Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Launches Next Stage Grants

LOS ANGELES —The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced the launch of a pilot  program designed to support a dynamic and thriving Los Angeles Jewish community.  Four local Jewish nonprofits received inaugural Next Stage Grant awards and customized coaching services totaling over $1 million.

Recipients include Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), ETTA, Friendship Circle of Los Angeles (FCLA), and Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center (SIJCC). The diverse range of organizations provide: arts and entertainment industry advocacy to counter a cultural boycott of Israel; support to Jewish children and adults with developmental disabilities and special needs; and a hub for creative Jewish life on the east side of Los Angeles.

Next Stage Grants were launched, with generous support from the Newton D. and Rochelle F. Becker Foundation—a family foundation long affiliated with The Foundation—as well as longtime Foundation donors Marilyn and Eugene Stein, to build a thriving and vibrant Jewish Los Angeles. The program—believed to be among the first by any Jewish community foundation in the United States to offer “mezzanine-level” support of this scale to nonprofit initiatives—provides funding and professional coaching to propel recipients to the next stage of growth and sustained success, according to The Foundation.

Next Stage Grants build upon and extend The Foundation’s nationally recognized, decade-plus success funding Los Angeles Jewish social innovation through its Cutting Edge Grants.  Since 2006, The Foundation has awarded more than $17 million to launch over 90 new, innovative programs and organizations with Cutting Edge Grants. These grants have reached thousands of Jews of all ages across Los Angeles, in areas ranging from human services, to the arts, to education and camp experiences.  All four Next Stage Grant recipients previously had been awarded Cutting Edge Grants.

Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland stated: “We are proud of The Foundation’s unique and pivotal role in funding and sustaining social innovation, as well as in nurturing a strong, interconnected Jewish Los Angeles.  Next Stage Grants will provide capacity building support for nonprofits of exceptional potential and demonstrated success to grow to the next level.  The Foundation’s significant growth over the past decade affords us the resources—both financial and human capital alike—to invest in areas of exceptional promise such as Next Stage Grants that will ensure our Jewish community flourishes long into the future.”

The Next Stage Grants are viewed as a long-term investment in strengthening the recipient organizations, according to Schotland. Through capacity building, which includes personalized coaching, these nonprofits will be better equipped to fulfill their respective missions through deeper evaluation of their work, enhanced strategic planning, and improvements in infrastructure, program delivery, leadership development, fundraising and other growth initiatives, The Foundation CEO stated.

Creative Community for Peace (CCFP)

Comprised of prominent members of the entertainment industry who are devoted to promoting arts as a path to peace, CCFP – which was granted $250,000 over two years – has provided support to hundreds of artists to counter pressure from boycott groups in response to scheduled performances in Israel. The organization uses its broad network to educate artists who are touring in Israel and to mobilize a grass roots social media response to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions protests.

Allison Krumholz, CCFP’s director, stated: “It is gratifying to be recognized through this Next Stage Grant for our success—both in Los Angeles and farther afield—in supporting artistic freedom and combatting the cultural boycott of Israel.  This funding will enable us to expand our Los Angeles operations to broaden and strengthen relationships with key influencers in the entertainment community and through outreach to millions of fans worldwide to counter misinformation about Israel at this very critical time.”

ETTA

The recipient of a two-year, $250,000 award, ETTA offers a full spectrum of services for Jewish adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including an expanding residential housing program, case management, employment training and placement, educational services, and other human services. The funding will assist the organization in meeting the needs of a growing special needs population through development of its organizational infrastructure, hiring and training staff, and investment in systems and technology, among other areas, according to ETTA Founder and Executive Director Michael B. Held, Ph.D.

Stated Held: “The Foundation—ETTA relationship is a major contributor to helping ETTA achieve its mission of independence and inclusion for the clients we serve.  We are honored to be selected as a Next Stage Grant recipient and these capacity building funds will provide invaluable support to meet the needs of the increasing number of individuals who are beneficiaries of our programs and services.”

Friendship Circle of Los Angeles (FCLA)

Since its founding in 2002, FCLA has touched the lives of over 300 children with special needs and their families through a comprehensive suite of social, recreational, educational and Judaic experiences. Currently, FCLA manages 20 programs for 120 children and their families which last year engaged about 500 volunteers in areas that include Sunday Hebrew School, holiday and recreational programs, as well as supportive opportunities for parents.  A $250,000 grant over two years will enable infrastructure improvements, enhancements in marketing and communications and fundraising strategies.

Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy, M.A., executive director, stated: “The Foundation’s confidence and support of Friendship Circle of Los Angeles will strengthen and streamline our organization to better assist children with special needs, their families and volunteers who depend on our vital services.  We are grateful and look forward to enhancing internal operations to the benefit of the Jewish community we serve.”

Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center (SIJCC)

SIJCC hosts an early childhood center, a Jewish learning center, and community-led classes and programs, including its popular East Side Jews and Culture Lab. The organization has cemented its goal to become a center for arts and culture, and a creative gathering space for Jewish life on the east side of Los Angeles, as well as to offer programs to the broader community.  A two-year award of $200,000 will enable SIJCC to improve growth and fiscal sustainability as it updates its financial model, increasing its base of contributors and facilities rental-revenue.

Ayana Morse, SIJCC’s executive director, stated: “We’re honored to be among The Foundation’s inaugural Next Stage Grant recipients. This grant will provide funding crucial to strengthening SIJCC’s capacity to support the east side’s rapidly growing Jewish community. It’s encouraging to see The Foundation sustaining organizations and projects beyond the initial stage, thus giving us an opportunity to take more risks, expand and thrive. As a past recipient of a Cutting Edge Grant that launched our arts and cultural programming, this new award represents both the commitment of The Foundation to supporting L.A.’s Jewish innovation sector and the hard work, creativity and dedication that our staff and community members have given to our Center.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of approximately $1.1 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2016, The Foundation and its donors distributed over $81 million in grants to more than 2,000 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 25 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion in grants to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum. www.jewishfoundationla.org