Jewish Relief Agency
The Jewish Relief Agency (JRA) is a charitable organization, originally a project of Chabad-Lubavitch but now an independent 501(c)3, whose aim is to identify and feed needy Jewish clients in the Greater Philadelphia region. Almost 57,000 Jews, representing nearly a quarter of the Jewish population in the five counties of Greater Philadelphia, live in poor or lower-income households. Many of these disadvantaged Jews are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, whose difficulties with learning English and unfamiliarity with the established agency structure have left them outside the existing network of Jewish aid.
In an attempt to fill this gap, the Agency was established in September 2000. Beginning with three volunteers serving 19 families, the Jewish Relief Agency has since grown to become a major volunteer-driven organization and the largest hunger relief agency in the Philadelphia Jewish community.
A wide range of organizations have participated in the monthly food distributions, including Jewish camps, local branches of Hillel, synagogues, colleges, schools, companies, and service organizations. Reflecting its charitable mission and broad outreach, the JRA is a partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
To answer the need from the community for more than just food assistance, JRA launched a new program in 2011 coined JRAid. JRAid connects volunteers directly with opportunities to help struggling families based on the volunteer's own personal preferences. Working in partnership with Federation Housing, Inc. and JEVS Human Services, JRAid is also able to provide minor home repairs and home modifications free of charge to households which could not otherwise afford them.
Although targeting a Jewish audience, JRA distributes food and charity to any individual in need.