The Greater Altoona Jewish Federation seeks to embody the core tradition of Tzedakah; righteousness and social justice. Mindful that “each Jew is responsible one for the other,” the Federation shall act as a cohesive force among the local Jewish organizations, shall create a climate of respect for the diversity of Jewish ideas and practices and shall be a Jewish voice in working with the larger community.
- Foster continuity and growth while seeking to preserve and strengthen Jewish life.
- Study, plan and provide for the present and future social, education, cultural and welfare needs of the local Jewish community.
- Support Israel as well as American and World Jewry.
- Raise, allocate and disburse the resources needed to meet the Federation’s goals.
The Jewish Federation is the expression of thousands of years of Jewish communal history. By the time the Bible was written, Jewish ethical principals were well established as guides to action including injunctions to care for the needy, the widow, the orphan and the stranger.
The concept of a “community chest” existed more than two thousand years ago when it was a requirement that communal leaders take responsibility for collections and disbursements of charity funds. Over time Jewish self-governing communities reinforced these ideas and the concept of Tzedakah was interchangeable with Mitzvah, the performance of good deeds. To be a good Jew meant doing good deeds as a member of the community.
Today, the Federation is the central meeting place where community priorities are developed. The federation allocates and coordinates services in response to local Jewish needs and represents the voice of the organized Jewish community.
Any resident of the local Jewish community who has attained the age of 18 years, and who shall have contributed to a common fund set up by the corporation shall be a member of said corporation for the fiscal year during which such a contribution shall be due and payable.