Posts tagged with "Jewish"

Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

92nd Street Y

92nd Street Y (92Y) is a nonprofit civic and cultural facility that aims to bring people together through the performing and visual arts, education, health, fitness and Jewish life. 92Y has a wide assortment of programs, classes and events open for the community that nurture creativity. Such curricula includes online and in-person live concerts, parenting workshops, master, fitness and art classes.

The mission of 92Y is to house resources that promote the physical, mental and spiritual health of individuals throughout their lives. Founded 147 years ago, all the programming generated at the 92Y center is built on the foundation of Jewish values. While curated to serve Jewish people, 92Y follows the Jewish value of welcoming all differing ages, races, religions and ethnicities of people.

The Knights Ensemble in Residence

As a collective of musicians seeking to renovate the orchestral experience, The Knights are artistically directed by the Jacobsen brothers, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. The Brooklyn-based orchestral cooperative The Knights showcased the first of three concerts during this fall and spring at their residency at 92Y.

The heart of the concert stages two classical works – Schubert’s bright “Unfinished” Symphony and Vaughn Williams’ superb The Lark Ascending, featuring Knights Artistic Director Colin Jacobsen as violin soloist. The programming of The Knights navigates Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1990s and Vienna in the 1820s, highlighting subjects of revitalization and renewal, while echoing Schubert in work of a Creole-influenced composer.

360 Magazine was invited to attend The Knights concert on Saturday December 11. We stood by, bearing the recent loss of love. Our heads were heavy, entering this season, but be that as it may, we gathered the courage. And, what the audience witnessed was nothing short of astonishing – suspensive string clips, haunting flute sounds coupled with intermittent triangular percussion rings penetrated the auditorium.

Eric (conductor) and Colin’s limitless love for one another was the vitality of this whole series. Their playlist literally tickled our souls, watered our desires while our vellum hairs danced with deception. Each section took us on a mental roller coaster – sitting in the forward car, enjoying the initial fall with our hands toward the sky. This meticulously blended set is like good wine and possesses all the sweet and refreshing notes of Napa.

Eric ran into sweat directing while we were all mesmerized at his art of bending the air. Colin dominated the audience with his vulnerability, eerie arrangement and tremendous talent. To sum up, The Knights adopt an unorthodox approach to music, exposing their joie de vivre to whomever is willing to embrace their truth.

Eric Jacobsen

Conductor of The Knights Eric Jacobson has gained the reputation of leading revolutionary projects. Jacobsen has conducted The Knights at New York venues including Carnegie Hall and Central Park, as well as internationally at the Vienna Musikverein, Cologne Philharmonie and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. Serving as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacobsen was recently appointed Music Director of the Virginia Symphony. With much call as a guest conductor, he too just led the Camerata Bern, Detroit Symphony, Alabama Symphony, ProMuscia Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad.

Colin Jacobsen

Known as a violinist and composer, Colin Jacobsen is a captivating figure serving the classical music scene. Jacobsen was named one of the top 100 composures under 40 by NPR listeners. Operating as an active Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning soloist, he has toured with Silkroad since it was established in 2000. For his landmark work in the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and orchestra The Knights, Jacobsen was chosen amongst the nation’s leading visual and performing artists to obtain an esteemed United States Artists Fellowship.

Wed, Jan 19, 2022, 7:30 pm ET

The Knights collaborate with pianist Aaron Diehl for a blend of jazz and classical music. The ensemble welcomes Diehl as they explore Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue and trailblazer Mary Lou WilliamsZodiac Suite. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 is also featured with varieties from Ravel’s Baroque-inspired Le Tombeau de Couperin. Closing out the show is Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, arranged by Michael P. Atkinson.

Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 8 pm ET

Edgar Meyer, critically acclaimed double bass virtuoso and composer, unites with The Knights for the New York premiere of his second concerto. The show unfolds with a showing of Jamaican-born British composer Eleanor Alberga’s Shining Gates of Morpheus featuring Knights hornist David Byrd-Marrow. The closing of the show continues the American spirit of Meyer’s work is Coplands’ Appalachian Spring.

Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Meghan McCain Speaks Against Antisemitism

Top Individuals Positively Influencing Jewish Life include Attorney General of New York Letita James, Comedian Bill Maher, Selma Blair, Noa Tishby

“I cannot stay silent when I see or hear antisemitism,” said actress Debra Messing on receiving the Algemeiner newspaper’s ‘Warrior For Truth’ award. “During Will and Grace it was important to me that Grace’s Jewishness be central to her identity because representation matters. I know that speaking up is a value shared by all of us here.” TV personality Meghan McCain followed Messing in the award ceremony, passionately declaring, “Antisemitism is abhorrent and innately un-American. We are Americans. What do Americans do when we meet up with the fanatical movement bent upon the eradication of Jews? We fight them. We’re going to fight these people too,” said McCain, “there is no place in America for antisemitism.”

