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.
As Thanksgiving approaches, families across the country are coming together to express collective gratitude over bountiful meals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!