Voices of LA arts fest brings ethnic, religious diversity to city

A new summer cultural arts festival is bringing a fresh Jewish feel to Los Angeles.

Voices of LA: The Krupnick Festival of the Arts pairs a diverse array of Jewish and non-Jewish artists from all genres and mediums to create new and exciting works with strong local roots. A co-production of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (JCF), Community Arts Resources (CARS) and Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the festival runs through Sept. 14 at various locations throughout the city.

Voices of LA (voicesoflafest.com) is firmly focused on reaching the larger Los Angeles population, something that was done by design, according to JCF President and CEO Marvin Schotland. The festival is named in honor of the late Harry Krupnick and his wife, Belle. 

“He was someone that was very proud of his Jewish heritage,” Schotland said of Krupnick. He described him as “very much interested in the ethnic diversity of L.A. He celebrated it; he loved it.”

When the idea arose to do a multicultural festival in Los Angeles — with Jewish culture woven in at all levels — Schotland knew who to ask for help: Aaron Paley, president and co-founder of CARS. 

“What we asked Aaron to do … was to find artists in various ethnic communities that were representative of Los Angeles and pair a Jewish artist with an artist from an ethnic community.”

Jarell Perry

The plan resulted in some unique couplings. Wil-Dog Abers of the alt-Latino-world fusion band Ozomatli will be performing alongside alt-R&B singer Jarell Perry. Yuval Ron and his ensemble, which focuses on world music, will be paired with Grammy-winning group La Santa Cecilia. The events will include a visual arts exhibition, a dance performance at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and spoken word events featuring artists from many ethnic communities in L.A.

Wil-dog Abers

Selecting the artists for the festival often came down to practicalities, Paley said. 

“What’s going to work? What’s possible to do? And who do we think is also really good at collaborating?” 

The one thing that everyone agreed on from the start, as Paley tells it, was that everyone had to be local, with a direct connection to Los Angeles.

Most of the artistic duos will perform twice during the course of the festival, one time at each of two different venues. The concept — though it wasn’t realized in every instance — was for each set of artists to perform at both a Jewish community location and a non-Jewish site. For instance, the Yuval Ron Ensemble and La Santa Cecilia will perform at the Pico Union Project on July 28 and at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes on Aug. 26. Other venues hosting events include Fais Do-Do, the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, the Breed Street Shul, the Echoplex and Beyond Baroque.

La Santa Cecilia

All the artists, however, will be coming together for a culminating performance as part of the festival’s closing event at Wilshire Boulevard Temple on Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be free to the public and feature family-friendly workshops, food trucks with kosher options, live music and performances from the previously featured artists.

For Paley, putting together events like Voices of LA has been a job and a passion for more than 30 years. He said he was eager to help create Voices of LA after being approached by JCF. 

CARS is a “double bottom line company,” according to Paley, which means that while it’s not a nonprofit, its focus is both on meeting its bottom line and improving the Los Angeles community. 

“I’m from L.A., and I grew up in the Jewish community,” he said. “I was brought up with this idea that Jews had a role to play in the larger picture of Los Angeles.”

Schotland said he has enjoyed working on the festival and feels that it has opened up new artistic horizons for him personally. 

“If I had talked to you before doing this festival, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you who [Wil-Dog Abers] was,” he said. “I think it’s a fascinating experiment, and we at the JCF are really proud to be the catalytic institution to make it happen. In particular, it’s a great way to honor the Krupnicks.”

Paley is simply thrilled to see the whole thing come together. “We’re all so excited because it feels like magic when everyone’s together,” he said.

Schotland said that even though the festival has been planned as a one-time event, he’s open to the idea of doing more programs like it. 

“I think people are looking for opportunities that celebrate our unity with each other, even though we come from different backgrounds, and one of the nice things about this festival is that it really provides an opportunity for that,” Schotland said. “There’s a universal language connected to art, and creativity is good for any community.”

Voices of LA: The Krupnick Festival of the Arts runs through Sept. 14.

