From the CEO

No Summer Vacation

I hope you and your family are finding time to enjoy your summer.

There has been no slowing down for our Jewish Federation and our increasingly challenging work.

Last month, two studies were released focusing on Jewish poverty. These studies identified a tremendous communal challenge and validated our deep commitment to those most vulnerable in our community. Their findings were that between 16-20% of Jewish households in America have annual family incomes of $30,000 or less. The fact that they are living on the edge of poverty is heartbreaking. This year, we have intensified our efforts to address this issue with our Ezra Network, a partnership with Jewish Family Service, JVS, Bet Tzedek, and synagogues throughout our city. The Ezra Network has directly impacted thousands of these struggling Jewish families. Many of our frail elderly and Holocaust survivors are in this group, and we are being proactive to support their growing needs so they can live with dignity and without fear.

Our focus is also on our children. This summer, over 1,000 children from financially challenged families are attending our community’s incredible L.A.-area Jewish summer camps, many for the first time. Next month, hundreds more will receive assistance to attend one of our community’s outstanding Jewish schools.

With your tremendous support, we have taken on this challenge here in Los Angeles, in Israel, and around the world.

I am writing to you to assure you that these families and these seniors are not alone. Together, we are doing our best to help them move from poverty to self-sufficiency, while keeping them connected to our Jewish community.

We are just weeks away from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We will come together to look back on the past year and forward to the year to come. We have accomplished a great deal together, but we have more work to do to be the safety net our community depends on, and to continue to build an even stronger Jewish community for today and for the future.

Thank you and Shabbat Shalom,

Jay Sanderson
President & CEO