Shlomo Rechnitz, a Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist, has donated $250,000 to restore the badly vandalized Mount Zion Cemetery in East Los Angeles
Ori Rabinovitch, a fourth-grader at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, remembers how he recently met an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who could barely hear him — and who could not afford to buy a hearing device.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles announced plans on March 14 to close the Slavin Children’s Library, which is located in the lobby of its Wilshire Boulevard building, to make room for an expansion of the Zimmer Children’s Museum. The space will become the new Slavin’s Children’s Center.
In the last couple of decades, a tectonic shift has altered the landscape of Jewish philanthropy. The phenomenon is not only Jewish — the number of foundations in the United States has grown fivefold in the last 20 years; the same growth in donor-advised funds has taken just a decade.
More than 450 people took part in fundraising and community service activities Feb. 10 as part of Super Sunday, during which The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance raised $1,942,736 as part of its annual fundraising campaign.
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.
“As you all are aware, Hurricane Sandy, a storm of unprecedented magnitude, struck the Eastern portion of the United States. Seeing the response of communities across the region to the devastating storm, we are awed by the strength of the American people.
“Keys! Keys!” David Weisbord says as he tugs at his father’s hand, pulling him toward the door.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has some money to give away for programs targeting Jewish youth. Federation has put out a request for proposals for formal and informal Jewish educational programs based on four age groups it has identified as needing the most attention: birth to preschool, preschool to first grade, the years surrounding bar and bat mitzvah, and the later teen years leading into college.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles barred anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller from delivering a previously scheduled speech at its Wilshire Boulevard headquarters on June 24.
Michael Siegal of Cleveland has been nominated to chair the board of trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America.
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.
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.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled plans to address the Jewish federations' annual General Assembly.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Israeli Consulate and the Israeli Leadership Council announced Sunday that they are jointly organizing a community program for Tuesday, Oct. 18, to allow the community to come together to watch and commemorate the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been held captive by Hamas since 2006.
A Jewish organization in Iowa pulled out of a multifaith prayer service commemorating the 9/11 attacks because the event did not display an American flag.
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.
A generational changing of the guard throughout North America’s largest Jewish charitable network is opening the door to new chief executives increasingly open to experimenting with changes to the century-old funding model favored by local federations.
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.
Danielle Berrin did the Jewish community a great service by showing why Lars von Trier should be singled out as the lone exception from a rogue’s gallery of anti-Semites, including Mel Gibson, Oliver Stone, John Galliano and Charlie Sheen (“Not Mel Gibson,” May 27). Both Berrin and Marvin Hier went beyond reactionary, black-and-white thinking to express their sense that it was ghosts in von Trier’s soul that had him behave in such a peculiar way at Cannes, and again as he sought there and in The New York Times to cajole his ghosts back into his tormented psyche. At least von Trier is struggling with his ghosts while the others have surrendered to them. Surrendering is the reason for anti-Semitism and all the other -isms that emerge from like minds.
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.”
A community in central Israel has founded a philanthropic foundation based on the Jewish Federation model. The community of Ramat Hasharon will launch its Takdim –The Ramat Hasharon Community Foundation later this month. Takdim is Hebrew for precedent.
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.
The anonymous woman who left $1.5 million to organizations affiliated with the Jewish Federation wasn’t someone leaders of the organization knew — in fact, she was someone few people knew well at all.
The Jewish federation system is set to kick off its annual General Assembly in New Orleans with an eye toward figuring out how to reach those not typically associated with Jewish federations.
A Russian Jewish leader urged the head of Moscow State University to take steps to drop a history textbook considered by many to be anti-Semitic.
The Jewish Federations of North America and its two overseas partners have agreed to continue working together to try to raise more money for overseas needs and to find a better way to split what they raise.
Los Angeles residents Alexis Alagem, 25, and Jackie Winnick, 27, pulled together the support of their social networks at a private back lounge of Bar 210/Plush in Beverly Hills the night of March 12, as a fundraiser for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) relief program in Haiti.
" . . . It's a convergence of factors all at once: The government is unraveling, the economy is hurting our supporters and now you have not only the decline on Wall Street but also this fraud. It's a perfect storm . . ."
The largest recipients of the Jewish Community Foundation's (JCF) Cutting Edge Grants, announced this week and totaling $1.6 million, were three programs promoting Jewish identity and connection with Israel through art, music and community leadership
A judge declared a mistrial in the case of the gunman who shot up the offices of this city's Jewish federation. The King County prosecutor vowed to retry Naveed Haq, 32, who claimed he was not guilty by reason of insanity.
People and places around Los Angeles briefs.
It's a typical bustling weekday at this Jewish center in West Hills, and it's a sharp contrast to the situation only a few months ago when the center was facing a deficit of $250,000, an uncertain future and a loss of nearly one-third of its members, following the abrupt closure of the pool on April 25 by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Letters to the Editor
For Israeli Shifra Fyne, 83, this week’s journey to Los Angeles will be her first time leaving Israel in 56 years, and her first trip ever on an airplane.
Yehuda Goldstein is making the same trip. He hopes to reconnect with John Gordon, an L.A. resident he met last year in Israel. They think they grew up in the same pre-World War II neighborhood in Budapest.
The Nation and The World.
This is a unique moment in history, when God has given us the means to dramatically reduce hunger and poverty.
The pangs of hunger can be
so painful and physiologically destructive, especially for children. Yet hunger also produces a more intangible pang -- that of stigma and shame.
Faced with a pension shortfall of $20 million, the organized Jewish community's largest philanthropy finds itself forced to divert millions of donor dollars to employee retirement benefits, rather than to needed social services.
In a watershed event for the California central coast's small Jewish community, the Santa Barbara Jewish Federation marked the 65th anniversary of Kristallnacht by opening the city's first permanent Holocaust exhibit.
The opening shows just how far this small Jewish community has come.
Shortly after September 11, when the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (JFGLA) renewed its insurance policy, it found that rates nearly doubled.
This year, it will be even worse, according to Jack Klein, the Federation's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Putting his own twist on a frequently invoked slogan, Lou Weiss, the newly elected president of Orange County's Jewish Federation, intends to make inclusiveness a priority during his tenure