of the Baltimore group.

The name and logo will be officially unveiled at the organization’s General Assembly, in Washington in early November.

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