JCF receives $3.4 million medical, educational bequest

The Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) has created the Raymond and Shirley Kornfeld Endowment Fund with a $3.4 million bequest from the Kornfeld family estate. The endowment is intended to help medical and educational causes, about which the Kornfelds were passionate during their lifetime.

“The Kornfelds were both caring individuals who strongly believed in the power of education and good health care and chose to leave an enduring legacy for future generations,” JCF President and CEO Marvin Schotland said in a press release.

During their lifetimes, the Kornfelds supported numerous philanthropic and educational institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, Jewish Free Loan Association, a nonsectarian program that distributes interest-free loans, and the Henry George School of Social Science in New York City, which offers tuition-free classes in economics.

The $3.4 million Kornfeld bequest is among the more than $700 million the JCF manages in assets for Southern Californian philanthropists.

Foundation Grants Target Gang Violence

The Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) granted 10 Los Angeles gang-prevention programs $200,000 this month, making its mark on ongoing public and private programs to ease gang violence in the city.

“The foundation is committed to supporting issues of vital importance to the community at large and chose to focus our General Community Grants this year on gang prevention and intervention. It is important that we work together as a community to address the significant negative effect of gang violence on youth and families in Los Angeles,” said Marvin Schotland, president and CEO of the foundation.

The largest grant — $50,000 — went to the Advancement Project. The money will support Safe Passage, which works with LAUSD and LAPD to create protected routes for elementary school children walking in the Belmont/Rampart area. The grant will also create content for and train teachers, counselors and social workers to implement Advancement Project’s Prevention/Intervention Toolkit.

“The grant for the toolkit and training will allow us to leverage our expertise and respond to the many requests we receive from communities around the area for information and assistance. It is our hope to train influential adults to reach children with gang intervention and prevention techniques before it is too late,” said Connie Rice, co-founder and co-director of Advancement Project, applauding the JCF’s grant.

Grants of $20,000 will provide case management and mentoring to redirect gang-oriented females in the San Fernando Valley; filmmaking opportunities for South Los Angeles youth who want to leave gangs; and afterschool activities in Watts. The grants will allow gang intervention and prevention programs in Ramona Gardens, San Pedro, Venice/Santa Monica and North Hollywood to provide youth with more mentoring and services. A grant of $10,000 went to a program in Watts that trains former gang members in dispute mediation, in addition to providing mental health services, tutoring and life-skills programs for youth and families.

Between 2005 and 2009, JCF made grants of $75 million to nonprofit organizations in the community at large, representing about a quarter of its grants during that period. The foundation currently manages assets of $706 million, and distributed $62 million in 2009.

PJA head Sokatch leaving to helm S.F. federation

Daniel Sokatch, leader of one of Los Angeles’ most high-profile Jewish organizations, has been named CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (JCF). He will start at the JCF on July 15.

Sokatch, 40, is the founding executive director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, a Los Angeles-based organization founded in 1999 with a commitment to educating, advocating and organizing on issues of peace, equality, diversity and justice. Sokatch has helped grow the organization from 250 members to more than 4,000 people today, with a million-dollar budget, a dozen staff members and offices in Los Angeles and, since 2005, San Francisco.

It was partly PJA’s work in the Bay Area that attracted the JCF to Sokatch.

“I wasn’t looking to leave PJA. I have loved my job every day,” he said.

When the Federation first approached him, Sokatch said, he just thought “it was flattering,” but the more he spoke with leaders there he realized the two organizations — JCF and PJA — had similar shared similar goals and perpsectives. “The values of the San Francisco Jewish community are fairly progressive,” Sokatch said.

Sokatch acknowledged that there is a difference between running a “consensus-based” organization rather than an “advocacy and activist” organization. But, he said, “I am who I am and they know exactly who I am.”

JCF has not had a steady CEO in almost five years. The organization interviewed some 50 candidates for the position in hopes of finding a dynamic CEO to increase the federation’s vibrancy and relevancy to Bay Area Jewish life and connect with younger donors and community activists.

“Daniel combines energy and charisma with intelligence, Jewish wisdom and a compelling vision for the future of the Jewish community,” JCF President John Pritzker said.