The Ambassador of Israel to the U.S. and U.N. Gilad Erdan, philanthropist Nina Rennert Davidson, and Algemeiner Editor in Chief and CEO Dovid Efune, with his wife Mushka Efune were also honored at the Algemeiner newspaper’s 8th annual J100 Gala at the Rockleigh Country Club on October 12, 2021.

Joseph Borgen, the victim of a vicious antisemitic attack earlier this year in Manhattan and who McCain invited onto ABC’s The View, was a guest speaker.   It was an emotional moment at the J100 gala when McCain and Borgen met in person for the first time. “The only publication that continues to act as a voice for me and bring attention to my situation is The Algemeiner,” said Borgen, “They bring light to the issue and hold people accountable for what took place. They make sure that antisemitism is not washed away or forgotten.”

Ambassador Erdan, introduced by Malcolm Hoenlein, reinforced this position, saying, “The biggest threat facing Israel and the Jewish people today is the deadly combination of lies and disinformation. Disinformation may begin as words but violence is only one small step away.” 

Dovid Efune and Chairman Simon Jacobson shared the importance of the evening, “After the events of the past year,” said Efune, “when we witnessed again 1,000 strands of falsehood weaved together into a thick rope of hate, that a line has been firmly drawn under our long-held conviction that lies can kill and that the truth saves lives. It is often the case that stories first reported by The Algemeiner would simply not see the light of day, that the historical record would remain uncorrected, without the diligent skills of our team. The voice of the Algemeiner is indispensable.”

Nina Rennert Davidson implored the live crowd to join her and the other honorees in their fight, “Please speak up at board meetings and parties. Please do not allow your schools to have speakers, teachers and curriculums that attack Israel. If we do not respect our heritage, how can we ask anybody else to?”

TV journalist Dana Arschin served as Master of Ceremonies. The Event Chairs were Neil and Sharon Book, with Bernard-Henri Levy as Honorary Chairman. 

The J100 Gala celebrated the release of the Algemeiner’s highly anticipated J100 List. The Algemeiner newspaper releases an annual list of 100 significant individuals who positively influence Jewish life, called the J100 List. On the importance and relevance of the J100, Efune said, “This year we’ve placed particular emphasis on those standing at the forefront of the battle for truth.” 

The 2021 list includes Attorney General of New York Letita James, comedian Bill Maher, actresses Noa Tishby and Selma Blair, actor Jonathan Lipnicki, celebrity chef Jake Cohen, Morton Williams Supermarket owner Avi Kaner, publising mogul Mathias Doepfner, Papaya Global CEO Eynat Guez, and MLB athlete Jacob Steinmetz. 

Watch all speeches HERE.

Billed as the Jewish answer to the TIME 100, the full list, and a description of why they were chosen, can be found at HERE

ABOUT THE ALGEMEINER

Now celebrating its 49th anniversary, The Algemeiner newspaper has been labeled the “fastest growing Jewish newspaper in the US” by CNBC. It has been described by former Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor as “the voice of the Jewish people and Israel” and hailed as “brave and relentlessly accurate” by longtime New Republic editor Marty Peretz.

Marathon by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

THE BLUE CARD TEAM

RUNNING THE NYC MARATHON–AND OTHER GLOBAL RACES–TO RAISE MILLIONS FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS

For the 50th anniversary of the running of the NYC Marathon, The Blue Card, a national non-profit organization dedicated to aiding over 3,000 needy Holocaust survivors households is thrilled to be partnering with the race for the eleventh consecutive year. The TCS New York City Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world, 26.2 miles, running through the five boroughs of NYC, and hosting runners from more than 100 countries.

“The New York City Marathon showcases the resilience and the fortitude of this great city,” states The Blue Card’s Executive Director, Masha Pearl. “We’re thrilled to have Team Blue Card running among athletes from around the world once again, and the ability to use this great gathering to raise much needed awareness and funds for holocaust survivors.”

The Blue Card has partnered with the NYC Marathon for this initiative since 2009 as ‘Team Blue Card.’ These 50 runners use their training, platform, and the event to raise funds and awareness for The Blue Card, aiding the organization’s mission of helping holocaust survivors in need. Historically, ‘Team Blue Card’ has raised a grand total of $2 Million through their combined efforts over the last 11 years, fundraising through social media, crowdfunding, employer gift matching, sponsorships, as well as through family and friends.

