From the CEO

Back from an Extraordinary Trip to Israel


I just returned from an extraordinary trip to Israel. It was the first trip from a major Federation since the start of COVID and we were welcomed with open arms and with a sense of both relief and excitement. I was joined on the trip by 34 of our Federation’s leaders and philanthropists including our Board Chair Albert Praw and his wife Heidi, our General Campaign Chair Orna Wolens and her husband Keenan, our Vice Chair Lynn Bider and her husband and former Board Chair Les, and four additional Board members.

The trip, along with our recent celebration attended by almost 500 people in a COVID- safe environment, shows that our community is back and that we are starting to happily begin to gather, celebrate, and travel together again!



This trip was billed as the “Ultimate Insider Journey” and it exceeded everyone’s expectations. These photos give you a small taste. Because of our Federation’s powerful impact in Israel, we met with both President Isaac Herzog and the new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as well as many other Knesset members from this new and diverse government, including Speaker Mickey Levy, Labor Party Leader Merav Michaeli, and leader of the United Arab List Mansour Abbas.

We did a deep dive of many of our program partners in meaningful ways, including Latet which addresses food insecurity, the Israel Trauma Coalition focusing on trauma and resilience, and Unistream inspiring, mentoring, and empowering the nation’s young people from the periphery.

Over Shabbat, we met with two of Israel’s leading rabbis and scholars, Rabbi Donniel Hartman and Avraham Infeld and explored issues facing world Jewry.

We travelled up north to better understand Israel’s continuing threat in the North and its ongoing security challenges.

Over the eight full days and nights, we also took time to dine with many of Israel’s top chefs and experience an intimate unplugged concert with Israel’s legendary singer and guitarist Danny Sanderson. (Yes, we’re related!)

Over the past 12 years, I have lead many trips, but this was the “ultimate” and a great way to celebrate our important work in Israel and support the country after almost two years of COVID.

Thank you for supporting our high-impact work in Israel, Los Angeles, and around the world.

Jay Sanderson
President & CEO