Sokatch, who will relocate to the Bay Area this summer with his wife Dana and their two children, will helm an organization with a staff of 105 and four satellite offices in the Bay Area and Israel.

JCF serves a Jewish population that numbered at least 228,000 people in 2004, according to the 2004 Jewish Community Foundation Study. The study also claims that the Bay Area is the third largest Jewish metropolis behind New York and Los Angeles. The study also found that half the married couples in the Bay Area include a non-Jewish partner, and “as many children are being raised by one Jewish parent as are being raised by two.”

The JCF and the Jewish Community Endowment Fund allocated more than $200 million toward funding social services, educational and cultural programs in the Bay Area, the United States, Israel and around the world in 2007 fiscal year.

“For me, the Bay Area Jewish community, with its profound commitment to tzedek [justice], tikkun olam [repairing the world] and to a vibrant and thriving Jewish culture and community is the perfect place” to build a federation for the 21st century, Sokatch said.

Sokatch said he is sad to leave PJA – and Los Angeles – but he is certain the organization will continue to grow without him, even as he helps them find his replacement. “PJA is an incredibly strong and vibrant organization that is much bigger than one person,” he said.

To Sokatch, the fact that the JCF contacted a self-described progressive public figure involved with IKAR, a progressive new synagogue, and Reboot, an outreach and activist organization for younger Jews, also means that organizations once considered out of the mainstream are making an impact on the Jewish community. “Instead of seeing us as irrelevant, they see us as part of the answer,” Sokatch said. “It’s a great compliment to everyone working in these Jewish projects.”

Progressive Jewish Alliance

Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties



Community Briefs

After 22 years as head rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Congregation in Valley Village, Rabbi Aron Tendler resigned last weekend.

“It is with mixed emotions that I write you today to let you know of my decision that, after 22 wonderful years, I have decided to step down as rabbi of Shaarey Zedek,” Tendler wrote in a letter to the 400-member families of the Orthodox synagogue.

“This has been a decision I have contemplated for some time, and after great soul searching and deliberation and with the full support of Esther and the family, I decided that it was time to explore other opportunities and embark on a new aspect of my personal and professional life.”

Tendler wrote that he intends to stay in the community but wants to spend more time with his family and pursuing writing, teaching and other projects.

“On occasion, I would like to sleep for more than four hours. Selfishly put, I want more time, and if not now when?” he wrote. Tendler will stay on through the High Holidays and help the search committee in its quest to find a new rabbi.

“Rabbi Tendler turned innumerable lives around, and it will be a great loss for us,” Brad Turell, Shaarey Zedek’s communications director, told The Journal. “He’s very talented and we wish him the best.”

— Amy Klein, Religion Editor

Sharansky Visits Southland

Israeli politician Natan Sharansky spent a quick two days in Los Angeles last weekend, giving four speeches on Jan. 22 calling for more American Jewish involvement in the upcoming World Zionist Congress.

“People have a need to strengthen their bond, somehow feel themselves part of a bigger family,” Sharansky told The Jewish Journal. “It doesn’t matter what origin; it doesn’t matter whether they are right or left; more and more Jews feel the need to become close to Israel. Before you are looking for the new way with your connection with Israel, what about the most traditional way?”

The prominent Likud party member was brought to Los Angeles last weekend by the West Coast chapter of American Friends of Likud. He encouraged Jews here to get more active in the quadrennial congress this summer of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), which controls the multimillion dollar budgets for The Jewish Agency.

Organizers said Sharansky spoke to about 35 Likud supporters at a Sunday breakfast, then to 100 people at the Hillcrest Country Club, plus more than 200 people later Sunday afternoon at Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills and finally another 90 at a private dinner at a television producer’s home.

Since last November, the WZO’s American branch has been selecting delegates for this June’s 35th WZO Congress in Jerusalem. Voting ends in late February with U.S. candidates from Likud, Russian, Green Zionist, Meretz, Harut and other Jewish movements. Sharansky wants more U.S. Jews to sign up with the $7 registration fee on the WZO’s American Zionist Movement Web site and then vote for delegates concerned about WZO spending.

