Repairing Jewish L.A. in a Way Only We Can
Our Federation, as the heartbeat of Jewish L.A., is here while COVID-19 remains a threat to our daily lives and the future of our Jewish community. We are excited to announce $6.2 million toward new programs and amplified partnerships to meet the increased need for food, social services, and meaningful Jewish engagement. We developed this COVID-19 Response Plan based on extensive conversations with our partners and our community. We are proud to play an essential part in rebuilding our beloved Jewish Los Angeles.
Jewish Communal Organizations: Purchase the Personal Protective Equipment You Need for Reopening!
In partnership with JFNA’s Jewish Together and available to all Jewish nonprofit organizations across Los Angeles, our Federation is the portal through which non-medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can now be purchased to prepare for the reopening and safe operation of Jewish communal facilities and offices. As the heartbeat of Jewish L.A., we care for you so you can care for our community.
Serve the Moment Volunteer Corps
Want to spend a summer putting your passions into action? Our Federation is proud to present Serve the Moment in partnership with The Jewish Service Alliance. Serve the Moment Corps Members will spend 32 hours per week elevating their professional skills and accelerating their personal growth through virtual and in-person service with trusted partners. Serve the Moment Corps Members will volunteer while learning and reflecting with their peers through trainings guided by national leaders in the field. There will be an intentional focus on social inequities, systemic injustices (racial, food, and education), and addressing urgent needs through meaningful service rooted in Jewish values. Apply today or nominate a changemaker in your community. Serve the Moment’s Summer Service Corps will take place from July 8th to August 7th.
Community Call Line
If you or someone you know needs access to social services including financial assistance, please contact The Jewish Federation’s Community Call Line at (323) 761-8305. The Jewish Federation has increased its funding and support of the Max Factor Family Foundation Financial Assistance Network. This assistance will help Jews whose income has been reduced, hours have been eliminated, or businesses are suffering.
No Guarantors Required for $1,000 Interest-Free Loans
To cover expenses related to COVID-19, help with free, no-interest loans is one click away. A loan fund has been established to help Jews in need. Additionally, through a new $1 Million COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, the Jewish Free Loan Association will offer a total of one thousand individual $1,000 loans (no guarantor required) to local community members in need.
Food for Those in Need
Jewish Family Service (JFS) SOVA Community Food & Resource Program is now providing prepackaged bags of food to help minimize the risk to both clients and volunteers. The JFS senior nutrition program is now providing all food via delivery. To receive these services, please call JFS Central Access at (877) 275-4537.
Do you know a teen who could use peer support to vent, share, or just talk? Tell them about Teen Talk! Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles created the Teen Talk mobile app to provide social and emotional support to teens. Now more than ever, we see Teen Talk as a critical lifeline for teens in Los Angeles and around the world. Read more about the Teen Talk app.
Builders of Jewish Education’s (BJE) JKidLA
BJE’s JKidLA is a longtime partner of Federation and provides an online guide for parents on many diverse opportunities for their children ― both during this COVID-19 summer and beyond. We know these are trying times and want to help you get through it. You’ll find many resources for families, virtual Shabbat programs, online activities, and holiday fun!
Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) Resources Around Racial Justice
JCPA has compiled racial justice and equity resources across a variety of media — from curricula to podcasts — intended to help educate communities.
Our Message of Solidarity
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles stands with our neighbors in the African American community in expressing grief over the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubery, and countless other victims of police brutality and systemic racism. Read the full statement.
Education During COVID-19: Where We Are Now and What's Next
Hosted by our Legal Network and Community Engagement Initiative, join us for a moderated conversation on education. This discussion will be an opportunity to hear how schools are meeting their legal obligations to students and families while considering health and safety as they plan for the future. Tuesday, July 7th, at 6:00 PM. Register today.
