Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Awards $1.25 Million in Next Stage Grants to 5 Local Nonprofits

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced $1.25 million in Next Stage Grants. These capacity building grants will invest in the sustainability, operations, and future growth of five Jewish nonprofits in Los Angeles. The organizations address pressing issues that range from addiction treatment to services for individuals with special needs. Each grantee will receive $250,000 over three years.

Foundation President and CEO Marvin I. Schotland stated: “When we awarded our first Next Stage Grants two years ago, our goal was to help strengthen organizations that we awarded grants to previously, enabling their continued development and progress toward financial stability. From that inaugural cohort, we’ve seen the tremendous impact these grants can have in providing our nonprofit partners with the time and resources to expand their revenue streams, serve more clients, and build infrastructure for future growth.”

Schotland continued: “We’re proud to continue this vital community investment with our newest recipients. This year’s grantees each address a different issue area—engaging Jewish college students, supporting LGBTQ+ Jews and their families, and empowering Jewish teens, among others. We look forward to watching them advance to the next stage of their growth.”

Recipients of 2019 Next Stage Grants include:

Beit T’Shuvah is a residential addiction treatment center serving hundreds of people each year. It is entering a crucial period of transition both to the next generation of leadership and to a new financial model that will include increased public funding. The Next Stage Grant will provide support, staffing, and expertise, enabling the organization to grow as a thriving center of recovery for many years to come.

Sergio Rizzo-Fontanesi, PhD, Beit T’Shuvah’s acting executive director, stated: “A grant from the Jewish Community Foundation helped establish Beit T’Shuvah 32 years ago, and we are grateful for the opportunity to further strengthen this important partnership. As we look toward our future and transition from a founder-led organization to the next generation of leaders, The Foundation’s enduring support will help us sustain our mission so that we can continue to provide addiction treatment services to the Jewish community and beyond.”

Hillel at UCLA helps Jewish students build their identities through learning and leadership. The center of Jewish life on a campus that has approximately 3,000 Jewish students, Hillel at UCLA has grown substantially in the past decade. It has increased the number of students it serves, expanded its staff, and added a building on campus. With this grant, Hillel at UCLA will invest in the staffing and expertise needed to establish a significant endowment that will sustain its operations and programs to serve Jewish Bruins for years to come.

Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust & Services (JLA Trust) is the first and only pooled special needs trust in Los Angeles. It was launched in 2015 with a Cutting Edge Grant from The Foundation. JLA Trust helps families plan for the financial security of their loved ones with disabilities without jeopardizing their government benefits. To date, over 80 families have enrolled in the trust. The Next Stage Grant will invest in JLA Trust’s capacity to recruit and enroll new clients and to become self-sustaining by hiring additional staff, creating a marketing and recruitment plan, building its referral network, and redesigning its website.

JLA Trust Founding Board Chair Sandor E. Samuels stated: “The Next Stage Grant is a boon for our community in general and for JLA Special Needs Trust & Services in particular. This grant gives us the ability to hire a dedicated marketing and outreach professional who can help JLA Trust boost enrollment in the trust and also expand our consulting services for families who have a loved one with disabilities. The Jewish Community Foundation’s continued support provides us the resources to increase our engagement in tikkun olam.”

JQ International (JQ) is the premier LGBTQ+ Jewish organization in Los Angeles. JQ promotes inclusion by providing education, support, and identity enrichment through outreach programs and inclusion training for Jewish organizations. The Next Stage Grant will provide the resources for JQ to develop its infrastructure and attract potential funders. It will also strengthen the organization’s long-term financial sustainability by supporting its strategic fund development plan. Since 2007, The Foundation has awarded two Cutting Edge Grants to JQ International to support its early growth and to launch JQ Helpline, which provides inclusive support and resources for LGBTQ+ Jews, their families, and allies.

Moving Traditions is a national nonprofit which empowers teens by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism, and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning. Its work with teens and partner synagogues has grown over the years, particularly in Los Angeles, where a 2014 Cutting Edge Grant from The Foundation launched its b’nai mitzvah program locally. As Moving Traditions seeks to deepen its roots in Los Angeles and magnify its impact, the new grant will help build its local infrastructure and expand its partnership model to reach Jewish teens who may not be part of a synagogue.

About Next Stage Grants

Established in 2017, Next Stage Grants is a capacity building program designed to strengthen the organizational effectiveness of nonprofits and support a dynamic and thriving community of Los Angeles Jewish institutions. The grant invests in improving organizational needs such as fundraising, strategic planning, financial management, staff structure, and leadership development.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2018, The Foundation and its donors distributed $115 million in grants to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 15 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.