In an interview between two of his speeches, Sharansky criticized the WZO Congress as a, “narrow group of people without broad involvement of Jews [worldwide]. So people simply don’t know, its connection of involvement and distribution of funds. Jews have an opportunity to participate in it, but they’re not using this opportunity. One percent maybe knows about its existence.”

Sharansky quit his minister-without-portfolio post last May in protest to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s pullout last August of Gaza settlers. While Sharon’s former Likud party sponsored Sharansky’s two-day L.A. visit, the onetime Soviet dissident said, “When speaking abroad, I’m trying to speak as little about splits in Israel as possible. When speaking to the Jews of Diaspora, you have to speak about building bridges between Jews of Diaspora and Israel.” — David Finnigan, Contributing Writer

A Dozen Nonprofits Get Foundation Grants

The Jewish Community Foundation recently awarded grants totaling $116,000 to 12 mostly local nonprofit organizations to support a variety of services, ranging from suicide prevention hotlines to dental care for the poor and counseling and tutoring for abused and neglected children.

The Foundation’s grants ranged in size from $5,000 to $20,000 and will help fund valuable services that government money alone cannot underwrite, said Marvin I. Schotland, foundation president and chief executive.

“There are vast pockets of need that cannot possibly be met at this time by the public sector,” he said. “Support by our organization to the greater community is more critical, and immensely gratifying, than ever and remains a vital part of our mandate.”

The foundation, created in 1954, is the largest manager of charitable assets for Greater Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. With more than $590 million under its management, the Foundation distributed last year $58 million in grants to more than 1,300 organizations.

Among the nonprofits that received grants in January:

  • The Los Angeles Free Clinic received $10,000 for its dental program. This year, the clinic, which provides health and other services to the uninsured and the working poor, expects more than 3,500 children and adults to make more than 9,000 visits for dental services.
  • Trevor Project Inc., based in Beverly Hills, received $10,000 for a suicide prevention hotline and educational programs that promote tolerance for gay teens and those questioning their sexual orientation.
  • New Ways to Work in Sebastopol, Calif., received a $10,000 grant to help prepare children in foster care for independence at age 18. Over the next four years, nearly 4,000 Los Angeles youths currently in foster care are expected to become emancipated and leave the foster care system.
  • Inner-City Arts received $10,000 for a hands-on arts program designed to improve literacy among grade school students enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Marc Ballon, Senior Writer

Chabad in the House

What is “The Rebbe’s Gelt?”

Literally, “the rabbi’s money,” it’s the name of a new Chabad program unveiled last week at the annual West Coast Convention of Chabad/Lubavitch for Shulchim, or emissaries. The new initiative will provide grants and loans to those rabbis who need short-term financial aid.

More than 170 Chabad rabbis and emissaries gathered at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel and the Hebrew Academy in Huntington Beach, for the Jan. 15-16 convention. Chabad West Coast unveiled Camp Gan Israel Running Springs, a new Jewish overnight camp located on Chabad’s Kiryas Schneerson mountaintop campus. Chabad also announced its plan to organize the first ever Woman’s Convention of Shluchos on the West Coast, tentatively scheduled for May in San Diego. — Amy Klein, Religion Editor

Thousand Oaks Temple Teacher Receives Award

Bobbie Match, who has spent 10 years at Temple Adat Elohim’s Early Childhood Center received the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education presented by the Jewish Education Service of North America, Inc. The award recognizes outstanding classroom-based teachers in formal Jewish educational settings. It includes a $1500 grant for continued professional development. Last year Match received the prestigious Lainer Distinguished Early Childhood Educator Award from the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles (BJE).

Other recent BJE Award winners from Temple Adat Elohim are Michelle Princenthal, winner of the 2005 Smotrich Family Education Award; Tara Farkash, winner of the 2003 Lainer Distinguished Early Childhood Educator Award; and Marcy Goldberg, winner of the 2004 Lainer Distinguished Educator Award. — NZ

Yago Joins Israel Securities Authority Board

Glenn Yago, director of Capital Studies at the Milken Institute in Los Angeles, was appointed to the International Advisory Board of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), the government body that oversees and regulates the Israeli capital market and serves the same function as the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States.

