The Impact of the Brawerman Fellowship Guest Blog by Daniel Melnick, Sophomore at UCSD

I attend the University of California, San Diego, where I’m majoring in Ecology and Evolution. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been really passionate about, and the only thing I’ve wanted to study. Being at a top-tier research university gives me access to a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. And the main reason I am able to be here is because of the Brawerman Fellowship. The program has taken a tremendous load off my shoulders because I no longer have to worry so much about financing my education. I can focus more on succeeding and pursuing these new opportunities that are available to me. But while I am greatly appreciative of the financial support, I don’t think it is the most valuable thing Brawerman has given me. Let me explain.

A Sense of Urgency

We really need your help. This has been a difficult year for so many. Unfortunately, we know that 2018 is going to be even more challenging for our most vulnerable. We take responsibility for those among us in the greatest need — frail elderly, Holocaust survivors, those struggling financially, and those facing challenges and barriers in their day-to-day lives.

The Community Internship Experience – Apply Today!

The Community Internship Program (CIP), for rising high school juniors and seniors, combines paid summer internships in dynamic and impactful Jewish non-profit organizations with workshops that develop life skills. Teens will contribute to the diverse ways in which our diverse partner organizations — ranging from summer camps and museums to law firms and advocacy organizations — support our community.

Update on our Federation’s Hurricane Relief Efforts

Our Federation is committed to the well-being of our community in times of crisis, including reaching out to offer our assistance to individuals and Jewish institutions affected by the devastating wildfires throughout our area. In that spirit, I want to thank you again for your generous donation to The Jewish Federation in support of the victims of the hurricanes this fall and provide you with an update on the work we have done, and continue to do, because of your timely act of compassion.

Ha Ha Hanukkah
Infinite Light – Meet Rich Leis

Infinite Light 2017 is NuRoots’ third annual citywide celebration of miracles. Infinite Light is a curated, eight-day festival of experiences that highlights the creative energy of Hanukkah generated by the diversity of the Los Angeles Jewish community. It’s a chance to unite, engage, and inspire thousands of young adults in their 20s and 30s with new ways to experience an ancient tradition.

Making Miracles Together

In just a few days, we will celebrate Chanukah. We will light our menorahs, placing them in our windows for all to see. Unfortunately, as you read this, the image of flames burning brightly has caused tremendous pain and suffering throughout Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. We stand ready to help those who need us because that is an essential Federation value and commitment.

Wildfire Related Health Tips

Many synagogues, Jewish institutions, and members of our community have been directly impacted by the recent fires in the Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

The wildfires present special health hazards to humans and pets – especially children, the elderly, and those with chronic respiratory problems such as emphysema, asthma, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and others.

Meet the Onward Israel Summer Interns of 2017

Every summer, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles sends 20-25 Jewish college students and young professionals to Tel Aviv for eight weeks to intern with companies and organizations suited to their professional interests. Participants not only gain international job experience, but also bond as a cohort and learn more about Israeli society through touring days across the country, supplemental programming and lectures, and Shabbatons with all Onward cohorts.

Remixing, Reimagining, and Celebrating Infinite Light with NuRoots

As November draws to a close and we enter the final month of the year, the twinkle of Hanukkah candles, the thrill of a spinning dreidel, and the taste of chocolate gelt are just around the corner.

For The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and for hundreds of young adults across the city, this time of year also signifies the launch of Infinite Light, our citywide celebration of miracles.

We are Thankful

I grew up an hour away from Plymouth Rock in historic Salem, Massachusetts. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite American holiday. It’s not because of turkey and stuffing (although, I must admit, I do love Thanksgiving food!). I love this holiday because I’m deeply thankful — especially this year.

Interview with Rob and Jess, 2017-2018 LA Couples Co-Chairs

LA Couples is Federation’s 18-month program that introduces couples to L.A. Jewish life, local leaders, and the world of Jewish philanthropy — simultaneously connecting participants to their own partners and to other couples at a similar life stage.

Tune in to My Weekly Podcast

I think it is critical to ask questions, be curious, strive to learn, and interact with people from diverse backgrounds. The resulting conversations give us the opportunity to grow as individuals, as a community, and as a people. Just three weeks ago, we launched my new weekly podcast — Jay’s 4 Questions — which features dynamic and provocative discussions with thought leaders, disrupters, movers and shakers, experts, and more.

Finding and Building Community for Iranian Jews in Los Angeles

Earlier this year, in partnership with the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, the Federation launched the  Y&S Nazarian Iranian Young Leadership Initiative to engage more Persian Jewish young adults in the work of the Federation and the greater Jewish community.

Communal Table at The Israel Levin Center: An Inside Look

At the Israel Levin Center on the Venice Boardwalk, young adult members of the Federation’s NuRoots initiative meet with senior citizens for intergenerational activities. Millennials flock to the Center to prepare meals for the seniors, teach them how to use their tech devices, and join them in weekly jam sessions and Shabbat lunches. Seniors hold court as they impart wisdom to their younger friends and crack up the visitors with classic Yiddish humor. Friendships that would otherwise never exist flourish, thanks to this brainchild of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

Guest Blog: Josh Scott

Engaging young adults is a cornerstone of Federation’s commitment to fostering vibrant Jewish life in LA. Our program team employs a multi-pronged strategy to create networks, affinity groups, leadership development initiatives, and a variety of other creative ways for young people to both connect with existing Jewish opportunities and develop new ones for themselves. Through our partnership with Masa Israel, we provide one such opportunity — a chance for young adults to develop their lifelong connections to the Jewish world and the Israeli community.

Interview with Annie and Ben, 2017-2018 LA Couples Co-Chairs

LA Couples is Federation’s 18-month program that introduces couples to L.A. Jewish life, local leaders, and the world of Jewish philanthropy — simultaneously connecting participants to their own partners and to other couples at a similar life stage. LA Couples provides participants the opportunity to attend exclusive events, be inspired by mentors, and learn from community leaders and trailblazers. This program is about personal growth, building new friendships, and strengthening relationships with your partner.

Exploring Global Jewry with YALA: Interview with Board Member Lauren Maddahi

This year, Young Adults of Los Angeles (YALA) has hosted multiple events highlighting communities and cultures from across the Jewish world. Programs have included a panel discussion about Balkan and European Jewry, a cooking demonstration of North African Jewish traditional food, and a Mexican Shabbat dinner. Read on for an interview with Lauren Maddahi, a YALA board member and co-chair for YALA’s Global Jewish Experiences, as she shares about her global Jewish experience and perspective.

Meet Our Biker: Carolyn Kangavari

This year, we are profiling a few of our riders and hikers to find out why they participate in Tour de Summer Camps and what Jewish summer camp means to them. Check out our interview with Carolyn Kangavari, who is riding 18 miles this year with Team Out’Spoken!