Team Blue Card’s efforts extend beyond the NYC Marathon. The Blue Card has been an Official Charity Partner of the Miami Half/Full Marathon since 2011, the TD 5 Borough Bike Tour in New York City since 2011, and team members have also participated in the  NYC Panasonic Lifetime Triathlon as well as numerous other national and international events including Germany, Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel, and Italy. Our endurance team participants come from around the world, including Argentina, Austria, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and South Africa.

There is still opportunity to run with Team Blue Card—or to support from the sidelines. More details can be found here: https://bluecardfund.org/become-involved/team-blue-card/.

Funds raised go toward providing Holocaust survivors with the following services daily:

  • Education & Outreach Programs:
    • Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed (PCTI) training for dental and medical professionals working with Holocaust survivors
    • The Blue Card-Lissner Hospital Visitation Program – Volunteer visits to hospitalized Holocaust survivors.
    • Nutrition guidance
  • Jewish Holiday – Provides financial support for the High Holidays, Hannukah, and for Passover, giving survivors the financial means for a better holiday season.
  • Mazel Tov Birthday – Provides survivors with a card and a check on their birthday. This is particularly meaningful for holocaust survivors who lost their entire family during the war.
  • FreeStyle Libre Glucose Monitoring: The Freestyle Libre 2 system continuously measures glucose data with customizable, optional real time alarms The unit gives people with diabetes excellent accuracy and actionable information to better manage their condition.
  • Grant assistance for emergency needs, including:
    • Housing and related costs to prevent eviction, homelessness, or utility shut-off
    • Emergency relocation
    • Food purchase
    • Medical and dental care, including medical equipment not covered by insurance
    • Emergency relocation
    • Essential clothing and footwear
    • Purchase and repair or essential major and minor appliance
  • Aid to survivors battling cancer through the Siggi B. Wilzig Fighting Cancer Together program
  • Emergency Prevention Programs, including
    • Monthly stipend for poverty-stricken survivors
    • Telephone emergency response system

The Blue Card, established in 1934 in Germany and organized in the U.S. in 1939, is the only organization whose sole mission is to provide critical financial aid for emergency medical, dental, housing and food needs to survivors of Nazi persecution. While the Holocaust seems like a long ago nightmare, for survivors it is a continuing one. Of the 75,000 Holocaust survivors in the U.S., one-third live at or below the federal poverty level. For many, the losses they experienced decades ago are compounded by their current struggles to subsist on meager incomes and threadbare or nonexistent support systems.  Studies show that Holocaust survivors have higher incidences of mental illness, cancer, and other debilitating diseases.

You can donate to The Blue Card Fund here: https://bluecardfund.org/become-involved/donate/

About The Blue Card

Established in Germany in 1934 as a grassroots effort and re-established in the United States in 1939 to aid refugees resettling in America, The Blue Card continues today to provide direct financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors who live at or near the poverty line. As this population ages, with many now living into their 80s and 90s, their needs have drastically increased and changed, giving rise to the need for funding of essential needs. Funds raised are used to finance many diverse programs including stipendiary, medical/dental, cancer, vitamin/nutrition and holiday as well as other initiatives for this frail and often neglected population.

The Blue Card has distributed over $46 million to date, with 100 percent of individual donations going directly to survivors. For more information on The Blue Card, please visit www.bluecardfund.org.

illustration by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Announces Naomi Strongin as Vice President

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced the promotion of Naomi Strongin to vice president of its Center for Designed Philanthropy (the Center).  A 12-year veteran of The Foundation, Strongin had most recently served as the Center’s acting director.

In her new position, Strongin will oversee a portfolio of responsibilities that include developing and implementing Jewish and general community grant programs, providing capacity-building support to nonprofit organizations, advising and educating Foundation donors on effective charitable giving strategies, and managing grantmaking for major Foundation fund holders. She will lead a Center team which advances strategic, high-impact philanthropy that improves lives and strengthens society in the Los Angeles Jewish community, community-at-large, and in Israel.

Established more than a decade ago by The Foundation–the largest manager of charitable assets for local Jewish philanthropists–the Center helps donors create more meaningful and effective giving strategies to enhance the impact of their philanthropy.  

Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland stated: “We are pleased to welcome Naomi as a member of our senior management team. During her tenure at The Foundation, she has distinguished herself in positions of increasing responsibility on both grantmaking and donor-advisory sides of the Center. Naomi is an outstanding leader and manager and this promotion is well-deserved recognition of her exceptional contributions over the past decade-plus. Additionally, her thoughtful approach to strategic philanthropy will help our family of donors better achieve their charitable goals and make meaningful investments in the community.”

