Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Redirects All 2020 Institutional Grants to COVID-19 Response

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) 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.

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.

It is anticipated Phase Two will commence in the fall and be implemented in multiple stages. Eligibility will be by invitation only.

The Foundation’s institutional grantmaking in support of COVID-19 relief and recovery 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.

Speaking to eJP, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin I. Schotland said: “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.”