Connecting the Dots: A Legislative Overview of COVID-19, Part 3 — The Local Response
Join The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles for a conversation with Kathryn Barger, Board Chair and 5th District Supervisor for the County of Los Angeles, and Aaron Gross, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Los Angeles. Together we will explore where we are now in COVID response and the challenges facing our city and county as we move forward. Wednesday, July 8th, at 2:00 PM. Register today.
How Do We Move Forward During Turbulent Times? Virtual Event
Please join The Jewish Federation President & CEO Jay Sanderson in conversation with Rabbi Amy Bernstein, Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, and Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback as they address the question, How Do We Move Forward During Turbulent Times? This crucial discussion will focus on how our Jewish community is grappling with the realities of COVID-19 and how best to proceed together to lead the Jewish community to a strong future. If you have a question you would like addressed during the webinar, please submit it in advance to Melissa York. Wednesday, July 8th, at 4:00 PM. Register now.
Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy Virtual Erev Shabbat Experience
We know the value of community and are committed to providing meaning in our new world. Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy warmly invites you to join us on Friday, July 10th, via Zoom for a special pre-Shabbat experience as we discuss Tikkun Olam — How Women Repair the World. Friday, July 10th, at 4:00 PM. Register now.
Celebrating Our Diverse Jewish American Heritage: The Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish Roots of L.A.
In partnership with Jewish American Heritage Month of Los Angeles (JAHM-LA) and this year’s L.A.’ Chayim! exhibit, our Community Engagement and Y & S Nazarian Initiatives invite you to join us for Celebrating Our Diverse Jewish American Heritage: The Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish Roots of L.A. Moderated by David Suissa, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Jewish Journal, this webinar will explore some of the rich traditions, experiences, and stories of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. (Sephardic, defined as Jews expelled from Spain in 1492, and Mizrahi as those who are descended from Jews who had existed in the Middle East and North Africa from biblical times to today.)
Our panel of speakers includes Rabbi Daniel Bouskila, Director of the Sephardic Educational Center (SEC); Tabby Refael, Los Angeles-based writer and activist; David Ryu, Councilmember, District 4. Wednesday, July 15th, at 5:00 PM. Register today.
Jewish Journal Highlights Federation's Gamal Palmer
Our Federation’s Senior Vice President of Leadership Development Gamal Palmer was recently featured in the Jewish Journal for his unique views on social justice and racism — and how they intermingle with his Jewish journey. Read more about Gamal’s impactful story.
Our PJ Library team offers a virtual activity schedule for L.A. families with young children. All PJ Library LA offerings can be found here. All PJ Library National offerings can be found here. All listings below are Pacific Daylight Time.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1 — Baxter the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher
- 4:00 PM — Create a tzedakah box (piggy bank) out of repurposed material.
THURSDAY, JULY 2 — The Castle on Hester Street
- 4:00 PM — Weave together a bracelet using string and used buttons.
FRIDAY, JULY 3 — Emma’s Poem
- 4:00 PM — Sculpt a Statue of Liberty out of aluminum foil and creativity.
SUNDAY, JULY 5 — Weekly Roundup Preview
- Here’s the weekly roundup of what PJ Library in Los Angeles has in store for families this week.
MONDAY, JULY 6 — Joseph had a Little Overcoat
- 4:00 PM — Wrap a doll or action figure out of repurposed fabric scraps.
TUESDAY, JULY 7 — Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup
- 4:00 PM — Create a refreshing smoothie from fruit and veggies.
NuRoots Experiences for Young Adults (20s and 30s)
NuRoots mobilizes and inspires people in their 20s and 30s to create meaningful Jewish community across Los Angeles. The following experiences are for young adults only.
Monthly gatherings for male-identified persons interested in exploring constructs of masculinity within the Jewish community.
- Mensch Work
Build breathable community through more connected and open relationships, and develop tools to counter violence and deepen into love. Reach out to Ian Schiffer to join.
- Persian Jewish Men’s Circle
Join other male-identifying Persian Jews in their 20s and 30s for a discussion on what it means to be a Jewish man in this moment, exploring how our values show up in our day-to-day relationships and life activities. In this virtual and intimate setting, we will offer space for deep and honest conversation and active listening. Reach out to Donna Maher to join.
