The Jewish Center and Federation of the Twin Tiers has its roots in the Elmira Jewish Welfare Fund, also known as the Elmira/Corning Jewish Federation, and the Elmira Jewish Community Center. The Federation and the Center combined their operations in 1998 as the Jewish Center and Federation of the Twin Tiers (JCF).

As its full name indicates, the JCF serves the Southern Tier of New York, centered on Elmira (Chemung County) and Corning (Steuben County), and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania, including Tioga and Bradford counties.

The JCF comprises the functions of both a Jewish Federation and a Jewish Center. Its Federation arm conducts philanthropic activities in Twin Tiers, raising funds through annual fund-raising campaigns and administering a local program of emergency assistance. It distributes funds locally to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and to various community food pantries; nationally to organizations such as MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and internationally through the Jewish Federations of North America and directly to some charities working in Israel such as the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry. Emergency assistance is provided without any religious requirement and is given primarily on referral from other charitable organizations.

The JCF's Center component operates as a "JCC without walls," sponsoring cultural, educational, and social programs throughout the community. Activities take place at Congregation Kol Ami in Elmira and at other locations.