January 19, 2011
At 100, Federation’s goal is $100 million
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The winning idea — to be selected from six finalists by a combination of online votes and a panel of judges — will receive $100,000 in funding, plus office space, mentoring and support services at Federation’s Wilshire Boulevard headquarters. You can enter or vote through the end of March.
Around 45 ideas were submitted just in the first week, including a nonprofit rugelach bakery at the Grove that would employ people with special needs; a Shabbat experience hotel at the beach; “Date My Jewish Son,” where parents engage in matchmaking; and the Friday delivery of dough so people could braid and bake their own Shabbat challah.
Centennial-year programming will also take old ideas and update them.
For decades, volunteer callers have solicited funds for Federation on Super Sunday.
Over the past few years Super Sunday has included a social service component, and this year the day will become the first of four community service days throughout the year, highlighting the importance of the Jewish community’s relationship with the city of Los Angeles.
Many of the callers on Feb. 13 — and hundreds of other volunteers — will spend part of the day working at social service organizations Federation supports.
There will be training for tutors for KorehLA, a literacy program that has helped more than 20,000 underprivileged children in Los Angeles learn to read over the last 12 years. Volunteers will plant a garden at the Westside JCC that will be used to teach about hunger issues, or help sort and distribute food through Tomchei Shabbos and Jewish Family Service’s SOVA Community Food and Resource Program and Project Chicken Soup, which feeds homebound AIDS patients. CSUN Hillel will get a makeover, and children will paint a mural for a school in Israel that serves disadvantaged students. (All programs require registration at jewishla.org/supersunday.)
While Super Sunday focuses on the Jewish community, the other dates — June 5, Sept. 18, and Dec. 4 — will focus on the wider Los Angeles community, emphasizing hunger and food insecurity, issues associated with youth and seniors, and programs involving learning and books.
The centennial year will also include some big parties. Federation’s annual dinners will be combined and ramped up a notch, with events at Pacific Design Center and Union Station meant for several thousand people.
One Friday night in May will be designated as the night of 100 (or more) Shabbat dinners, and a giant city-wide afikomen scavenger hunt will illuminate places of importance in L.A.’s Jewish history.
But a real highlight — and a challenge — will be the proposed 1,000-person mission to Israel.
Federation is busy mobilizing organizations, synagogues and Jewish day schools to sponsor simultaneous missions Oct. 23 to Nov. 1 this year. Once in Israel, all the groups would meet for three joint events — an arts and culture program in Tel Aviv spotlighting the Federation’s Tel Aviv-LA Partnership; a meeting in Jerusalem with the prime minister and other dignitaries; and a giant singalong at Ashalim, a southern village sponsored by Ayalim, an organization founded by young army veterans in an effort to update for the 21st century ideals such as Zionism, entrepreneurship and the bonds between the people and the land. Ayalim has 11 student villages and serves 20,000 at-risk youth, supported, in part, with Federation funds.
The mission to Israel, like the other centennial celebrations, will focus on what is important to Federation, said Richard Sandler, Federation’s board chairman.
“The centennial gives us an opportunity to tell our story, to basically say that we’ve been around for 100 years for a reason,” Sanderson said.
“The power of Judaism is so great, that it has sustained us for all these years and has allowed us to give so much to the world. And we still have a role to play.”
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