Strongin joined The Foundation in 2009 with a background in direct social services and fundraising. As a program officer, senior program officer, and associate director of the Center, Strongin has directly managed The Foundation’s institutional grants programs, including its Cutting Edge, General Community, Israel, and Capital initiatives. She also was integrally involved in leading The Foundation’s response to the pandemic as well as its Racial Equity grantmaking in 2020-2021, spearheading its COVID-19 Response Grants and Reimagine Grants programs that provided nearly $12 million in support to approximately 100 nonprofits for pressing and long-term needs. She possesses extensive experience and expertise that includes developing charitable mission and vision statements, providing philanthropic guidance to multigenerational families, and giving interest-area issues such as early childhood development, economic development in Israel, and the Jewish nonprofit landscape in Los Angeles, among others. Strongin earned her master’s degree in social work with a concentration in community organizing, planning and administration from the University of Southern California, and her bachelor of arts in human development from U.C. San Diego. She is a certified 21/64 philanthropic advisor.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1.4 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 their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2020, The Foundation and its donors distributed $116 million to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 12 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.

illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

Surfside Collapse Updates

As rescue efforts continue and further investigation is made into the Surfside building collapse, the death toll rises to 32 and 113 remain unaccounted for. 

The remaining structure for the Champlain Towers South building was demolished on Sunday night. Living residents were not permitted to enter the premises to retrieve their property in advance, as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis remarked, “Obviously it wasn’t worth the risk, we cannot lose any more people.” The sister building, Champlain Towers North, was also evacuated out of an abundance of caution, as well as other nearby complexes with safety concerns like Crestview Towers.

Hurricane Elsa threatened further damage and destruction, which was ameliorated by the demolition. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said, “The looming threat of that building – the dangerous situation where debris could fall down – is now eliminated.” Rescue efforts can now continue in full force, while search and rescue teams strive to retrieve all survivors and remains from the site. However, now 11 days after the initial collapse, anguished families are losing hope that they will ever be reunited with their loved ones.

Victims range from ages 4 to 92. Amongst the victims are at least four children, including the 7-year old daughter of a Miami firefighter, Stella Cattarossi. 113 residents still remain unaccounted for, with at least 70 of those missing confirmed to be in the building at the time of the collapse.

Investigation into the cause of the collapse reveals a complicated history of building safety failures and major structural damage, which also reflects onto the larger, flawed system of building safety recertification. 

Regulation dictates that nearly every building in the Miami Dade County area must be examined and recertified after 40 years and every 10 years thereafter the first recertification. The Champlain Towers board had begun this process in 2018 when they brought in engineer Frank Morabito to review the tower. Morabito reported that failed waterproofing caused major structural damage, adding that “failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially.”

Morabito detailed the major design flaws in original construction, specifically focusing on the waterproofing below the pool deck and around the garage – two of the primary locations of damage in the initial collapse. “Abundant cracking and spalling of varying degrees was observed in the concrete columns, beams, and walls,” he wrote, attaching images of “new cracks radiating from the originally repaired cracks,” as a result of failed attempts to patch the concrete quickly.  He warned the board that repairs would be extremely expensive and cause “a major disturbance to residents.” 

Morabito’s report also identified additional problem areas and complaints from residents. The New York Times reported that “residents were complaining of water coming through their windows and balcony doors, and the concrete on many balconies also was deteriorating.”

The board forwarded this report to city officials, but Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County said officials there knew nothing of this report, thus confirming suspicions that building regulation enforcement is too lax or enforced unevenly across the board. In response, Mayor Cava announced a 30-day audit of all buildings over 40 years old.

Resident Jay Miller recalled that almost everyone in the building knew of the 2018 report, but the concern wasn’t so much the structural damage as the cost of repairs. The exorbitant price of the repairs, estimated around $9 million in 2019, caused infighting and tension amongst the Champlain Towers board members, and ultimately led the majority of the board to resign by fall of 2019. 

Efforts to comply with recertification and address building damage continued in 2020 when residents were informed about upcoming repairs. They were told about design flaws in water drainage and structural damage, but not given an accurate understanding of the extensiveness of the damage or warned that collapse was a potential risk. Different language has been used over the years by a variety of people to describe the damage, possibly contributing to different understandings of the severity of deterioration or urgency of repairs. 

