After the Los Angeles Times recently published a piece by Hector Becerra on the deplorable conditions of the Mount Zion Cemetery in East Los Angeles (the subject of a Jewish Journal investigation in the May 10, 2013, issue, as well), I joined with others in the Jewish community to express my disgust — not only over the conditions of the cemetery but also over the fact that leaders of our community knew about the problem and chose to ignore it.
Los Angeles City Hall held its first-ever Passover celebration, which was organized by the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Registration began this week for Taglit-Birthright Israel, the program offering free 10-day trips to Israel for Jews ages 18-26 that was created to connect young people to their heritage. This year, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is co-sponsoring a variety of opportunities: With nine trips and room for 40 people on each, there are 360 spaces available, however many trips fill up quickly.
Ofek Lavian has two passions: business and Israel, his native land. What he felt that he was missing when he went to college at the University of Southern California was an opportunity to learn about his home country while interacting with people who shared his same interests in it.
When Rabbi Mark Diamond was honored for his 12 years of service to the Board of Rabbis of Southern California during a farewell lunch a few weeks ago, colleagues from synagogues from across the city and spanning denominations hugged and chatted, catching up on everything, both personal and professional. “One of the strengths of the Board of Rabbis is that people know each other,” said Rabbi Denise L. Eger, immediate past president of the region’s only cross-denominational rabbinic professional organization and spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood.
Eliza Wilson’s holy moment in Israel didn’t come at the Western Wall. Sure, the 21-year-old with autism was honored and moved to place a note in the Wall on behalf of the 40 people traveling with her on a mission to learn about Israel’s programs for adults with special needs.
Female donors raised $27 million for Jewish federation causes at the biennial Lions of Judah conference.
The Israel Action Network is reaching out to 5,000 rabbis during the High Holy Days season as part of an ongoing campaign to counter the de-legitimization of Israel.
Susan Goldberg, rabbi of Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock, grew up in nearby Echo Park. “There were no Jewish families around when I was growing up,” Goldberg, 38, said. Now that these neighborhoods are being gentrified, and a young, creative crowd is moving in, the Jews are coming, too.
In the aftermath of its June 24 decision to bar conservative blogger and anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller from delivering a speech at its Wilshire Boulevard headquarters, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is crafting a new policy for non-Federation-sponsored events at the building.
Rabbi Brian Lurie, the former CEO of the San Francisco-area Jewish federation, has become president of the New Israel Fund.
We applaud The Jewish Journal and Julie Gruenbaum Fax for the wonderful cover story “Fueling the jFed Generation” (June 1). We commend The Jewish Federation and its leadership for their tireless efforts to engage young adults in Jewish life. The Federation’s new Young Adults of Los Angeles (YALA) initiative and its collaborations with dozens of young adult organizations are instrumental in ensuring the future vitality of our community. This undertaking is a direct result of the synergy between the Jewish Community Foundation’s Cutting Edge Grants Initiative and the Jewish Federation’s elevating young adults to a top priority.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s CEO is stepping down.
From afar it appeared to be a luminescent snake, twinkling in the dusk that was just beginning to cloak the desert mountains framing the Dead Sea.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has received its largest gift ever — a $20 million bequest from Geri Brawerman to create a scholarship and fellowship program for needy Jewish college students from Los Angeles. Brawerman is a Westwood resident who, along with her late husband, Richard, has long been a major force in funding educational initiatives.
The security arm of the U.S. Jewish federations asked Jewish officials to remain vigilant in the wake of a deadly attack on a French Jewish school, citing the possibility of copycat attacks.
The Jewish Federation of Louisville has opened a fund to help victims of tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest.
On Feb. 12, more than 700 volunteers convened at sites from Manhattan Beach to the Conejo Valley for a day of community service projects and fundraising to support The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
The JCC at Milken in West Hills announced this week that it will shut its doors permanently as of June 30. The 42-year-old center will also close its Early Childhood Center, which has 80 preschoolers, on June 15.
The period from the end of the Jewish holidays (i.e. now) till the end of December (the end of the tax year) is peak season for non-profits raising money.
A record $44 million was pledged at the inaugural event of UJA-Federation of New York’s 2012 annual campaign.
Jay Sanderson, president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, made it onto this year’s The Forward 50, an annual list of sometimes unexpected people who the judges believe most helped shape the past Jewish year. The list represents “a snapshot in time, an impressionist picture of the American Jewish story during a given year,” Forward Editor Jane Eisner wrote.
Of the 400 Jewish community members who traveled to Israel on a week-long trip in late October to celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, many had already visited the country dozens of times, although some had never set foot on Israeli soil.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled plans to address the Jewish federations' annual General Assembly.
Synagogues and Jewish community centers are among the traditional paths to connect with the Jewish community. But The Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys is taking a different approach to outreach to local Jews with the launch of its new Cultural Arts Program.
As part of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ yearlong centennial anniversary, 100 community members were asked to host a Shabbat dinner for a Night of 100 Shabbat Celebrations. To date, 550 hosts have registered with Federation to participate in the Sept. 9 event; they can follow any customs for their celebration and invite anyone they choose. Dinners can be intimate gatherings or large parties; hosts are responsible for providing the food and the location.
It’s one of those visions that becomes so natural in its realization it’s easy to forget just how cutting-edge it once was.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles announced Batsheva Frankel’s “LaunchBox” as the winner of the Next Big Jewish Idea (NBJI) competition on July 6. Scott Minkow, Federation Vice President of Partnerships & Innovation, delivered the news to Frankel by removing one of his “I have the Next Big Jewish Idea” pins that have been circulating in the community for months and pinned her, saying, “I have to take this off because you are the one who has the next big Jewish idea.” Frankel told The Jewish Journal she was “over the moon and felt like I won the lottery.” Her idea initially was called JEWWW in a Box.
