Dreaming Bigger: ETTA


The grants we’ve received have allowed us to dream bigger in so many ways.

As medical knowledge and diagnostic tools improve, more people are being diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability. Today, one in 54 people is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. ETTA, one of the premier providers of services for Jewish adults in this growing population, offers a vital source of support made possible in part by The Foundation.

Since 2012, The Foundation has enabled ETTA to build critical infrastructure through grants that have bolstered its capacity to make a positive difference across Southern California. From employment and training placement to residential housing, case management, and education, ETTA’s diverse services help hundreds of clients live independent, enriched, and active lives.

“The Foundation is more than just a funding source,” says Dr. Michael Held, ETTA’s founder and executive director. “It’s an organization that genuinely cares about Jewish people and making sure their needs are met.”

In 2021, ETTA’s dreams took on an even grander scale with a Foundation Reimagine Grant designed to support creative organizational initiatives developed in response to COVID-19. The organization recently launched ETTA TV, a virtual platform for clients to interact, exchange ideas, and build crucial social and life skills. “The grants we’ve received have allowed us to dream bigger in so many ways,” says Dr. Held.

ETTA TV has been a game-changer, says ETTA Director of Volunteer Services & Special Events Leah Schachter. “We have fitness, art, and improv activities, plus Shabbat and gratitude circles,” says Schachter. “The sessions are recorded, and people can rewatch them at any time. Our clients love it!”

For ETTA, the Reimagine Grant has been transformational. “The Foundation is amazing at advancing our desire to explore new territory,” says Schachter, “and in doing so, they are empowering our clients to thrive.”