From the CEO
Modeh Ani is a morning prayer recited so we begin every day expressing gratitude. It is easy to awaken to the distressing news of the day or to the things that keep us down. I begin my day…”
- Jay Sanderson, President & CEORead More
From the CEO
Modeh Ani is a morning prayer recited so we begin every day expressing gratitude. It is easy to awaken to the distressing news of the day or to the things that k…”
- Jay Sanderson, President & CEO
NuRoots Refreshed Sukkot with Citywide Festival
We kicked off our new annual citywide Sukkot festival with a celestial soundscape, a dance for rain, the scent of s’mores, and more.
NuRoots, The Jewish Federation’s unique young adult engagement initiative, mobilizes and inspires people in their 20s and 30s to create meaningful Jewish community across Los Angeles. Over two nights, more than 250 young adults gathered for four distinct experiences that reimagined the distinctive rituals and joyful energy of Sukkot. Our festival name (and theme), The In/Between, was created to signify the layers of the holiday’s depth: how we see shadows that exist between the real and imagined; to soak up the space of the sukkah and view the stars through the gaps in its roof; and to experience a fragile state between permanence and total impermanence. Envisioned, designed, and curated by NuRoots, partner organizations, and community members, the festival was an opportunity to refresh the ancient traditions of the holiday for a new and diverse audience, many of whom were encountering Sukkot and its rituals for the first time.
The festival provided something for everyone across the vast geography of Los Angeles. Here are some highlights from the two days under the sukkah:
- Acoustic Shelter
Beautiful voices, guitar, piano, violin, and ethereal electronic music filled the space of a Sherman Oaks backyard and sukkah. Intoxicating performances from our community included Eitan Snyder & Ben Greenberg, Tova Katz & Marnina Schon, and Lee Triffon & Roy Regev, who all brought the theme of The In/Between to life.
- Slumber Party
NuRoots, The Miller Intro to Judaism at AJU, and Honeymoon Israel collaborated to create space for over 15 couples who gathered for a magical evening of stars, bonfires, sparkly tents, and conversation inspired by the campouts and slumber parties of their youth. In a beautiful candle-lit backyard in West Adams, couples played board games, ate incredible Mexican food, and encountered the Sukkot tradition of ushpizin, welcoming guests into the sukkah.
- Six Directions
A festival-style night of live performances, funky gallery strolling, visual projections, tacos, and drinks, this immersive art experience brought together over 90 young adults from the NuRoots and East Side Jews (of the SIJCC) communities to shake their lulav in style. The sukkah and courtyard of the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center came alive to the joyous sounds of poetry, music, dance, and comedy performed by local Jewish artists.
- Feed Your Soul
This soulful and musical experience brought over 40 NuRoots, Na’or at Mishkon, and Moishe House community members together to explore the deep symbolic connection between the body and Sukkot. Inside the sukkah at Mishkon Tephilo in Venice Beach, the mind, body, and soul were nourished through meditation led by Rabbi Aviva Funke and delicious food prepared by local chef Oren Giladi.
Holocaust Survivors Turn to Us
Of the more than 10,000 Holocaust survivors in Los Angeles, approximately one in three lives in poverty. Our Federation provides essential connections to care so they get the support they need.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles serves as the social service mainstay of the Jewish community. Linking networks of community and family services, synagogues, senior centers, independent living facilities, doctors, and others, the Federation uniquely possesses a bird’s-eye view of Jewish life.
For Holocaust survivors with complex needs, an integrated communal approach is pivotal, which is why our Federation has been awarded grants to coordinate emergency services to prevent and resolve crises that could be devastating to survivors’ well-being. The Jewish Federation established a leadership council that includes doctors, social service agencies, senior centers, Holocaust survivors, L.A. County officials, and City of L.A. representatives, and others that develop strategies for coordinating services. Through this work, our Federation prevents crises by offering services such as dental work, hearing aids, financial/benefits counseling, access to fresh food, in-home transitional care, home repairs, and safety modifications. We resolve emergencies by providing help with rent to avoid eviction or help with medication to avoid a health crisis.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is committed to developing a solid, sustainable foundation for the future of care coordination that will assist many populations in addition to Holocaust survivors.
LA Connect Builds Bridges and Understanding
We launched our new LA Connect program that convenes community leaders from different faith and cultural backgrounds for a series of leadership luncheons to connect our various communities through understanding.
Our initial session, “The Power of Welcoming Others into Your Tent,” was attended by 20 individuals representing L.A.’s diverse communities. Rabbi Ilana Grinblat, VP of Federation’s Community Engagement Initiative (CE) and the Southern California Board of Rabbis, opened with an overview of Sukkot. The LA Connect series will continue with five additional luncheons culminating in an advocacy day in Sacramento. We look forward to our November session: “Thanks, Forgiveness, and Dialogue.”
A Day of Unexpected Inspiration
We provide meaningful — and convenient — ways to celebrate the holidays for families with young children so they can stop searching.
PJ Library and Builders of Jewish Education (BJE) joined forces to offer a unique Day of Service Learning focused on the High Holidays. Over 80 people, ranging from infant to adult, participated at this special gathering in the Japanese Garden. Families enjoyed a scavenger hunt, made holiday cards for seniors, created origami, and crafted an interactive holiday art project. Together they practiced the ritual of tashlich by tossing pieces of bread into the Garden’s lake. At the conclusion, families left with smiles on their faces and a new tradition created in the most unlikely place.
From the CEO: Gratitude
Modeh Ani is a morning prayer recited so we begin every day expressing gratitude. It is easy to awaken to the distressing news of the day or to the things that keep us down. I begin my day saying this powerful prayer and feeling true gratitude for the opportunity I have to serve the Jewish people and to be an integral part of the ongoing process of healing our world.
We at the Federation have so much to be grateful for. We live in one of the most exciting and dynamic cities and Jewish communities in the world. We have thoughtful and passionate leadership on our pulpits and in our partner organizations. We have outstanding and deeply committed volunteer leadership throughout the community and steadfast, generous donors who fuel all the important work that happens across Los Angeles — from the city to the beaches to the five valleys.
Our Federation, with its extraordinary staff of professionals and lay leaders, recognizes our central and essential role in the sustaining, securing, empowering, and building of our Jewish community. We feel responsible for the well-being of every vulnerable Jew in every corner of the world.
Thank you for your vital role in our work, the work we do 365 days a year together. Thank you for the faith you have in us.
Gratitude is also at the center of Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving, join me in expressing gratitude to those we love and for our inspiring and enriching Jewish community.