Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Awards $2.5 Million in Israel Grants

2022 Funding Supports Jewish Engagement and Economic Development For Diverse Populations Across Israel

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 7, 2022) – The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced that it has awarded approximately $2.5 million in grants to ten organizations in Israel focused on strengthening Jewish engagement and advancing economic development.

Through the most recent Israel Grants cycle, funding to recipient organizations will support a range of populations and programs, including tech training for Druze women and ultra-Orthodox men, workforce programs for youth on the autism spectrum, transition support for young adults seeking to leave ultra-Orthodox communities, and engagement of Russian-speaking immigrants, among other groups.

Since 2010, The Foundation has awarded nearly $14.5 million to more than 75 organizations through its Israel Grants program. The multi-year awards of up to $300,000 are directed towards initiatives that embrace Israel’s vibrant, diverse cultural landscape and significantly impact Israeli society.

Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland stated: “Support to organizations in Israel is a cornerstone of The Foundation’s mission. We maintain an unwavering commitment to sustaining programs that help a wide range of populations connect to their Judaism and afford opportunities for marginalized communities to contribute to Israel’s formidable economic engine, especially its robust technology sector. Today’s nearly $2.5 million in grants – a record amount awarded under this initiative – addresses critical needs and reaches Israel’s geographic and social periphery.”

Linda Pardes Friedburg, CEO of Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli, stated: “With tens of thousands of new Russian-speaking immigrants arriving in Israel due to the war in Ukraine, we are deeply grateful for The Foundation’s timely grant towards our work with young Russian-speaking Israelis. The funds will help expand our programs and engage an additional 3,500 immigrants in enriching Jewish communal events while fostering knowledgeable, rooted young leadership for Israel and the Jewish people.”

The Foundation’s 2022 Israel Grants were made possible in part through vital support from the Werner and Ellen Lange Memorial Endowment, the Erwin Rautenberg Foundation, and the Saban Charitable Support Fund—a Family Support Organization of the Jewish Community Foundation. The 2022 Israel Grant recipients are:

Jewish Engagement

Economic Development

About the Grant Recipients

Jewish Engagement

To help all Israeli Jews, regardless of religious affiliation, participate in Jewish life and improve government policies to make Jewish life passages more inclusive to diverse Jewish populations. ITIM’s pro-bono assistance centers provide information, guidance, and support on every government-administered religious matter, including birth, burial, marriage and conversion.

Panim: The Israeli-Judaism Network
To build a new, national alliance of Jewish organizations in Israel that will provide dynamic pluralistic programming, while collaborating to strengthen the Jewish Engagement field in Israel for the long term. It is a joint venture with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora.

Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli
To support the integration of Russian-speaking immigrants into Jewish and Israeli culture through Shabbat retreats, holiday celebrations, volunteer initiatives, and cultural activities.

Economic Development

Amutat Kaima
To provide hands-on agricultural training for at-risk youth and young adults so they can reach their full potential and become productive members of Israeli society. Participants earn a salary while learning the fundamentals of organic farming, environmental stewardship, social entrepreneurship, and teamwork.

Erez College
To provide training to ensure low-income factory workers improve their vocational education so that they can retain jobs, strengthen their financial circumstances, and advance in their careers.

Hillel—The Right to Choose
To assist Yotzim – those who leave ultra-Orthodox communities – and bridge major gaps in employment eligibility, vocational and soft skills, and core education. Through increased counseling, scholarships, and employment support, Hillel will continue to meet this group’s needs as they integrate into Israeli society.

Jewish Brain in High-Tech
To help Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men enter the high-tech workforce by providing high-quality training in computer science, software development, mathematics, and English, while enabling them to maintain their religious commitments.

Lotus: Women’s High-Tech Hub
To train young religious Druze women, including mothers, in an intensive high-tech program that includes computer programming boot camps and soft skills workshops. The organization also partners with tech firms to ensure job opportunities in the Israeli workforce.

Roim Rachok (Beyond the Horizon)
To help youth with autism realize their full potential, gain employment and reduce their dependency on government assistance through training programs, coursework and mentorship that prepares them to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and later integrate into the high-tech industry.

Therapeutic Riding and Canine Institute
To assist at-risk young adults in learning a trade, acquiring important life skills, and gaining employment through intensive training programs preparing them to become professional animal groomers, handlers, and instructors.

About the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles
Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1.5 billion (as of 12/31/21) entrusted to it by 1,400 families. The Foundation partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2021, The Foundation and its donors distributed $123 million to more than 2,000 nonprofits that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past ten years, it has distributed nearly $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.