Yago joined key Israeli economic policy makers, including ISA chairman Moshe Tery, Bank of Israel Gov. Stanley Fischer and Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange chairman Yair Orgler, for the first meeting of the International Advisory Board in New York. Other board members from the U.S. include Leo Melamed, chairman emeritus of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Douglas Shulman of the National Association of Securities Dealers; Bill Brodsky, chairman of the Chicago Board Options Exchange; Milton Harris of the University of Chicago School of Business; and David Loglisci, deputy comptroller of the State of New York.

Appointing Yago, Tery said that he wanted the economist’s experience and insight “to help build the legal and economic infrastructure to advance Israel’s capital markets and its standing as a venue for global investment.”

Yago is a leading authority on financial innovations and capital markets and specializes in privatization projects to improve the economic climate in the Middle East. He has experience working with municipal, government, business and academic leaders in the region to promote economic reform. He is a senior Koret Knesset Fellow and teaches at Tel-Aviv University and the Interdisciplinary Center-Herzliya. He is the author of numerous books and studies, including “The Economic Road Map: Beyond the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” (Milken Institute, 2005). —NZ

Bubis Honored for Community Service

Professor Gerald Bubis, founding director of the Irwin Daniels School of Jewish Communal Service (SJCS) at the Los Angeles School of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), was honored recently when the school celebrated its 36th Anniversary at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Two-hundred guests turned out for the event, including colleagues, community leaders, fellow SJCS alumni and old friends, saluting Bubis’ efforts at the school and in the field of Jewish Communal Service.

The (SJCS) was founded in 1968 and is the oldest professional school of its kind. Its inter-disciplinary approach combines study of Jewish tradition and text with tools from the fields of the social sciences and business. Open to students from all areas of religious thought and communal life, the School seeks to be inclusive and pluralistic. Since its inception, 650 people have graduated from the school.

More than 300 SJCS graduates hold dual master’s degrees from USC. Twenty-five rabbis hold degrees from the school and 37 SJCS graduates have received dual degrees in Jewish Education from the HUC-JIR/LA Rhea Hirsch School of Education.

Concurrent with the celebration, alumni and friends of the School of Jewish

Communal Service raised more than $135,000 in scholarships in honor of Bubis. —Norma Zager

Stan’s Customers Go Bananas Over Reopening

Asked about the past three and a half months, shopper Kathy Mannheim said, “I hated it. It has not been a happy time in my life.”

She’s referring to the period of time she endured without her favorite local produce store, Stan’s. A Pico-Robertson neighborhood fixture, Stan’s closed after the High Holidays, when owner Stan Pascal got sick and was unable to carry on his usual six-day-a-week schedule.

Earlier this month, Pascal reopened and was greeted with the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for rock stars.

“I’m thinking of giving autographs,” he joked.

Feyge Yemini, who patronizes the store twice a week to supply her large family, said she was “extremely happy” about Pascal’s return.

“I never found a comparable high-quality fruit store,” she said. “I had to go to five places to get what I can get here.”

Pascal started in the produce business as an 8-year-old in Windsor, Ontario, where he would help his father out on the weekends. In 1957, he came with his family to Los Angeles, and worked at his father’s three produce stalls at the Grand Central Market downtown. After his father died, Pascal and his wife, Susan, opened their own store on Fairfax Boulevard, where they remained for more than two decades before moving to the current location.

Fairfax resident Miriam Fishman continues to shop at Stan’s despite the distance.

“It’s a haimisch place,” she said. “There’s no other fruit store like it in town.”

In a time of big box markets and megastores, Stan’s has remained a place where retailer and customer maintain a personal relationship. Pascal greets customers by name, allows regulars to purchase with IOUs, and has been known to weigh a customer’s new baby on the produce scale.

During his absence, rumors circulated that he had sold the store, and in fact, he almost did. “At the last minute I changed my mind,” Pascal said. “I missed the people.”

