Legacy Magazine: Winter 2020 Reflections by Marvin Schotland
Letter from President & CEO Marvin I. Schotland
Sixty-six years ago, a small group of visionary community leaders came together to create a conduit of philanthropic resources that people could rely on in both good times and in times of crisis. Back in 1954, no one could have imagined what the future held. Yet these wise leaders knew our community needed a pillar of strength and stability to weather the inevitable storms that would come our way.
Thus, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles was born. From a meager beginning of just several donors and a few modest grants, we are today a $1.3 billion foundation with 1,300 donor families. Most significantly, we and our donors have distributed over $1 billion in grants in the past 13 years.
Over the decades, we have been called upon to lend a hand in difficult circumstances such as the relocation of thousands of Soviet Jews to our community, the AIDS crisis, the Great Recession of 2008, as well as Operations Moses and Solomon airlifting Ethiopian Jews to Israel, to name a few. But none compare to what we face today: a ruthless and deadly virus wreaking havoc on our community, our country and throughout the world. Our founders could never have imagined this crisis, yet they created an ideal vehicle decades ago to confront it now.
Soon after the pandemic began, we committed $8.3 million of Foundation resources to counter the effects of this disease locally and in Israel. It’s by far the most money we have ever directed to one cause. And inside this issue, you’ll read about our most recent allocation of $3 million.
Just as our founders exemplified visionary leadership, so too does our current Board of Trustees admirably guide us and inspire us as we navigate these difficult circumstances.
However, our extended family of dedicated donors truly make possible all that we’re able to accomplish today—and will achieve in years to come. You’ll read about several of our cherished donors in this issue of Legacy, each of whom is playing a supporting role in addressing the pandemic. They represent our entire family of donors who contributed $5.5 million to COVID-19 relief so far, which we are most grateful for.
May the magnitude of this support bring hope and inspiration to you, your families, and all your loved ones—and the realization that we as a community will ultimately prevail over this disease.