In 1935, a group of men and women got together to discuss a way to support the needs of Jews locally and overseas. In August 1935 the Jewish Federation of Youngstown was established. During the first year $37,000 was raised. Over the years departments were created to meet the needs of various segments of the Jewish community. In 1981, the Federation merged with the communities of Warren, Ohio and Sharon, Pennsylvania, Shenango Valley, to form the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation.
Today the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation is the central organization established to foster the welfare of the entire Jewish community. It co-ordinates and plans for the future of the community and plays an instrumental role in providing for the social welfare, cultural, programmatic, recreational and fundraising needs of our region. In addition, through the Combined Jewish Appeals annual Campaign, the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation provides for the needs of Jews around the world and in Israel. The Federation philosophy is to provide relief through the Jewish values of Tzedekah (righteous giving) and Tikun Olam (repairing of the world). The Youngstown Area Jewish Federation is the umbrella organization of the following agencies:
- Levy Gardens Assisted Living
- Jewish Family Services
- Heritage Manor, The Jewish Home for the Aged
- Jewish Community Center
- Jewish Community Relations Council
In addition, the Federation supports a number of local, regional and national organizations, including Commission for Jewish Education, a regional Hillel Consortium, the Government Affairs Committee of Ohio Jewish Communities, a mid-west Consortium to support Partnership2Gether with Akko and the Western Galilee, and Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to name a few.
The mission of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation is to sustain and enrich the quality of life for the Jewish people regionally, in Israel and worldwide. We are guided by the values of Tzedkah (righteousness), Klal Yisrael (the responsibility of each Jew for another), Dor l'dor (the continuity of the Jewish people), and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). To accomplish this mission, the Federation:
- Identifies and addresses needs through the coordination and provision of services by the Federation and its agencies, and in partnership with Jewish organization and congregations
- Perpetuates Jewish values through education, leadership development, and involvement in Jewish activities
- Fosters a sense of unity in the Jewish community
- Promotes and protects the civic, economic and religious rights of the Jewish people
- Raises and allocates funds.