May 26, 2019

Westside JCC May be Rescued

Of the five doomed Los Angeles area Jewish Community Centers (JCC), at least one center’s membership is not rolling over without a fight. About 100 members showed up for a Sunday morning emergency meeting Dec. 23 at the Westside JCC’s Birch Auditorium, where, in a dramatic turn of events, members raised the lion’s share of the $129,000 needed by Dec. 31 to keep most of the WJCC in operation at least until June 30. At the meeting, Paula Pearlman, Westside JCC advisory board leader, shared with the membership the fiscal breakdown of what it would take to keep the center open in the short and long term.

After Pearlman announced that a Westside family was offering a matching grant of $25,000, members at the meeting spontaneously joined in — in auction house fashion — with pledges of $1,000 apiece. By morning’s end, they had raised $94,000.

“The good news,” Pearlman announced from the lectern, “is that our organizing has kept the center open, and if we have the will, we can keep the center open in limited operation for another six months [if we can raise the remainder of the money].” Westside members still need to raise the remaining $35,000 by Dec. 31 to keep the center open in the short term, and they are asking for donations at the $1,000-$5,000 level. Interested parties can contact Pini Herman at (323) 934-8550 or via e-mail through his Web site, – Michael Aushenker, Staff Writer Michael Aushenker, Staff Writer