The feeling is mutual. “I went to other places but it wasn’t the same,” said customer Mannheim. “It wasn’t Stan’s.” — Nancy Sokoler Steiner, Contributing Writer


Your Letters

David Lehrer

As a former colleague of David Lehrer, I am shocked and saddened by his firing by Abe Foxman (“Lehrer to Leave,” Dec. 28). Lehrer’s dedication to the protection of the Jewish community was always tantamount, and he was ever the consummate professional.

However, I am even more disappointed by the local ADL lay leadership’s response to the firing — except for Zev Yaroslavsky and John Rosove, who have clearly and plainly labeled the firing the outrage that it is. The local officers have publicly said and done little.

Whether out of loyalty for all that Lehrer has done to develop ADL as the leading Jewish defense agency in Los Angeles or simply a matter of being taken seriously by New York, it seems to me that any self-respecting local board should only have one response to this fiasco: the regional board president, officers and board members should all have their resignations on Foxman’s desk come first thing Monday morning. That would truly prove that we in the L.A. Jewish community take care of those who dedicate their lives to taking care of us.

Robert Smith, Los Angeles

As former employees of ADL’s Los Angeles office, we felt compelled to respond to the recent dismissal of Regional Director David Lehrer. Not only was David an eloquent and effective spokesman for the ADL, he was also a real mensch to work for. We wish him every success, and we are certain that ADL’s misguided decision will surely be another organization’s very fortunate gain. Thank you, David, for 27 years of singular devotion to the L.A. Jewish community and, on a more personal note, for making it a pleasure to come to work.

Cheryl Cutler Azair, Los Angeles; Barbara Bergen, Los Angeles; Jerry Shapiro, Beverly Hills; Roberta Venger Zelkha, Henderson, NV. JCCs

The Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) was created in the biblical logic of Joseph and his Egyptian Pharaoh, as a storehouse for the lean years. The JCF has collected and fattened its corpus by disbursing the legal minimum 5 percent a year during the fat years (“Resolutions,” Jan. 11). The JCC fiscal crisis has created a very lean year.

It’s unfortunate that the majority of the JCCs’ services will sink because of a $2 million-$6 million debt. This JCC debt could be retired in one or two years by increasing the JCF’s unrestricted disbursement from 5 percent to a modest 10 percent. As donors we are often called and told to dig deeper because it’s been a bad year for one of our agencies and its clients. It is now time that the JCF be called upon to dig deeper, because it’s been a bad year for the JCC community, and the rainy day is here.

Pini Herman, Los Angeles

Carin Davis

I am a new reader of The Jewish Journal. I periodically peruse it online and though I don’t normally write these kind of letters, I wanted to share my enthusiasm for your new columnist Carin Davis. I think she’s funny, charming and manages to capture a strong point of view that’s easy to relate to. Bravo to you guys, and keep up the good work. I hope to read more of her in upcoming issues.

Gregory Goldin, Brentwood

For The Kids

Someone familiar with the Bible should be assigned to verify the facts presented in the For The Kids page. It asserted that the Tower of Babel occurred before the flood, a reversal of biblical chronology (Oct. 19). The ultimate error was on Dec. 28, which contained the incredible statement, “In fact, King David was from the tribe of Ephraim.” David was from the tribe of Judah, as even a cursory reading of Ruth, Samuel, Kings or Chronicles will quickly reveal.

It is terrible to give misinformation to children, since they will believe and retain it, especially if it seems to come from an authoritative source.

Solomon Golomb, Los Angeles


In the Jan. 11 article “Tall Torah Tales,” B’nai Jeshrun in Manhattan is a Conservative synagogue.

Granting Millions in Dollars and Wishes

More than $2.2 million in grants — including $1.7million to the Israel Experience Program — was committed by theJewish Community Foundation last month to local programs benefiting avariety of Jewish organizations.

The foundation’s support for the Jewish FederationCouncil of Greater Los Angeles’ Israel Experience Program is aimed athelping teens and college-age adults to visit Israel “to learn wherethey come from and to experience the connection that every Jew — nomatter where they live — has with every other Jew around the world,”said Annette Shapiro, Jewish Community Foundation president.

