When our family decided to relocate to L.A., the idea of moving across the country was daunting. Doing so with a young adult child on the autism spectrum seemed insurmountable. I needed help figuring out what resources would be available in L.A. for our son as he completed high school and began his adult life. I reached out to my community—the Jewish community, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
As I look back at that fateful day when I first contacted Lori Klein, Senior VP, Caring for Jews in Need, I am truly convinced there is a divine plan at work in the world. Lori immediately connected me with professionals throughout the community.
I had been actively involved in the special education world as a professional and a mom for close to 20 years, but after a few calls, I realized I had to step up my game to have a more proactive conversation about my son’s needs. The more I learned, the more empowered I felt. While pressing ahead with this process, I kept in touch with the Caring for Jews in Need staff, who graciously offered me guidance, access to resources and, most importantly, support.
After I started to settle into my new home, I became aware of a wonderful new Federation initiative called The Los Angeles Jewish Abilities Center (LAJAC). Created with the help of a generous cutting-edge grant from the Jewish Community Foundation, LAJAC serves as a platform to provide adults with special needs and their care givers opportunities that promote accessibility to practical resources, self-advocacy, independence, and better coordination between service providers.
When I heard that the Federation was seeking a new director for this initiative, I felt compelled to apply. With my experience and connections with the Caring for Jews in Need staff, I was deemed a perfect fit for the position. Now, as Director of LAJAC, I’m looking forward to partnering with others as they begin the next chapter of their lives.
My family’s story is not unique. We are part of a growing community of adults with special needs and their caregivers who face a variety of challenges as they get older. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is committed to helping Jews of all abilities address these issues and live meaningful and productive adult lives. LAJAC is here to help, and we want to introduce you to everything this initiative has to offer!
So, come join us for the LAJAC Launch Party on Sunday, June 14th from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM at The Jewish Federation, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90048! There will be music, fun, food and community, and you’ll even get a glimpse of our new virtual resource center. I’ll be at the LAJAC launch and hope you will be too.
Plan to join us!