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Boston-Area Federations Merge to Improve Finances

By: JTA

A federation north of Boston merged with Greater Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies in an effort to bring financial stability and expanded programs to the region’s Jewish organizations.

The idea of merging the 75-year-old Jewish Federation of the North Shore and CJP has been floated for years as JFNS has suffered declining fundraising and reduced allocations to community agencies.

“This is an exciting, important and meaningful time for all of us,” said Barry Shrage, CJP’s longtime leader, in an email statement Monday announcing the union. “I’m inspired by all that we share in common: a deep commitment to Jewish learning and to a renaissance of Jewish life, as well as a deep connection to Israel.”

Kimberlee Schumacher, the interim director at JFNS, will become CJP’s senior director of strategy and integration for the North Shore. The federation’s offices will relocate from Salem to the campus of Cohen Hillel Academy in Marblehead.

CJP is the region’s largest Jewish charity, serving the Jewish community of Boston and most of the surrounding suburbs, including the large and well-established Jewish communities of Newton and Brookline. The organization has assets of more than $500 million and raises about $48 million annually that it allocates to hundreds of groups.

JFNS serves the shoreline communities northeast of Boston, including the affluent seaside communities of Swampscott and Marblehead. The federation raised $1.3 million last year, down from $2.9 million in 1989.

Over the last several decades, the North Shore has struggled under the weight of recession and demographic changes.

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