Two years ago, I did a series of interviews with Jewish community members hit hard by the recession. At that time, they were mostly optimistic that things would turn around soon, but when I checked back this month, I found that they’re all still struggling to find their footing in this unstable job market. Social service agencies I contacted say this is not surprising.
Four Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles programs that serve the elderly, disabled and frail may end up casualties of the state budget crisis, which leapt to a new level of urgency Tuesday as California lawmakers failed to pass budget revisions before a July 1 deadline.
This week congressional Republicans tried to put the finishing touches on a compromise version of President George W. Bush's giant tax cut that some Jewish leaders say could ravage a wide range of health and social service programs serving the community's neediest citizens.
Eighty-eight years after Henrietta Szold founded Hadassah in 1912, the 306,000-member Zionist and social service organization will gather in Los Angeles for its first national convention of the 21st century. From July 16-19, more than 2,500 leaders and guests will mingle at the Century Plaza Hotel, where speakers will range from actor Richard Dreyfuss to political commentators Mary Matalin and James Carville. Hadassah is the largest women's and Jewish group in the U.S., but president Bonnie Lipton admits membership is down from its high of more than 350,000 in the 1980s. More than half of current membership is over 61, so the group is working to reinvent itself and draw younger women. Besides its historic focus on health care in Israel, for example, the organization is now championing women's health in the U.S, among other issues.