Wishing you and yours every blessing this Passover!

APRIL 2024

Israel Today: Bearing Witness

by Rabbi Aaron Lerner, President & CEO

To understand the difficulties facing Israel today, you must visit the country. That’s why I participated in a recent FoundationJewish Federation mission to Israel so capably led by Federation Chair Orna Wolens. It was sobering and shocking, yet gave me hope for the future.

We saw ongoing pain and trauma, including meeting with a hostage family and feeling the agony they were experiencing while hoping for their loved one’s return.


Combating Antisemitism: Are we doing it wrong?

We recently hosted a powerful event for donors about combatting rising antisemitism, featuring a panel with Leah Soibel, Founder and CEO of Fuente Latina, and Matt Williams, VP of the Center for Antisemitism Research at the ADL. Moderated by our President and CEO, Rabbi Aaron Lerner, it was a spirited, deep dive into the unfortunate reality that despite all of our efforts, antisemitism is on the rise.

The speakers described the many challenges facing the Jewish community and the pressing need to shift strategies for a new generation. They explored why our efforts seem unsuccessful today and how we can use data to inform practical approaches moving forward. There was consensus that if we strive to coordinate our research-based efforts—and if donors focus their giving on the most effective, high-impact initiatives—there is hope for improved results in the future.

We are delighted to share that in 2023, together with our fund holders, we distributed a remarkable $183 million to over 2,500 nonprofits, a new record.

In response to the October 7, tragedy, we processed more than 1,000 grants amounting to more than $10 million for Israel emergency relief efforts. We were also able to take care of our community here at home, awarding $5 million in institutional grants.

Welcome New Trustees

We are happy to welcome two new members of our Board of Trustees. Click on their photos below to learn more about them.

Melissa Held Bordy

Thomas A. Heymann

Announcing our 2024 Passover Grants

Every year at Passover, we proclaim, “Kol dichfin yeitei v'yeichol”—let all who are hungry, come and eat. It is a core value that everyone deserves to celebrate being free at Pesach and that we open our hearts and our homes to those in need. We are pleased to announce our 2024 Passover grants to eight vital organizations addressing food insecurity, or bringing people together over food, locally and in Israel.

Every Foundation fund holder has a share in the grants. Thank you for making them possible.


Israel Webinar with Offi Zisser

Following the April 13 attack by Iran, Israel remains a top priority for The Foundation. On a recent webinar, The Foundation’s Israel-based philanthropy consultant, Offi Zisser, offered a sobering account of the major challenges facing Israel six months after October 7 and emphasized the most urgent needs on the ground.


Amplify Your Impact and Donate Appreciated Stock

Are you looking for a powerful way to support your favorite causes while maximizing your tax benefits? Take advantage of the healthy stock market and boost your charitable fund with appreciated stock!

Many publicly-traded stocks have increased in value recently. By donating these appreciated assets directly to a charitable fund at The Foundation, you can:

  • Save on capital gains taxes
  • Receive a potential tax deduction for the fair-market-value of your stock
  • Make an impact with the additional resources in your fund!

Questions? Reach out today at 323.761.8704 or development@jewishfoundationla.org!


The Foundation Awards $1.1 Million to Address Infant and Maternal Health

To honor Black Maternal Health week in April, we proudly announce our $1.1 million investment to seven remarkable organizations tackling racial disparities in maternal health care for Black families in Los Angeles. Shockingly, due to systemic inequities, Black mothers and infants in the U.S., especially in LA, face a mortality rate more than double that of their white counterparts.

The record-high amount of funds directed through The Foundation’s General Community Grants will provide multi-year awards of up to $200,000 to community programs that improve Black maternal and infant health in three areas: direct access to prenatal and birthing services and care; advocacy efforts facilitating systemic change for better access to health resources, services, and benefits; and support to grassroots nonprofits and leaders on the frontlines of this work. 


Na’Amat: Our Newest Nonprofit Partner

We’re delighted to announce that NA’AMAT has partnered with The Foundation to manage its assets and grow its vital work to help women and families in Israel. One of Israel’s oldest and most essential organizations, NA’AMAT provides a critical network of women’s health and rights centers, a domestic violence shelter, daycare centers, youth villages, high schools, scholarship funds, legal aid bureaus, and more. NA'AMAT joins numerous other local Jewish nonprofits including synagogues whose assets are managed by The Foundation.


Susan Seely, NA’AMAT National Executive Director, remarked, “At NA’AMAT USA, we are focused on providing critical services for Israeli women, youth, and families of all backgrounds. Knowing that The Foundation manages the assets for many Jewish organizations, we are confident in the proper stewardship of our funds. We look forward to benefitting from The Foundation’s 70-year history of strengthening and sustaining Jewish organizations in Los Angeles and Israel.”


To learn more about NA'AMAT USA please visit naamat.org.

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