The files of Howard Wasserman (15.5 Bankers Boxes), Director of Jewish Education at UJA-Federation from 1989 to 1995, were recently processed. Approximately half of Wasserman’s files, 8 Bankers boxes, are requests from agencies for funding from the Fund for Jewish Education (FJE) – what we are calling agency proposals. The Fund for Jewish Education was created under the auspices of UJA-Federation in 1978 through the contribution by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph S. Gruss of $1 million per year for a five-year period, matched by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York. Eventually Gruss gifted more than $30 million as a “life monument” to perpetuate Jewish religious education in the New York region. According to the documentation, FJE’s goals are “to help insure the stability of Jewish schools, improve the quality of educational programs, help increase the number of children receiving a Jewish education, and encourage and support outreach programs.”
The agency proposal files are arranged alphabetically under “Fund for Jewish Education” and include agency proposals, both accepted and rejected, from 1984 to 1995 as well as general proposals from 1993 to 1995 while he served as Director of FJE. Wasserman was Director of FJE while Director of Education at UJA-Fed.
Below is a transmittal form from the Five Towns School of Jewish Education for the Special Child for a program called, “Community outreach to families of pre-school to young adults” in February of 1989, an example of the types of proposals that the Fund for Jewish Education received. Unfortunately, this proposal was later rejected.
Below is a scan of a 1990 acceptance letter to Parents for Torah for All Children (P’Tach) for $25,000 for a program entitled, “Early Childhood Screening Program”, accompanied by a renewal request in October 1989 that discusses the purpose of early childhood screening.
Below is an example of correspondence between the Executive Director of the Shorefront Jewish Community Council and Debbie Niderberg, Coordinator of Outreach and Special Projects for the Fund for Jewish Education, addressing the need for additional funds. Note that the first letter was blind carbon copied (bcc) to Howard Wasserman and that the second letter was on stationery where Howard Wasserman was listed as Director of FJE (Wasserman was FJE’s Director of Outreach from 1991 to 1992). The third scan below is the first page of a grant application by the Shorefront JCC to FJE for $14,300 in the 1994 to 1995 fiscal year.
After leaving UJA-Federation and the Fund for Jewish Education, Wasserman was Executive Vice President (EVP) at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst from 1997 to 2010. According to John Ruskay, EVP and CEO of UJA-Federation, “Howard provided extraordinary professional leadership in transforming an agency – from one challenged in terms of finances, program quality, its physical plant, and its board – to a thriving agency.” (http://communitym.com/article.asp?article_id=100787&article_type=0). In the late 1990s, Howard Wasserman served as Consultant to the Israel Experience, Inc. (Israel in Jewish Communal Leadership) in which older students can experience an educational trip to Israel. (http://projectincite.wikispaces.com/file/view/Israel+in+Our+Lives+-+Adult+Education.pdf)