Throughout this year, about 200 teens and 150college-age students are expected to participate in IsraelExperience, which is a collaboration between the Jewish CommunityFoundation, the Federation, local synagogues, Hillel and the CharlesR. Bronfman Foundation, and is operated under the auspices of theCouncil on Jewish Life.

“There is almost no question that everybody’sfirst experience of Israel changes their life,” said JeannetteHartman, JCF manager of marketing and communications. “They come backfrom Israel with a completely different perception of themselves as aJew.”

The JCF also provided more than $500,000 in grantsto 32 local programs sponsored by Jewish agencies, synagogues,schools and other organizations. A total of $410,346 in grants wasawarded to 18 new and innovative programs, and an additional $103,500was given to 14 projects sponsored by local synagogues. The lattergrants were awarded in conjunction with the Federation’s Council onJewish Life Synagogue Funding Committee.

The list of projects includes many that fosterJewish education, identity, culture, Jewish families, youth, women,seniors, community relations, and synagogue programs. Among thegrants:

* The Jewish Television Network in Los Angelesreceived $20,000 to produce “J-Span,” a series of 13, hour-long videoprograms taped from live events of national significance.

* The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony in Brentwoodreceived $30,000 to develop and implement a teaching curriculum,teacher training and klezmer concerts to educate Jewish day-schoolstudents about klezmer music and its relationship to Eastern EuropeanJewish history and culture.

* The Jewish Music Foundation in North Hollywoodreceived $20,000 to establish a chorus to represent Los Angeles atthe 1998 International Zimriyah (Songfest) in Israel, celebratingIsrael’s 50th anniversary.

* The Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity inLos Angeles received $10,000 to help plan Yiddishkayt Festival 1998,and to recruit institutional collaborators, festival financialbackers and corporate sponsors.

* The Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) and theWhizin Institute received $35,000 for a parent and family educationprogram that will give 400 early childhood educators from 30 schoolsinformation and strategies for engaging families in Jewisheducational activities related to what their children are learning inschool.

* The Westside JCC’s My Jewish Discovery Placereceived $30,000 for its “Story Studio” to help produce aneducational video to teach families and children how to tell storiesas part of learning about themselves and their community.

* The BJE received $28,500 for a program thatprepares 15 teachers to teach Jewish-studies courses which meet theneeds of liberal Jewish day schools for Judaic-studiesteachers.

* Metivta: A Center for Jewish Wisdom in West LosAngeles received $18,000 for a pilot program to standardize theteaching of traditional Jewish meditation and to provide classroominstruction and two five-day retreats to train 15 to 20 meditationinstructors.

* The Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School inNorthridge received $17,640 for its “IQ Is Not Enough: A Search forMoral Intelligence” program, which will create activities in theclassroom and throughout the school to encourage students to examinetheir moral values, to learn to resolve conflicts and to improvecommunication skills.

* The Jewish Free Loan Association received$36,000 for a program that provides interest-free loans to those whochoose to adopt a child into a stable Jewish home.

* The Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles(JFSLA), Jewish Big Brothers, the Westside Jewish Community Centerand the West Valley Jewish Community Center received $35,000 for aSingle Jewish Parents Network to provide services and to address suchconcerns of single Jewish parents as post-divorce isolation, singleparenting and negotiating Jewish life-cycle and holiday rituals in anon-traditional family setting.

* The JCC’s Israel Levin Center in Venice received$15,000 to offer 50 homebound Jewish seniors fruit, challah, wine andcandles to celebrate the Sabbath, and volunteers to conduct shortservices.

* The JFSLA received $38,206 for its Outreach toBattered Orthodox Women program. Among other things, the program willcreate a hot line that is sensitive to the needs of Orthodox women,community outreach, and education to raise awareness of the issue ofbattered women and children in the Orthodox community.

The Jewish Community Foundation, created in 1954as the endowment arm of the Los Angeles Jewish community, managesassets of nearly $200 million.

Mural on the Israel Levin Senior Center inVenice.