Serve the Moment Volunteer Fellowship Program
NuRoots is partnering with Serve the Moment, a new project by The Jewish Service Alliance and Repair the World, to mobilize Jewish young adults and college students (ages 18-29) through a full-time stipend-supported fellowship program from July 8th to August 7th. 100 Corps Members will serve across ten cities in-person and through virtual volunteering. Through 100,000 acts of service and learning, we will address racial injustice, food insecurity, educational needs, unemployment, and social isolation relating to COVID-19, and other pressing needs. Will you join us? Apply today or nominate a changemaker in your community.
Ongoing monthly gatherings for female-identified persons to connect with the ancient Jewish ritual of Rosh Chodesh (the holiday that marks the start of the Hebrew lunar month) and harness the power of the lunar cycle and the female body. Reach out to Rabbi Rose to join our NuMoon community and be connected to a circle.
#getmindful: Meditation Challenge
Get mindful with NuRoots and the Santa Monica Moishe Pod. Sign up to receive a weekly meditation practice in your inbox for the entire month of June. This week’s exercise is a love and kindness meditation to bring compassion into the world and leave you with tools to help keep going and fighting into the days and week ahead. No Zoom required. Each meditation is curated and designed specifically for this moment. Sign up here.
NuRoots Pilot Schmilots
Our community of East Side screenwriters meets monthly to discuss new works. Message our East Side Fellow Oren Peleg to get connected.
Want to do a virtual meet-up with a NuRoots team member? Message us to be connected. It’s BYOC — Bring Your Own Coffee!
- Mensch Work
Help Us Preserve Iranian Jewish Languages Before It’s Too Late!
Just 50 years ago, Jews in Iran spoke a wide variety of other languages, depending on where they lived. These dialects included Judeo-Shirazi, Judeo-Hamadani, Judeo-Yazdi, Judeo-Isfahani, Judeo-Kashani, Judeo-Kermani, Judeo-Khunsari, and Jewish Neo-Aramaic. Because the speakers of these languages are mostly in their 70s or older, the languages are endangered. If we do not record these speakers soon, their languages — and a piece of Iranian Jewry — will be lost forever.
The Y&S Nazarian Iranian Young Leadership Initiative of The Jewish Federation is proud to partner with other community organizations on a project to document recordings of these languages in an effort to preserve them before it’s too late. Given the current shelter-at-home guidelines, this work will be done remotely, using video conferencing technology.
How can you help? If you know people from Shiraz, Hamadan, Kashan, etc., who may be speakers of these languages, please complete this form on their behalf or ask them to complete the form. You/they can also contact the researcher, Dr. Habib Borjian, directly by email or phone at (347) 545-2068.
Spotlight: The Board of Rabbis Spreads Torah
In her first Quarantine Shabbat service, Board of Rabbis (BOR) member Rabbi Lori Shapiro said, “Judaism is more viral than this virus.” Indeed! Because of our rabbis and the staff and lay leaders of The Jewish Federation, there has been a viral explosion of Judaism during these months which has radiated throughout our community to people throughout the world. Each rabbi, Federation staff member, and lay leader has contributed to this infectious spread of hope.
Last week, the BOR convened rabbis in the community by Zoom with Dr. Ron Wolfson and Rabbi Adam Greenwald of the American Jewish University to discuss how synagogues and Jewish community organizations can reinvent themselves in this time of physical distancing. The session included many creative ideas of how to celebrate the upcoming High Holidays, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah in new and imaginative ways this year. This session was the first of 16 High Holiday workshop sessions that the BOR will hold this summer, discussing all facets of how to lead meaningful and engaging services and holidays in this upcoming High Holiday season. Four of these sessions will take place next week alone on such topics as Jewish medical ethics, Jewish texts on racism, spiritual preparation for the High Holidays, and grappling with losses during this pandemic. Learning together gives the rabbis texts and insights to share with their communities — as well as inspiration and strength to persevere.