Morabito’s services were employed again when Morabito Consultants was brought on board in June 2020 to plan and prepare for extensive repairs, but the coronavirus pandemic slowed progress in rectifying building damage. Water issues in the roof were also found at this time, though it is unknown how or if the roof’s condition contributed to the collapse.

A report by researchers at Florida International University detailing where land in Miami was sinking only served to complicate matters more as it indicated that the land on which the Champlain Towers were built is a hot spot for sinkage. Researcher Shimon Wdowinski estimates the building has sunk into the ground at least 2 inches and has been sinking for over two decades. 

A letter by board president Jean Wodnicki from April 9, 2021 revealed that the board did not have enough money to pay the now $15.5 million tab of repairs. However, they are likely now facing even more costs in lawsuits to come.

Morabito Consultants has since released a statement clarifying their involvement with the history of building damages at Champlain Towers: “Our firm exclusively provides engineering consulting services. We do not provide construction-related services, such as building repair and restoration contracting. We are deeply troubled by this building collapse and are working closely with the investigating authorities to understand why the structure failed. As we do so, we also continue to pray for all those impacted by this tragic event.”

Search and rescue efforts will continue as we learn more about the circumstances behind the collapse. City of Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll says, “We continue to remain focused on our primary mission, and that is to leave no stone unturned and to find as many people as we can and to help bring either some answers to family and loved ones or to bring some closure to them.”

Written by Sydney Mayer

Karen Underhill and Bruno Schulz Self-Portrait given by The Polish Cultural Institute of NY for use by 360 MAGAZINE.

Bruno Schulz’s Lasting Impact

Bruno Schulz (1892-1942) created a rich symbolic world in his small body of literary work and in his graphic art that left a huge legacy in Polish literature and in Jewish literature outside Poland. His stories contained mainly in two collections, Cinnamon Shops (1934) and The Hourglass Sanatorium (1938), along with a few other stories published separately, critical works, and letters, are a testament to the fecund cultural environment of the East European region of Galicia between the wars. Schulz is a secular Jewish writer whose stories, which we know from the recent discovery of an early work entitled, Undula (1922) seem to come out of the themes in his artwork, but were forged into their mature form as letters to the Yiddish modernist poet Debora Vogel. He wrote them in Polish, was celebrated in Polish avantgarde circles, and the most extensive body of Schulz scholarship is in Polish. His work reflects the influence of German writer Thomas Mann, as well as Franz Kafka and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (author of Venus in Furs), who were German-language writers of non-German cities of the Austro-Hungarian empire like Schulz Prague and Lemberg (Lviv) respectively. Postwar Jewish writers in a variety of languages such as Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Danilo Ki¡, David Grossman, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Nicole Krauss, have created characters on the model of Schulz’s biography. In the confluence of cultures brought about by modernization and aggressive industrial forces in the Drohobycz-BorysŽaw oil producing region, Schulz’s idea of the writer sifting through the trash tandeta to find and reassemble mutilated fragments of cast-off mythologies or systems of meaning would become a model for generations of writers following the upheaval of the Second World War, post-Communism, and even post-Colonialism.

In this episode of “Encounters with Polish Literature,” we are focusing on Karen Underhill’s research into Schulz in the Jewish modernist context of his own day, rather than his post-Holocaust legacy among the international community of Jewish writers, or strictly in the Polish-language modernist context of writers like StanisŽaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (“Witkacy”) and Witold Gombrowicz or Polish writers influenced by or responding to Schulz in their work like Tadeusz Kantor, Agata Tuszyska, Stefan Chwin, and Olga Tokarczuk.

Finally, Prof. Underhill says a few words about the extensive interdisciplinary offerings in Polish studies at The University of Illinos Chicago.

Learn more about this episode, and see the biography of the guest on the Polish Cultural Institute New York’s website. The linked page includes a bibliography of works in English by and about Schulz: Episode 5.

Bartek Remisko, Executive Producer

David A. Goldfarb, Host & Producer

Natalia Iyudin, Producer

Upcoming Episodes

  • Episode 6 (July 1, 2021): Tadeusz Racewicz with Joanna Trzeciak (Kent State University).
  • Episode 7 (August 1, 2021): Zofia NaŽkowska with Ursula Phillips (translator)
  • Episode 8 (September 1, 2021): StanisŽaw Lem with Bozena Shallcross (University of Chicago)

This project is a part of the anniversary celebration of the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

Los Angeles Jewish Home Brandman Centers for Senior Care PACE Program for 360 Magazine

JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LA COVID GRANTS

JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES AWARDS $1.3 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR LOCAL COVID-19 RELIEF

Newest Distributions Address Urgent Physical and Mental Healthcare Needs, Part of Institution’s Comprehensive $8 Million-Plus Pandemic Giving Effort

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced that it has awarded $1.3 million in grants to five local organizations principally to address urgent physical and mental healthcare needs in the community resulting from COVID-19. The grants also include support to sustain small-business owners financially impacted by the pandemic.

