As 2013 rapidly comes to an end, it’s common to reflect on the past 12 months and think about what we’ve all accomplished. What did we do? How did we make a difference? Could we have done more – and will we strive to do more next year?
Thanks to the generous support of our Jewish community, we’ve had quite a few memorable moments in 2013 and made great strides in each of our Federation’s three strategic initiatives. Here are just a few highlights:
Caring for Jews in Need
- We expanded our Federation’s Ezra Network (a program that brings social workers, pro bono lawyers and job counselors into local synagogues to make social services more accessible), serving over 1,000 people via 15 synagogues throughout Los Angeles.
- We helped over 800 Jewish individuals in our community with emergency grants through our Financial Assistance Network (FAN).
- Just a few weeks ago on Giving Tuesday, our community contributed nearly $20,000 to provide 1,000 hours of basic homecare services for low-income Holocaust survivors in Los Angeles so they may live their lives with the dignity they so greatly deserve.
- And, our Jewish community rallied together in helping others in times of crisis, with over 900 donations to our Philippines Typhoon Relief Fund to come to the aid of those affected by the devastating natural disaster.
Engaging with the Community
- Over 750 volunteers participated in our 2013 Community Service Days, preparing, serving and delivering meals to the hungry, interacting with families who have children with special needs, helping underserved children in the greater community, and much, much more.
- We also launched our ChangeMaker Challenge in early October, a contest for members of our community to submit their ideas to bring positive change to Los Angeles in the areas of education, civic engagement, transportation, economic development and hunger.
Ensuring the Jewish Future
- Our 1,000 Shabbat Celebrations, in which community members and organizations hosted Shabbat dinner, lit up Los Angeles in sharing one of our most time-honored Jewish traditions. We also held a special Shabbat in the Park event in Woodland Hills and had a huge turnout!
- Our first annual Tour de Summer Camps, a community-wide cycling event we called the “Ride for the Jewish Future” had 475 registered riders who helped us raise over $600,000, meaning that 600 kids will get scholarships to attend local Jewish summer camps, strengthening their Jewish identities.
- We rolled out our Community Leadership Institute, a brand new program that gives young adults a chance to build their skills, grow their network, find their mentor, participate in an unforgettable trip to Israel and emerge as leaders who can truly make a difference in the Jewish community.
- Just recently, we selected our second group of PresenTenseLA fellows, giving social entrepreneurs the leadership skills, business tools and connections they need to help us transform the Jewish community through their ventures.
This is just a small sample of what our community made possible this year. Just think of the impact we could make together next year. Our 2014 annual budget, which supports all of this life-changing work and more, is based on funds that we have in hand before the New Year begins. That’s why it’s so important that our 2013 Annual Campaign has a strong finish.
Please, if you have not done so already, put your Jewish values into action and show us your commitment to our community and all of the impactful work we do together. Make your 2013 Annual Campaign gift today.
Thank you in advance for your continued support, and we wish you and yours a happy, healthy 2014!