Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Redirects 2020 Institutional Grants, $8.5 Million in Total, To Covid-19 Response

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) today announced that it is redirecting the entirety of its 2020 institutional grantmaking into a two-phase plan focused on COVID-19 relief totaling $8.5 million.

Formally titled the COVID-19 Response Grants, the program’s first phase concentrates on providing immediate relief to Los Angeles nonprofits in both the Jewish and general communities offering direct services to those impacted by the pandemic. The second phase will support Jewish nonprofits locally, as well as in Israel, facing economic hardship due to the pandemic to ensure their long-term sustainability.

Phase One funding awarded to date totals $2.5 million distributed to 22 nonprofit organizations. This includes $1.5 million distributed to causes and initiatives that focus on providing direct relief for financial, housing, and food insecurity, as well as access to adequate healthcare.

These Phase One monies also consist of a grant of $1 million to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles for its COVID-19 relief efforts directed toward nonprofit organizations supporting the most vulnerable segments of the Jewish community locally and in Israel. The program complements efforts being undertaken by The Foundation and will encompass four critical human and social services areas. These include funding for wellness and resiliency; access to food through synagogues; financial aid and scholarships for early-childhood and day-school education to families impacted by COVID-19; and a loan-guarantee program.

Read an appendix listing Phase One recipients.

Phase Two grants, currently estimated at approximately $6 million, will be awarded to Jewish nonprofits locally and in Israel to mitigate economic hardship resulting from COVID-19 and to ensure their viability. The funding is expected to support recipients’ ongoing programmatic activities and organizational infrastructure to help ensure their future sustainability.

In sum, The Foundation’s institutional grantmaking in support of COVID-19 relief and recovery is presently expected to total approximately $8.5 million. This includes funding from the Mickey and Irene Ross Endowment at The Foundation, as well as support from the Erwin Rautenberg Foundation, a private family foundation. To develop its plan, The Foundation consulted with more than 100 nonprofits locally and in Israel, as well as fellow funders throughout the community, to gain a better understanding of the most pressing and evolving needs facing the community.

Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland stated: “The devastating effects of COVID-19 and the financial crisis required us to re-imagine our institutional grantmaking to meet these unprecedented challenges. Our funding strategies, devoted entirely to COVID-19 relief, are meant to address both immediate and developing needs resulting from the crisis, as well as provide us the flexibility to adapt as the situation changes.”

Schotland continued: “The Foundation’s resources and keen understanding of the Los Angeles and Israel nonprofit landscapes – and breadth of relationships in the charitable world – uniquely position us to address pressing needs and serve a vital role. Beyond our institution, the outpouring of generosity by so many funders banding together in this global crisis is inspirational. Those with the capacity to give are stepping up, including The Foundation and its family of donors.”

Schotland further noted that, in addition to the re-direction of this year’s institutional giving to COVID-19 response and recovery, The Foundation relaxed requirements of previously awarded multi-year institutional grants to numerous nonprofits – specifically its Cutting Edge, Next Stage, Israel and General Community Grants. These revised policies include modifying grant-reporting requirements, accelerating distributions, repurposing funds, and providing consultative services and support to help ensure continuity of programming and bolster these nonprofits.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $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 their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2019, The Foundation and its donors distributed more than $130 million in grants to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 10 years, it has distributed nearly $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.


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