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Jewish Journal

Foundation Grants Target Gang Violence

by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

January 11, 2011 | 6:31 pm

The Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) granted 10 Los Angeles gang-prevention programs $200,000 this month, making its mark on ongoing public and private programs to ease gang violence in the city.

“The foundation is committed to supporting issues of vital importance to the community at large and chose to focus our General Community Grants this year on gang prevention and intervention. It is important that we work together as a community to address the significant negative effect of gang violence on youth and families in Los Angeles,” said Marvin Schotland, president and CEO of the foundation.

The largest grant — $50,000 — went to the Advancement Project. The money will support Safe Passage, which works with LAUSD and LAPD to create protected routes for elementary school children walking in the Belmont/Rampart area. The grant will also create content for and train teachers, counselors and social workers to implement Advancement Project’s Prevention/Intervention Toolkit.

“The grant for the toolkit and training will allow us to leverage our expertise and respond to the many requests we receive from communities around the area for information and assistance. It is our hope to train influential adults to reach children with gang intervention and prevention techniques before it is too late,” said Connie Rice, co-founder and co-director of Advancement Project, applauding the JCF’s grant.

Grants of $20,000 will provide case management and mentoring to redirect gang-oriented females in the San Fernando Valley; filmmaking opportunities for South Los Angeles youth who want to leave gangs; and afterschool activities in Watts. The grants will allow gang intervention and prevention programs in Ramona Gardens, San Pedro, Venice/Santa Monica and North Hollywood to provide youth with more mentoring and services. A grant of $10,000 went to a program in Watts that trains former gang members in dispute mediation, in addition to providing mental health services, tutoring and life-skills programs for youth and families.

Between 2005 and 2009, JCF made grants of $75 million to nonprofit organizations in the community at large, representing about a quarter of its grants during that period. The foundation currently manages assets of $706 million, and distributed $62 million in 2009.

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