There are as many reasons to visit Israel as there are people who make the trip. Some want to establish a deeper connection with an ancient homeland; others are excited to explore a unique modern nation.
This year, for the first time in decades, Israel Independence Day came and went without a major public celebration in Los Angeles, and local Jewish leaders are vowing that won’t happen again. “We are completely committed to having a communitywide celebration for Israel’s Independence Day,” said Jay Sanderson, president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater of Los Angeles. “We need to create something that is really a community event, something people X off on their calendars and look forward to and talk about afterward.”
North American Jewish federations generated nearly $2.5 billion for program needs in 2010, according to their umbrella group. The Jewish Federations of North America raised about $925 million last year in its 157 federated and 300 network communities, down from the 2009 campaign totals of $938 million. JFNA spokespeople attributed the dip to the continued economic downturn. In 2008, the annual campaign raised $1.04 billion.
Letters to the editor.
As the chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, I obviously read with great interest the recent article about Jay Sanderson written by Julie Gruenbaum Fax in the April 1 edition of The Jewish Journal (“Jay Sanderson Pushes for Change”). Jay Sanderson has been working tirelessly for this community to accomplish the goals set for him by our board when he was hired as the chief executive officer. It is a daunting task to make significant changes in an organization that has existed for 100 years. Jay has proven, over the past 14 months, that he has the talent, the knowledge and the commitment to be successful in this endeavor.
Students from the University of California, Irvine met with a Hamas leader during a student trip to Israel.
“I want everyone to be a LeBron James.” It’s early January, and Jay Sanderson is talking in his corner office on the 11th floor of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ headquarters about his first year as president of Federation, explaining the versatility and passion he expects of his staff.
New data shows that Tribefest met its goal of drawing many federation first-timers to the recent Young Leadership conference in Las Vegas, federation officials said. “We’re not only satisfied, we’re thrilled,” said Joe Berkofsky, spokesman for the Jewish Federations of North America, which organized last week’s gathering. Nearly 1,300 Jews, mostly in their 20s to early 40s, showed up for three days of lectures, workshops and performances devoted to Jewish politics, religion and culture.
“Connect, explore and celebrate” was the tagline for Tribefest 2011 held this week in this desert gambling town. Drumming imagery aside, the new name for what was a re-branded annual convention of the Young Leadership Division of the Jewish Federations of North America accurately described the spirited atmosphere at the confab.
Rob Eshman’s opinion piece “Just Say Yes” (Feb. 18) misrepresented a number of key points.
1) Our Federation’s Funding Policy on Israel Programming was the result of three months’ deliberation by a diverse group of leaders. It was built upon the foundation of policies already enacted by Bay Area institutions to help navigate potentially controversial programming choices.
The Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund of Los Angeles (JVPF), in collaboration with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, is currently seeking grant proposals. Any local, national and Israel-based Jewish nonprofit can submit a request for funds.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is asking community members to give time and elbow grease in addition to what’s in their pockets.
The Jewish Federations of North America is launching a $5.5 million fundraising campaign for Ethiopian immigration to Israel. The campaign comes at the behest of the Israeli government, which agreed last November to bring up to 7,846 additional Ethiopians to Israel. Like Israel’s commitment, the federation’s campaign comes with an eye toward concluding mass Ethiopian aliyah; it’s called “Completing the Journey.” “It is our privilege and our obligation to help complete this historic aliyah,” Kathy Manning, chairwoman of the Jewish Federations’ board of trustees, said in a statement announcing the campaign. “The government of Israel says it intends to complete the rescue of the ancient Ethiopian Jewish community and has asked the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Agency for Israel to join this historic effort.”
Dozens of children (and their parents) flocked to The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles building on a recent Sunday, drawn to a cheerful corner of the first floor where two performers led a tambourine-studded sing-along about barnyard animals.
The Milken Family Foundation and BJE (Builders of Jewish Education) awarded four Jewish day school educators $15,000 prizes at their annual Jewish Educator Awards Luncheon last week, a feel-good event that brings out the Jewish community’s top brass and a wide swath of the denominational spectrum.
The Forward’s second annual survey of 74 major Jewish national organizations found that in the past year, women lost ground in leadership, continued to lag behind men in pay and did not experience the same increases in salary that a majority of the men enjoyed despite these recessionary times.
Just down the road from where the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America had concluded a day earlier, more than a thousand of the federation system’s most generous women found a philanthropic sanctuary of their own.
Except for one unfortunate metaphor, it was a brilliant idea to host the annual meetings of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans.
Three events last week celebrated the inauguration of John Pérez as the California Assembly’s new speaker while also emphasizing his connection to Judaism. Although he is not Jewish, Pérez, the first openly LGBT person to be elected to one of the state’s most powerful leadership positions, enjoys ties to the Jewish world.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has named as its next president Jay Sanderson, CEO and executive producer of Jewish Television Network (JTN), a nonprofit producer and distributor of Jewish-themed television programming.
Nearly 160,000 young Jews from North America have taken part in Taglit-Birthright Israel, a 10-day free Israel trip aimed at revving up their Jewish identities.
Five communities, including Los Angeles, will split an $11 million emergency grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation for day school and Jewish camp tuition assistance over the next two years. The San Francisco-based foundation will begin paying money out immediately to Jewish federations in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston and its neighboring North Shore, and the greater Washington, D.C., area.