Last week, The Jewish Federation’s Community Engagement Strategic Initiative hosted two special events in celebration of Sukkot. One sharing our traditions with L.A. civic leaders, and the other highlighting food justice issues.
From left to right: Jesse Gabriel, Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra, Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi, Consul General David Siegel, Speaker of the California Assembly John A. Perez, Assembly Member Richard Bloom, Catherine Schneider, Assembly Member Chris Holden
On Monday, Sept. 23rd , Israel Consul General David Siegel joined Federation President & CEO Jay Sanderson, Chief Program Officer Andrew Cushnir, Sr. VP of Community Engagement Catherine Schneider and lay leadership to welcome members of the California State Assembly to our Sukkah to learn about the meaning of the holiday and how it relates to the work our Federation is doing both L.A. and in Israel.
On Tuesday, Sept. 24th, our Federation’s Hunger Initiative brought together a diverse panel to discuss innovative strategies to address hunger locally and globally. The event was co-sponsored by American Jewish World Service, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and Netiya. Moderator Abby Leibman, President & CEO of MAZON was joined by panelists Paula Daniels, Chair of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council and Advisor to former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa; Robert Egger, Founder of the new L.A. Kitchen; Rabbi Noah Farkas, Founder of Netiya; and Jonathan Zasloff, Professor at UCLA School of Law and dedicated AJWS volunteer advocate. Representatives of many community organizations were in the audience which helped to make the discussion even more in depth and informative for all of us. When we come together as a community we are at our very best and promote the best of Jewish values.
Food from both events that had not been served was properly packed and delivered to Global Kindness, a pantry that serves L.A.’s Orthodox community. The herbs that decorated the tables were planted in Brindell’s Garden in the Federation’s west parking lot, where we grow food that is also donated to Global Kindness. Netiya and the Hunger Initiative are funded in part by a generous Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation. Additionally, we once again put our commitment to alleviating hunger into action during the High Holy Days through our annual Jewish Family Service/SOVA food drive.
Through our Community Engagement Strategic Initiative, we connect our community with unique opportunities to learn more about the city we live in, the issues that help shape it, and ways in which we can make a difference. For more information about our civic engagement work please contact Dan Loeterman at DLoeterman@JewishLA.org or (323) 761-8163. To learn more about the Hunger Initiative, please contact Flori Schutzer at FSchutzer@JewishLA.org or (323) 761-8132.