Since the Initiative’s launch in 2017, we:

1. Host programs in partnership with community members that elevate the voices of the Persian community and celebrate Iranian culture, heritage, and tradition.

2. Offer those in their 20s and 30s the opportunity to meet with a community professional who can guide them to personalized Jewish opportunities across Los Angeles that align with their specific interests.

3. Foster a more inclusive Jewish community within The Jewish Federation and the broader Jewish community — online and in person — which helps bridge the gap between the Persian Jewish and greater Jewish communities.

The Nazarian Initiative has been made possible by the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, The Jewish Community Foundation, and generous donations from our community. For more information or if you have questions, please contact Donna Maher, Assistant Director, Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation Iranian Community Outreach, at

As evidenced by the narratives below, we are making advances in our continuous work to make Jewish L.A. a welcoming space for all, including those of Iranian heritage.

“I’d like to thank you for all the time and effort you’ve put into helping me become a more active and aware member of the young Jewish community in Los Angeles. Thanks to your help, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in fun cultural experiences, explore my Jewish identity, and meet incredibly bright and passionate men and women with whom I have cultivated meaningful connections. I am proud, grateful, and humbled to be one of the beneficiaries of your hard work through the Nazarian Initiative.”

—Nazarian Initiative Participant

“Thanks to the Nazarian Initiative of The Jewish Federation, Mizrahi/Persian culture is being brought to the forefront so non-Mizrahi members can learn about the culture.”

—Nazarian Initiative participant

“I began to change and become much more comfortable with being proud about my identity as a Persian Jew. After seeing that there was a community that was focused on the growth and inclusivity of Persian Jews in the broader Los Angeles Jewish community, I felt supported and that my voice mattered — which, in turn, made me feel like an active member of this community.”

—Nazarian Initiative participant

“I attended The Roots of Identity: Shabbat Above the City event, and as someone who identifies as an Ashkenazi Jew, it was exciting to have a new Jewish experience. Connecting with the Persian Jewish community for just one night showed me that it’s possible to build a better sense of solidarity between the Ashkenazi Jewish community and the Persian Jewish community.”

—Nazarian Initiative participant