Now more than ever… the rabbis and leaders of the Federation are bringing a profusion of inspiring Torah to this moment — launching creative programs and giving compassion to pained community members. The BOR amplifies the voices of the rabbis and the Federation by sharing these programs and providing forums to strategize how to be effective in new modalities.
Give — Now is the Time
We need you now more than ever. Please keep us strong so we can keep our Jewish community vital and resilient. Donate now.
Your Advocacy Makes a Difference!
We are pleased to report that earlier this week, Governor Newsom, Pro Tem Atkins, and Speaker Rendon announced a California budget agreement for fiscal year 2020-2021. The final budget protects critical programs that help older adults access the care they need at home and in the community, including the vital Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program (MSSP), preventing at-risk older adults from being forced to seek care at nursing facilities which are particularly dangerous during the pandemic. Thank you to all of you who signed letters, made phone calls, and sent emails to support this advocacy!
For those who want to give of their time, we are sharing virtual volunteer opportunities and adjusted in-person volunteer activities available for those who are not high-risk and accounting for proper social distancing.
In partnership with the Legislative Jewish Caucus and the American Red Cross, sign up to donate blood at one of these blood drives. All drives are from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
National Council of Jewish Women
Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti
Check out many different meaningful opportunities to get involved throughout Los Angeles.
Hunger Action Los Angeles
Hunger Action Los Angeles (HALA) works to end hunger and promote healthy eating through advocacy, direct service, and organizing. The organization is currently delivering food to vulnerable populations across the county including senior, blind, and disabled individuals. Please send an email if you are interested in more information.
Make sure you’re being counted in the 2020 Census and help spread the word to make sure your friends and family respond as well. Data from the Census informs funding decisions that are crucial to nonprofit organizations. Assist the 2020 Census via a variety of virtual opportunities to get the word out.
West Valley Food Pantry
Volunteers are needed to receive, sort, and distribute food and to register clients in West Valley Food Pantry’s computer system and assist in the office. Volunteers are asked to wear their own masks, but gloves will be provided. There are both morning and afternoon shifts Monday-Thursday between 8:30 AM and 2:15 PM. Interested volunteers should contact Ruth Denburg.
Khalsa Care Foundation
In partnership with the Office of the Mayor and the Khalsa Care Foundation, assist in packing 3,500 daily hot meals for the Department of Disability and other at-risk communities. Meals are packed Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM at the Khalsa Care Foundation. Contact Jaspreet Singh for more information.
Beit T’Shuvah's BTS Thrift Store
BTS Thrift Store is now accepting donations of clothing, furniture, art, home goods, and more. BTS Thrift Store is located at 10409 Washington Blvd. To arrange a drop off or pick up, call (310) 204-4669.
NCJW's Council Shop Donation Centers
The Council Shop Donation Centers have reopened their Studio City and West L.A. locations for donation drop-offs from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, 7 days a week. Check out this flyer for more information.
IsraAID has joined forces with the LA Regional Food Bank and LAUSD to help distribute thousands of boxes of food each week to families in need. They are in desperate need of volunteers on Friday mornings. Get more information or express interest in food distribution.
Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) Food Bank
Pico Union Project
This multifaith cultural arts center currently provides 2,000 families with fresh produce and household items every week. Interested volunteers can complete this intake form or email Caroline. The Pico Union Project also needs donations of food, hygiene items and toys. You can drop off items at any one of the following locations into well-marked bins.
- SANTA MONICA — Bins can be found in the parking lot behind 1902 Wilshire Blvd. East side of lot on the island.
- BEVERLY GLEN (halfway to Sherman Oaks) — The Glenn Centre, Beverly Glen Blvd. and Beverly Glen Circle. The three bins are accessible from the parking lot.
- BEVERLY HILLS — Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd. Bins are near Beverly Glen entrance.