These latest distributions are part of the previously announced COVID-19 Response Grants, the multi-stage initiative through which The Foundation has committed more than $8 million in giving, the largest amount ever earmarked by the institution to a single cause.

The five new recipients are Jewish Family Service LA (JFS), Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA), Los Angeles Jewish Home (LAJH), Martin Luther King Community Hospital (MLKCH) and Venice Family Clinic (VFC).  The total number of awards including these latest grants is 46. Prior COVID-19 relief grants were directed to address immediate, vital needs across the local community and in Israel, as well as to sustain local, mission-critical Jewish nonprofits which have been impacted by the pandemic.

Through its ongoing outreach with local nonprofits and other funders, The Foundation identified unmet needs, including many more people requiring hospitalization due to COVID-19, according to President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland.  He said the ongoing pandemic also has resulted in greater isolation of many seniors who lack the technology or knowledge to access essential care. It also continues to have a devastating financial impact on small business owners from the protracted crisis, Schotland said.

Schotland stated: “This a global health crisis of a magnitude never experienced in our lifetimes. Vast needs continue to emerge that require support. Because The Foundation is in regular contact with nonprofits, we are able to respond quickly as critical needs are identified, including funding for urgent physical and mental healthcare disparities and businesses that are struggling. With these significant grants to five organizations, our dollars will favorably impact thousands of individuals in need in the Jewish and larger community.”

The five grants are being directed to:

  • Jewish Family Service LA(JFS) for Video Services for Older Adults: The grant will expand a successful pilot program with frail older adults connecting them to vital services and a support lifeline through technology. Funding will support staffing and provide Chromebooks and internet so elderly clients can access services.
  • Jewish Free Loan Association(JFLA) for the Small Business Loan Fund: Due to the pandemic, JFLA has been receiving a significantly higher number of applications for interest-free loans, which average $20,000, for struggling businesses and for launching new enterprises. This grant will help grow the loan fund and allow JFLA to continue making loans without reducing the amounts or turning applicants away.
  • Los Angeles Jewish Home(LAJH) for
    • The Brandman Centers for Senior Care—Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE): PACE provides a complete range of health, social and nutritional services for nursing home-eligible seniors who wish to live safely in their own homes or with family members. Over 250 frail elderly seniors are enrolled in PACE. This grant will enable staff to take resources to these seniors who, due to COVID, are unable to come into the facility for services.
    • The Factor Building Skilled Nursing Facility: This grant will help support staffing needs in the Factor Building, which now houses all residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. The facility requires a separate staff to provide the usual high-quality, long-term medical and rehabilitative therapies to these residents, as well as treating them for COVID.
  • Martin Luther King Community Hospital(MLKCH) for:
    • Space Conversion: Hitting the Black and Latino communities served by MLKCH hardest, the hospital is addressing new critical needs to ensure its COVID patients – whose positivity rate runs double L.A. County’s average – receive proper care. With capacity stretched, MLKCH converted an entire floor into an intensive care unit to meet the unanticipated level of critical care needed for COVID patients. As well, it is using every other space possible to house patients.
    • Post-Discharge COVID ICU Clinic: The facility supports patients who continue to experience symptoms or require additional care. Given the increased level of critical care needed, the post-COVID clinic has also seen a surge. MLKCH converted an existing space into a clinic where patients receive comprehensive services including pulmonary appointments, respiratory therapy services, mental health services, and continuing support from their ICU medical team.
  • Venice Family Clinic(VFC) for:
    • Telehealth/Information Technology Infrastructure: To keep older adults engaged and prevent social isolation, the grant will strengthen information-technology infrastructure to provide high-quality virtual services. VFC will purchase an integrated telehealth video tool enabling patients to complete pre-visit paperwork, have fully encrypted visits, and receive post-visit details via video.
    • COVID Care Outreach Initiative: The program will help create a strong social support system for an estimated 2,000 elderly patients and 5,000 seniors in VFC’s extensive network of volunteers, as well as retired staff members and community partners. Staff and volunteers are mobilizing to identify older adults at high risk of social isolation, conduct wellness calls and video chats, arrange for grocery deliveries, and host virtual small group activities.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1.4 billion (unaudited; Dec. 31, 2020) 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 their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2020, The Foundation and its donors distributed $127 million to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 12 years, it has distributed more than $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum. To learn more, visit their website.

