In the late 1980s, UJA-Federation began providing assistance to HIV+ people and people with AIDS.
This assistance took the form of programs, educational conferences, counseling, and housing assistance, mostly provided through Federation agencies, which were funded largely through grants. This Domestic Affairs Division program fell under the heading of “Special Projects” and Simha Rosenberg served as UJA-Federation AIDS Project Coordinator from about 1988 until about 1994.
UJA-Federation’s willingness to take on the crisis of AIDS, particularly as early as the 1980s, investing over a million per year, as well as time and expertise, speaks volumes about the humanitarian orientation of the agency. It also indicates UJA-Federation’s willingness to adapt to the times, their foresight, and their exceptionally inclusive view of community. It is clear from the document below showing that 76 people on UJA-Federation’s staff participated in the 1991 AIDS Walk that many at UJF had a personal stake in the issue.
Rosenberg attended a great many AIDS conferences on behalf of UJA-Federation and led quite a few, as well. Both types of conference materials are included in the Special AIDS Project subseries. She also served as UJA-Federation’s representative at the New York AIDS Coalition (NYAC), and many folders in the subseries document her committee work there. The collection documents some of NYAC’s political activism in the form of postcards demanding more funding aimed at Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki. Rosenberg was instrumental in obtaining grants for Federation agencies to carry out AIDS progams and these efforts are documented here. Researchers can also learn about AIDS fundraising events held by UJA-Federation. One such event represented in the files was the “Madison Avenue Sell Out,” which involved many of New York’s most successful advertising agencies and corporate sponsorship.
The project also planned and implemented workshops designed to inform agency staff and program participants about the disease, from which extensive data was collected. The raw data, taken from pre- and post-workshop surveys, delineates attitudes and knowledge of the disease and sexuality at that time. It can be found in folders titled “AIDS Education and Training (AET) – Evaluations” within the subseries. Rosenberg apparently published some scholarly articles as a result of her initial AET Evaluation findings. Future researchers may wish to delve deeper into this data. Other areas of interest within the subseries include files on Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), medical research, press coverage of the disease, and Rosenberg’s own chronological files.
The collection is comprised of nine cartons on the Special AIDS Project, spanning the years just prior to and just following Rosenberg’s tenure.