Jewish Journal

Podcast: Iranian Jews giving back to L.A.‘s homeless and needy

by Karmel Melamed

April 27, 2008 | 4:40 pm

On weekly basis I am approached by dozens of individuals from various backgrounds ranting about how Iranian Jews are “taking over Beverly Hills and flashing their money everywhere”. In fact one American Jewish individual at Sinai Temple in West Los Angeles asked me how involved the Iranian Jewish community is in philanthropic activities in light of their substantial financial strength. With pride I was able to list more than two dozen Jewish, Israel, and even non-Jewish non-profit organizations that are benefiting from the donations and volunteer time of Iranian Jews living in Southern California.

The issue of poverty and the homeless is one that has been a high priority for many Iranian Jews. Two individuals from the Iranian Jewish community that have stood up and have been proactive about the problem are Jennifer Chadorchi and Nouriel Cohan . In fact, I covered Chadorchi in 2005 as one of the L.A. Jewish Journal’s “mensches” for her work on behalf of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition in organizing a small army of volunteers. Cohan and his wife were also featured “mensches” by the Journal for their grassroots organization to help poverty stricken families. More importantly, Chadorchi and Cohan make me proud to be an Iranian American Jew because they represents the generous and loving spirit of our community. We Iranian American Jews may be quite affluent and sucessful but we are equally giving when it comes to needy causes!

Our latest podcast chats with both remarkable individuals and can be heard here

For more information on volunteering with Chadorchi and the West Hollywood Food Coalition call 310-288-0090.

For more information on supporting Cohan’s Global Kindness organizaiton call 310-286-0300


(Global Kindness founder Nouriel Cohan)


(Iranian Jewish homeless activist Jennifer Chadorchi)

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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