Congress’ failure to authorize discretionary spending for the new fiscal year won’t only impact about 800,000 federal workers or the Americans looking to visit national parks. It may also affect local Jewish social service organizations that rely in part on federal funding.
The Great Recession is technically over, but for many job seekers — particularly in the Los Angeles area — it certainly doesn’t seem that way.
Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) celebrated its 80th anniversary on Jan. 29 with a gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to honor its past board presidents. Among the 500 guests were Stanley Dashew, who received the agency’s Tzedakah Award, and emcee Keith Erickson, a former L.A. Laker and longtime CBS sports broadcaster. Thirteen board presidents attended the event as well as family members representing JVS board presidents who had passed away.
Sandra Vasquez has a longer job history than many 28-year-olds. When she was 10, she began working with her father, a contractor who didn’t speak much English. She served as his translator and all-around assistant. Vasquez is the first member of her family to graduate from high school, and she went on to earn an associate’s degree and complete two quarters at University of California, Santa Cruz.
The food pantry would not open for another 40 minutes, but already about a dozen people were waiting in the parking lot, many holding umbrellas to shield themselves from the blistering San Fernando Valley sun
Carlanna is a young woman who was paralyzed in a car accident in high school. She is now a producer with the "Judge Judy" show. Alex is a qualified doctor from the Ukraine who cannot work in his profession here. He is now a highly successful radiology technician. Irene was a newly divorced mother on welfare in the depths of despair. She is now a fundraiser working on the corporate level and providing services and support to single mothers.