Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 – 4:27 PM
By John L. Seitz
The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (www.jewishfoundationla.org) announced the awarding of $2 million in Cutting Edge Grants to eight new initiatives focusing on creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovative organizations to develop and implement transformative programs of high visibility and impact in the local Jewish community.
President/CEO Marvin I. Schotland said: “Our grant recipients represent an inspiring group of social innovators whose vision and creative problem-solving skills are addressing critical needs in Jewish Los Angeles. Since the inception of the Cutting Edge Grants 12 years ago, we have awarded more than $17 million to some 90 transformative initiatives which are reimagining and shaping our local Jewish future, and touched the lives of tens of thousands across our communities.”
Recipients of 2017 Cutting Edge Grants include:
• Families of Lone Soldiers for the Los Angeles Center: $250,000 over three years to create a center to provide emotional, social, mental health, educational and financial support to hundreds of L.A. families who have children serving in the Israeli army;
• Jewish Federation of Greater L.A. for the Family Camp Pilot: $250,000 over three years to connect Jewish camps with early childhood centers and create meaningful camping experiences for families;
• Jewish Federation of Greater L.A. for the Y & S Nazarian Foundation Iranian Young Adult Outreach and Engagement Initiative: $250,000 over a four-year period to engage young Iranian Jews with the larger young adult Jewish community through a coordinated effort of social, professional and volunteer programs, launched with major funding from the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation;
• Karsh Family Social Service Center, Inc. (auxiliary of Wilshire Boulevard Temple) for the Volunteer Engagement Project: $250,000 grant over three years to formalize its existing volunteer engagement program to help serve low-income clients in the surrounding community who visit the center located at the Temple for food, legal and medical services;
• OneTable for the Los Angeles Launch: $250,000 over three years to create a Shabbat dinner movement to engage hundreds of young, local Jews through an online platform fostering a community of young adults more connected to one another and to their Jewish heritage;
• StandWithUs for the J.D. Fellowship: $250,000 over three years to launch a fellowship that includes educational workshops, a mission to Israel, culminating projects and semi-annual dinners for Jewish law students to become part of this national network of pro bono attorneys called upon to fight against anti-Semitism;
• UpStart for Upstart LA: $250,000 over three years to help Jewish organizations and leaders succeed in creating innovative, sustainable and impactful entities which serve the needs of the Jewish community;
• Wise Readers to Leaders (formerly Wise Freedom School Partners) for the Tikkun Olam Corps Program: $250,000 over four years to scale up a pilot program to engage hundreds of Jewish teens in year-round meaningful service learning opportunities with thousands of underprivileged youth.
Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of L.A. 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.