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The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty is the voice of the Jewish poor and the first line of defense for our community’s needy. We fight poverty through comprehensive social services and treat every individual with dignity and respect. Our network of grassroots Jewish Community Councils strengthens families and neighborhoods throughout New York City.
In 1972, two major academic studies on the growing number of impoverished Jews in New York City were released. They estimated that the number stood at approximately 300,000 people.
These statistics prompted the formation of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty, with support from the American Jewish Congress and the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. With funding from the Human Resources Administration, this group selected Rabbi Jack Simcha Cohen as its first Executive Director and Jerome M. Becker as Chair of the organization. The Lower East Side Jewish Community Council and the Concourse Jewish Community Council were established as the first Met Council-affiliated Jewish Community Councils.
Since then, Met Council has continued to grow. Today, Met Council serves over tens of thousands of clients on site and throughout our network of Jewish Community Councils in each of the City’s five boroughs. From affordable housing, capacity building initiatives, career services, crisis intervention, and family violence services, to health insurance enrollment assistance, home care programs, home services, immigrant services, and kosher food distribution, Met Council continues to be the voice of New York’s poor and working poor.