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Happy Birthday YALA!

It’s been one year since we launched YALA (Young Adults of Los Angeles), the Jewish Federation’s young adult group. 365 days. Or, as I like to think of it, 80 programs, 11 Clusters, one trip to Las Vegas, one new website (www.yala.org), six community service days, and one unforgettable journey to Israel. 

To say that YALA’s first year, filled with a range of opportunities for young Jewish adults to find meaningful engagement in our community, has been busy would be an understatement. So instead of recounting every single accomplishment, program, event or initiative that YALA members participated in during our inaugural year, I’d like to instead share with you some of my highlights, by the numbers:

  • 1,200: Young adults that have attended a YALA event this past year
  • 16: YALA members (and one very happy staff member!) that danced under the stars, floated in the Dead Sea, celebrated Shabbat, and created lifelong memories as participants on JFNA’s National Young Leadership Summer Trip to Israel 
  • 230: YALA members that began their philanthropic journey by making a gift and becoming Federation donors this past year
  • 415: Young adults that attended YALA’s Summer Soiree – our biggest event of the year!
  • 200: YALA members who volunteered their time and participated in at least one Federation community service day this year. 
  • 11: New clusters launched. The list of these volunteer-led groups, which get together throughout the year based on shared interests, now includes everything from wine tasting to Shabbat dinners, from young entrepreneurs to dog-lovers. 
  • 80: Business & professional, social, educational, volunteer, and interest-based programs YALA offered in 2012
  • 2: Breakfasts following the September launch of our new Entertainment Networking Breakfast & Speaker Series
  • 84: Young Angelenos (and a few happy staff members!) that gathered in Las Vegas for JFNA’s TribeFest – two days of inspiration, education, and entertainment …surrounded by 1,500 of our closest Jewish friends from around the country

18 months ago, YALA was little more than an idea; today, it has become a strong and vibrant community of young adults who truly believe in devoting their time, energy, and resources to making a difference in Los Angeles, in Israel, and around the world. YALA’s first year has been a whirlwind of activity, and I know 2013 will be just as exciting! 

If you’re interested in learning about getting involved with YALA, please e-mail us at yala@jewishla.org, or visit us at www.yala.org

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