Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Awards $1.65 million in Israel Grants

LOS ANGELES—The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced that it has awarded $1.65 million through its annual Israel Grants program to strengthen the country’s Jewish identity and advance economic development and self-sufficiency, including programs focused on at-risk youth.

Since 2010, The Foundation has distributed grants in Israel totaling close to $9 million to nearly 60 organizations. The Foundation, the largest manager of charitable assets and planned giving solutions for Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists, awards its Israel Grants to organizations that possess a strong track record of creating meaningful change, have achievable outcomes, affect a significant number of people or regions, and offer opportunities for partnerships with other funders.

Marvin I. Schotland, Foundation president and chief executive officer, stated: “Israel Grants represent a cornerstone of our grantmaking. With funding to Israel so central to our mission, we continue our tradition of supporting programs that foster Jewish identity and underpin economic self-sufficiency. This year’s recipients stretch across Israel, demonstrate proven approaches to addressing critical societal issues, and will positively impact the lives of thousands of Israelis. To be able to engage and uplift so many is richly gratifying. We look forward to watching all of these inspirational programs flourish.”

Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg concurred: “The Jewish Community Foundation’s generous support of economic development, Jewish identity, and at-risk youth throughout the country makes an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of Israelis. The Foundation’s grants help strengthen the vital bonds between Southern California and Israel.”

2017 Israel Grant recipients are:

Jewish Identity

Economic Development/Self-Sufficiency

BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change for BINA Youth Core

A three-year, $250,000 grant will be used to reach students of the country’s secular-public high schools by supporting BINA’s mission to strengthen Israel as a democratic, pluralistic, and just society through Jewish study, social action, and community-building.

BINA Executive Director Eran Baruch commented: “We are thrilled that the Jewish Community Foundation is supporting BINA’s Youth Core program. It is an important endorsement of our work in Israel. The program will result in new groups.

Educating for Excellence (E4E) for Pre-Academic Economic and Financial Prep for Underserved High School Students

A three-year grant of $200,000 will further E4E’s work reducing socio-economic gaps for at-risk youth who reside in Israel’s periphery. This funding will engage students in the organization’s academic, multidisciplinary model, strengthening their foundation to pursue higher education and develop job skills, while overcoming existing socio-economic barriers.

Hana Dorsman, E4E’s chief executive officer, stated: “Support from the Jewish Community Foundation will enable us to provide the best education opportunities we can offer to these talented kids, grades 7 through 12. The program cultivates excellence in underserved communities, bringing the most successful firms into Israel’s periphery. It increases their familiarity with academic and workforce settings, strengthens their confidence and builds a sense of belonging, and provides the tools to succeed scholastically and professionally.”

About the other Jewish identity grants:

HaShomer HaChadash for Youth Leadership

Through a grant of $150,000 over three years, the program will enhance participants’ Jewish-Israeli identity, sense of civic responsibility, and connection to the land of Israel. The agrarian organization, founded in 2007, works to ensure a strong Jewish connection to the Negev and the Galilee, promote a sense of mutual responsibility among the Jewish people, and uphold the Zionist ideals on which the State of Israel was founded.

Nitzanim for Accelerating Jewish Pluralism via Municipalities

Nitzanim—which works in partnership with local municipalities and communities to develop a vision and city-wide plan for pluralistic Israeli-Jewish education and culture—received an award of $240,000 over three years to expand its model into five additional localities through training, resources and support.

Tzohar for Professional Development for Community Rabbis

Working to bridge the gap between secular and religious Israeli Jews, Tzohar will use a three-year, $250,000 grant to provide professional development for Orthodox rabbis in diverse geographic regions in Israel through online and in-person courses, conferences, and trainings to facilitate inclusion and accessibility for all.   

About the other economic development and self-sufficiency grants:

Jaffa Institute for Ethiopian Integration Program

A $200,000, three-year grant will be used to provide at-risk Ethiopian-Israeli boys with vocational, educational, and emotional support to help them integrate into Israeli society and to foster their academic and career success. This program is a part of the Jaffa Institute’s work to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing educational, nutritional, therapeutic, and social-enrichment services to impoverished communities.

Machshava Tova for Eco-Tech Program for At-Risk Youth

Through a three-year award of $160,000, Eco-Tech will provide underserved youth with training in software, web design, technology entrepreneurship, and internship opportunities. Since 2003, Machshava Tova has focused on closing the “digital divide” by providing enhanced technological access and training to high-need populations through programs which are delivered via technological centers across Israel and mobile technology units that bring classes to remote areas.

YEDID: The Association for Community Empowerment for FI2020

Through a three-year award of $200,000, YEDID will provide comprehensive financial literacy and employment services through workshops, trainings, and one-on-one support. YEDID, which works to eradicate poverty in Israel, operates centers throughout Israel that provide low-income residents of central and peripheral communities with support obtaining affordable housing, securing public benefits, managing debt or legal issues, and seeking employment.

About The Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of approximately $1.1 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 giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2016, The Foundation and its donors distributed over $81 million in grants to more than 2,000 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 25 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion in grants to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.