“Access to quality health care is one of the ultimate acts of social justice. Through its generous support, the Jewish Community Foundation has lifted our community in the full continuum of caring and healing.  The Foundation’s supportive partnership of our work throughout the pandemic has enabled MLKCH to expand our care to accommodate all the critically ill COVID patients who need us in South Los Angeles — and we’ve supported our innovative post-discharge COVID clinic, making sure our patients continue to see the nurses and doctors who cared for them as they continue their recovery at home.”

— Dyan Sublett, president, Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Foundation

“Through the decades, we have always been thankful for the outstanding support from the Jewish Community Foundation. Never has The Foundation’s generosity been more valued than during the current unprecedented pandemic. On behalf of our residents, and the dedicated staff who care for them, I would like to express deep appreciation for this generous grant. This award ensures we will be able to continue providing the highest quality of medical care – including essential safety materials – to meet the challenges of COVID-19, while also purchasing communications devices such as iPads for the residents, to help maintain a sense of normalcy during these extraordinary times.”

— Dale Surowitz, CEO and president, Los Angeles Jewish Home

 

filmfest illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 Magazine

Acting Success Through the Pandemic

Yuval David hasn’t let COVID-19 holt his career at all. The actor, producer and filmmaker, whose mission is to entertain, uplift and inspire has remained very busy and successful during the pandemic, and he wants to share his secrets for success with fellow actors.

Yuval currently has a number of projects in the works. He’s completed a highly anticipated documentary film, filmed and completed an episode of his award-winning man-on-the-street series, “One Actor Short,” and now he is virtually acting in a horror film. In addition, in his ‘free time’ he’s been the keynote speaker for very worthy advocacy causes supporting the LGBTQ and Jewish communities.

As an actor, Yuval has played major roles in studio and independent films, television, theatre, web, digital media, and voice overs. These include, “What Would You Do” (ABC), “Madam Secretary” (CBS), “The Michael J Fox Show” (NBC), “Beauty and the Beast” (Disney), in addition to productions with HBO, Comedy Central, DreamWorks, AFI, and theatres across the globe.

Even despite his personal COVID-19 illness last spring, Yuval continued to keep his career moving ahead by staying true to his creative process.

Here are Yuval’s tips for how to maintain success during the pandemic:

  1. Be tenacious. Don’t wait for your agents and managers to get work for you. While they are there to support your career with more work, you must be ambitious and seek opportunities for yourself every day.
  2. Respect, and be respected. Never let anyone disrespect you as an actor. The best directors, producers, and casting directors treat actors with respectfully. Don’t sacrifice your personal standards here, ever.
  3. Practice ‘identity politics’. You, as a person, are your own brand. Represent your identity authentically by creating and owning your own narrative and seeking out roles that complement who you are personally, as well as your acting skills. Pro Tip: Ask yourself questions such as “what triggers and activates you,” in order to develop your narrative.
  4. Take Yourself Seriously. Treat your creative career as a business and invest wisely along the way.
  5. Define your process. That is your brand at the end of the day.

Yuval’s exceptional work as a filmmaker has been screened at more than 60 film festivals and taken home nearly 50 awards from international film festivals, including The Big Apple Film Festival, New York International Film Festival, NewFilmmakers Film Festival, NYC Independent Film Festival, Hollywood Just4Shorts Film Festival, Top Shorts Film Festival, Vegas CineFest International Film Festival, IndieFest, Accolade Global, American Picture, Atlanta Film Festival, and Global Webisode Festival, just to name a few.

Film festival illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Planet Classroom Reflects on The Holocaust

In the new Planet Classroom podcast, young filmmakers reflect on the Holocaust and lessons to be learned about anti-semitism, racism and dehumanizing people of different races, religions and sexual identities.

The Holocaust survivors somehow got through one of the darkest periods in human history. Six million Jewish people were killed. GenZ are the last generation with the privilege to meet survivors. Young filmmakers Eva Suissa, Hank Schoen and Ian Kim joined Planet Classroom’s virtual host, Orb, to speak about lessons learned while making their film, “Hold the Sun in Your Hands: The Erika Jacoby Story”. The film, which won the Best Student Documentary at The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival, is now screening on the Planet Classroom Network YouTube Channel.

