Young Jewish couples under 40 are all different. Some are planning weddings. Some are planning families. Others are planning vacations. But there’s one thing that unites them all: A desire to be around others who share their stage in life and a connection to the Jewish community. So, where will they meet their match(es)? The Jewish Federation’s LA Couples, a popular program that has been reborn.
LA Couples is a year-long program for a select group of committed couples in their 20s and 30s who want to connect with others. It enriches participants’ lives socially, educationally and spiritually, with not-to-be-missed events, hands-on social action projects and opportunities to meet some of L.A.’s top leaders.
Julie Platt, our Federation’s Chair of the Board, has been instrumental in making LA Couples a reality — both during its beginnings in the 1980s and today. In fact, Julie and her husband, Marc, brought the program to Los Angeles from New York, where they had been participants. “There isn’t a Jewish room I walk into where someone doesn’t say, ‘What happened to LA Couples? That’s how I made my friends in L.A.!’” said Julie. “I’m so excited it’s being reignited.”
Our Federation’s General Campaign Chair, Jesse Sharf, is also a fan. “LA Couples introduced Stacy and me — and our kids — to the world of Jewish philanthropy in Los Angeles, and to some of the best people we know — from our age to folks who were older than our parents. We have maintained many of these friendships over the years, and they have enabled us to live a fuller life.”
While it’s significant that couples have formed deep connections to their cohorts in the past, LA Couples is not purely social. Interested pairs should be curious about their Jewish identities, willing to engage in active discussions about Jewish issues and passionate about touching the lives of our global Jewish family. Participation includes a minimum household gift of $1,500 to both The Jewish Federation’s 2016 and 2017 Annual Campaigns, which supports the life-changing work our Federation accomplishes locally, in Israel and abroad. Couples selected into the program will also have an opportunity to connect with some of our work through hands-on community service.
In addition, participants will be connected to a broad network of LA Couples alumni dating back several decades — including Julie Platt, Jesse Sharf, and other local changemakers. “Everyone needs an entry point into the community,” said Jesse, “and LA Couples gives young Jewish couples that, plus the opportunity to be mentored by some of the most effective people in the community while making lasting friendships.”
“So many of our leaders found their roots in LA Couples. It was their launching pad,” reminisced Julie.
While applications are required for this exclusive program, all couples under 40 years old are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants may be dating, engaged or married, Jewish or interfaith, gay or straight. All that matters is their interest in taking a Jewish journey with others who understand where they’re coming from — and where they’re going.
Our Federation looks forward to bringing a vibrant group together for our Spring 2016 session and can’t wait to see where each couple’s Jewish journey takes them. Enrollment is limited and applications are due Monday, March 28th.
Know a couple who might be interested? Have them fill out our application or do so yourself today!
For more information, please contact Alexi Biener at LACouples@JewishLA.org.
LA Couples is a program of The Jewish Federation, with the purpose of assisting a diverse cohort of committed young couples in becoming more involved in the LA Jewish community. The participants will consist of approximately 20 couples in their 20s and 30s that live anywhere in the Greater Los Angeles area. LA Couples will launch in Spring of 2016 and will end in Spring of 2017, with a variety of sessions that will include dynamic speakers, discussions and opportunities to socialize.