- DOWNTOWN — Donations accepted on Tuesdays, 10:00 AM-2:30 PM at the Pico Union Project, 1153 Valencia St., Los Angeles 90015. You can also mail/ship to Pico Union at this address.
- OR you can always order items online using the Pico Union Project’s Wish List.
Simply add the requested items to your cart and they will be automatically shipped to the Pico Union Project.
SOVA in Van Nuys is open and has opportunities for volunteers. Shifts run Monday-Thursday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM and on Sunday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Volunteers must stay for the entire duration of the shift. There are also a few Friday and Sunday shifts that are two to three hours long.
At this time, SOVA is booked with volunteers to assist them through June. If individuals are interested in exploring available and open dates, contact Jewish Family Service SOVA volunteer coordinator Felice Resnick, who can describe the job in more detail and schedule individuals for a shift(s).
Join their #VirtualVolunteerism campaign to support deployed troops, National Guardsmen, first responders, and emergency medical personnel on the front lines. Opportunities include letter writing and emailing words of encouragement, and hand making items for care packages and “survival” bracelets.
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)
With the impact of coronavirus, we are seeing increasing need to support the most vulnerable in our community. Check out PATH’s remote volunteer opportunities.
St. Joseph Center
Help deliver weekly groceries to St. Joseph Center Food Pantry clients. Volunteers pick up groceries from the Food Pantry and deliver to individual clients’ front doors. Interested parties should contact Shelly Aydin, Volunteer Relations Manager.
Union Rescue Mission
Assist with a variety of needs at the Mission including disinfecting and painting (allowing for physical distancing) and daily meal service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Medical personnel volunteers are needed as well. Interested volunteers should contact Lisette Moreno. You can also send encouragement cards, care packages, and/or small bulletin board messages of positivity for their frontline workers directly to Lisette Moreno, Union Rescue Mission, 545 San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
All L.A. Works non-essential volunteer opportunities have been suspended; however, many essential services still need to continue and need your help. If you are healthy and have the time and resources to be able to do so, volunteering both in person and virtually to address critical needs in the community is extremely important. The hungry still need food. The isolated still need companionship. Nonprofits are facing drastic cuts in resources at a time when demands are rising significantly. Here’s our Top 5 List of suggestions on how to come together (figuratively!) to support Los Angeles.
Join the #MillionMaskChallengeLA and sew protective face masks for those who need them most — medical workers, the elderly, and more.
Volunteer to help with Operation Family Fun & Care Packages. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unhoused and recently housed families are experiencing added stress and uncertainty as they navigate the demands of work, education, children, services, and more. Every day, families are asking for resources related to family fun and basic needs.
The Karsh Center
The Karsh Center is currently hosting amazing volunteers to help us pack hundreds of grocery bags for distribution in the community each week, pick up donations and food supplies, sort produce, and (in a very limited way) assist with distributing food at our Sunday food pantry. To do this as safely as possible, we have a very limited number of volunteers active at one time on a lean shift schedule. We are currently inviting individuals who have submitted a special application to volunteer for shifts on an as-needed basis. So far, our pool of applicants is meeting our weekly needs, but we know the needs will continue to grow and change, so we welcome new applications.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s Volunteers
Join the CaliforniansForAll service initiative and find ways you can help in your area.
Keck School of Medicine of USC
The Keck School of Medicine at USC is asking for volunteers for food distribution. Volunteer today.
The Jewish Home
Send email messages/cards, make calls, and offer to virtually visit seniors. Email Stacy Orbach for more information.
Community Calendar on JewishLA.org
Our calendar is back! Check it out to view up-to-date virtual offerings from our Federation and partner organizations. Partners can now submit events as usual.
Simply download the PDF version of this newsletter and email it to anyone who you think may benefit.
In an effort to keep you, our community, informed and connected and to support our partner experiencing physical distribution challenges, we are sharing this digital edition of the Jewish Journal with you.