The last year has been challenging for so many people in our community and certainly for people in all communities throughout Los Angeles and the country. Our Federation has committed much of our work to supporting and sustaining those in the Jewish community, yet our work to engage with other communities has become more critical and has also continued to grow.
Through our Federation’s Community Engagement Initiative, we work in partnership to support broad community initiatives, we break bread with diverse leaders to build understanding and trust, and we advocate at the local and state levels for policies that benefit the Jewish community and others. Through our membership and leadership in the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC), we have helped prioritize funding for social services and elder care and supported policies working to solve food insecurity and combat hate crimes. In the past few years, through JPAC, our Federation has successfully advocated for funding for nonprofit security grants and for rebuilding our local summer camps devastated by the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
Recently, we have been deeply involved in another significant issue: the California Department of Education’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. Earlier this month, we sent a letter to you signed by 11 other Jewish communal organizations that have all been working for 18 months to ensure that this model curriculum will not discriminate against Jews and will instead fairly represent all Jewish Americans.
To get a close-up view of our work in action, we invite you next Wednesday to join our own Senior Vice President of Community Engagement Alisa Finsten as well as our own CA Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, on a statewide panel of Jewish communal professionals who have been working closely on this issue for a Public Briefing on Ethnic Studies. We are proud to call Assemblymember Gabriel “our own,” as Jesse is both a former Federation Board Member and a graduate of our flagship civic engagement leadership program, the Rautenberg New Leaders Project.
We can all be proud of our work in community engagement to help protect the interests of the Jewish community while also building bonds and uplifting others.
Albert Z. Praw
Chair of the Board
President & CEO