Filmmaker Eva Suissa struggles with how anyone could have let the Holocaust actually happen, and believes that only art has “the unique capability” to express this “traumatic and horrible” chapter in human history. Her Co-Director, Hank Schoen, says the rise of white supremacists and politicians who support them scares him because people “still haven’t learned the lessons about anti-semitism and racism, about scapegoating and dehumanizing people of different races, religions or sexual identities.” Schoen believes however that their film offers “hope” and “a belief in people’s ability to change and redeem themselves.”

About The Planet Classroom Network

The Planet Classroom Network, organized by CMRubinWorld, brings together musicians, dancers, video game creators, filmmakers, learning innovators and emerging technologists from all over the world to entertain, educate and engage youth, and to provide a rich cultural experience at a time when art and learning institutions everywhere are not accessible. Curators and content contributors include Global Nomads, Global Oneness, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Commffest, KIDS FIRST!, Dream a Dream Foundation, OddWorld Inhabitants, Psyon Games, Challenge 59, LXL Ideas, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Creative Visions Foundation, Battery Dance, SIMA Classroom, Young Voices for the Planet, Bard Conservatory, Taking It Global, Materials for the Arts, Book Creator, XTalks, NFFTY, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace, Ryan Wong Classroom, The Global Search for Education, Voice America, Rocketium and Brandartica. Young people from around the world played a significant role in conceptualizing, creating, and producing the network’s vision and programming.

Visit the Planet Classroom Network YouTube channel

First Jewish American Heritage National Park Made Law

Yesterday marks a significant win in the decades-long effort to recognize and celebrate the philanthropic legacy of Julius Rosenwald and his impact on American democratic equality.  With the president’s signing of the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools Act of 2020, a process begins that would lead to the establishment of the first National Park Service site to honor a Jewish American and celebrate the contribution of a Jewish American to our society, while preserving a selection of iconic Rosenwald Schools.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation first highlighted the threatened natureof the Rosenwald legacy by placing Rosenwald Schools on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places List in 2002. The National Trust supported the preservation of Rosenwald Schools for many years, providing workshops, conferences, and technical assistance – including a publication: the Grassroots Guide to Preserving Rosenwald Schools.

The heightened awareness created by the endangered list designation and Rosenwald Schools initiative  ultimately led to a partnership between the National Trust, the Campaign to Create the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park, and the National Parks Conservation Association, which together collaborated to achieve the successful enactment of the Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Schools Act of 2020 (H.R.3250).  Within this effort the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund established a grant fund that has provided over $2.5 million in matching grants to advance Rosenwald School preservation, including planning, engineering studies, architectural plans, archaeology, research, and rehabilitation.

“Rosenwald Schools unearth a fascinating and true history of African American activism, achievement, and resilience in the United States,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.  “Their permanent preservation and interpretation broadens our understanding of the civil rights fight for equality in twentieth century America and the enduring power of interracial cooperation.”

BACKGROUND
Born in 1862 in Springfield, Illinois not far from the residence of then President Abraham Lincoln, Julius Rosenwald made his fortune as co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company. His own parents, however, had fled persecution in Germany in the late 1900s, and he began to channel his experience of hatred and bigotry into the creation of the Rosenwald School Fund, which had a lasting impact on education in America.  A prominent philanthropist, Rosenwald joined the board of esteemed black educator Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute in 1912.  Together, these two champions of social justice, one a former slave and the other a first-generation American refugee from persecution, used architecture and innovation to address the crisis in education facing Black families across the South.

Between 1917 and 1932, the Rosenwald School Fund, working in partnership with local Black communities, helped to finance the construction of more than 5300 state-of-the-art school buildings for community and academic use.  The schools served as a lifeline for students and educators whose progress was held back by the separate and unequal school system that ruled the Jim Crow South.  By 1928, one-third of the South’s rural African American school children and teachers were educated in Rosenwald Schools.  Notable former students include poet and activist Maya Angelou and the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), among many notable others.

“History shows us,” Leggs continued, “that countless ordinary citizens were the vanguards of collective action and human innovation.  These stories and landmarks serve as a testament to our progress, and they remind us that our work is not complete.”

Passage of the bill was a multi-year effort, but yesterday it was signed into law.  The legislation,  sponsored by Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), directs the Department of the Interior to conduct a special resources study of sites associated with the life and legacy of Julius Rosenwald, with a special focus on Rosenwald Schools and determine how they might be designated as a new unit within the National Park System.  Once established, the Rosenwald park unit would become the first of over 420 National Park Service sites to honor the life and contributions of a Jewish American.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.  http://savingplaces.org | @savingplaces

About the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and other partners, working to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American achievement and activism. Visit http://www.savingplaces.org/actionfund