An Interview with Michelle Cait, Director of Shemesh Enterprises

We recently interviewed Michelle Cait, a community member and the director of Shemesh Enterprises, a program at Federation’s partner organization, Shalom Institute. Shemesh Enterprises is a social enterprise that employs young adults with diverse abilities to work on their farm, package their produce, and sell their products at farmers’ markets or online. Cait received her master’s degree in art therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is married to comedian and voice-over artist Robert Cait, and together they have three children. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, and writing screenplays.

An Interview with Judy Rosen

Our Federation’s Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy is a diverse community of compassionate and committed Jewish women connected by Jewish values. Judy Rosen, a Lion of Judah and active member of our Los Angeles Jewish community, shares her story with us — why she became a Lion, the impact of the Federation on her life, and her relationship with her mother.  

JDAIM: An Interview with Rachel O’Kelley

February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. As part of our Federation’s commitment to inclusion, every week this month we will feature a blog written by either a member of our community, his or her parent, or a volunteer or professional working with one of our partner organizations that serves individuals with special needs. We recently interviewed Rachel O’Kelley, an 11-year-old 7th grader at Bridges Academy, a school for “2e” (“twice exceptional”) kids. Rachel has participated in the Nes Gadol Program at Federation’s partner organization Vista del Mar for several years. Nes Gadol provides Jewish education and B’nei Mitzvah and confirmation programs for children and teens of all abilities. Rachel enjoys helping people through community service and performing stand-up comedy. She also loves art, video games, watching movies with her family, and, most recently, horseback riding.  

The NLP Kickoff: One Weekend with the Power to Change the Future of Los Angeles

When 24 young men and women traveled to Brandeis-Bardin on January 5 for the Rautenberg New Leaders Program Weekend Retreat, they arrived as a group of individuals, each of whom wanted to make their mark on the civic space of Los Angeles. By the time they headed back to their lives as busy professionals, they were a cohort, excited to spend a year learning, growing, and acquiring the skills that will help them change the future of our city — together.

What is Your Legacy?

This past summer, I celebrated my 60th birthday. Honestly, there were many things about turning 60 that felt strange. My mother told me that “60…
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Learning about JDAIM with Michelle K. Wolf

We recently interviewed Michelle K. Wolf, a community member and the founder and executive director of Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust. Michelle’s son Danny is involved with Federation’s partner organization ETTA, which provides programs and services that enable those with disabilities to live fully enriched, independent, and active lives.

The Brawerman Impact

My name is Nathan Bentolila, and I am a Brawerman Fellow and Bioengineering major currently in my second year at UC Berkeley (Cal). Even with Cal’s demanding work load, over the past 3 semesters I have taken part in a variety of academic and non-academic clubs and student groups. I work in a lab, am on two intermural sports teams, and am also very involved in the Jewish community. I am a regular member of my campus’ Hillel and the president of the campus Chabad. At Chabad, we hold weekly Jewish events and host Friday night dinners every week. I have also been very involved in our campus’ Zionist club: Tikvah Students for Israel, where I’m the vice president and participate in the planning of 10-15 events per semester. Last spring, we organized Hebrew Liberation Week, attended by hundreds of students, and this past October we hosted Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz for an event, which drew more than 400 students.

INSPIRE: Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month

February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). As part of our Federation’s commitment to inclusion, every week this month we will feature a blog written by either a member of our community, his or her parent, or a volunteer or professional working with one of our partner organizations that serves individuals living with special needs.

For One Student, a Jewish Journey Redefined

When I arrived at UCLA as a freshman in 2016, I was unsure how my involvement in the Jewish community would evolve without my home congregation or my monthly retreats with the National Federation of Temple Youth. Little did I know that the Brawerman Fellowship would be the key to redefining my Jewish journey as an adult.