Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFedOC) brings together diverse members of our community for shared experiences that are grounded in Jewish culture, values and traditions that foster a deeper connection to each other and with the local and global Jewish community.
Though much of work of Jewish Federation of Orange County seeps seamlessly into the private stories of the individuals and families we assist, sometimes the ripple effect of our work sings loudly for us. When I am rewarded with powerful impact stories made possible through the work of Federation, it is important to share them with you. Your continued support of Federation is directly responsible for this critical impact.
This year, Jewish Federation, through its Passport to Jewish Life program, provided more than $38,000 in scholarships to 84 Orange County children and teens to participate in identity-building Jewish summer programs. Among them were five teens, members of Orange County’s Shevet Tapuz Israel Scouts chapter, who earlier this month joined peers from Israel for a weeklong Holocaust education trip to Poland. Together with their madrichim and educators, they visited Nazi death camps and the remains of the Warsaw and Krakow ghettos. They learned about Poland’s vibrant Jewish life before the war, and the destruction of Jewish civilization by the Nazis and their collaborators. They explored their identity as Jews and as citizens of the world and contemplated deep educational questions that will shape the adults they will become.
Read more here...
Temple Beth Emet Endowment
August 29, 2022
Jewish Federation is thrilled to announce a gift of $500,000 from Temple Beth Emet of Anaheim, which will amplify youth participation in Jewish educational experiences over the next two decades. This milestone contribution will provide $25,000 each year to the Federation’s Passport to Jewish Life grant program, opening the doors for hundreds of children and teens to experience Jewish day and overnight camps, JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest, as well as educational journeys to destinations of Jewish history and significance, including Israel and Poland.
“We are deeply grateful to the leadership of Temple Beth Emet for their forethought in making this remarkable commitment. Since 1956, Temple Beth Emet has been a center of Orange County Jewish life and learning for youth and their families; with this gift, the Temple extends its proud legacy well into the future,” said Erik Ludwig, President & CEO of Jewish Federation.
Lou Abramovitz, President of Temple Beth Emet, explained “We made this gift intentionally to Federation as a way to support Jewish youth from all backgrounds and denominations in increasing their connection to Jewish life.”
Driving Out Darkness
In response to ongoing high levels of antisemitism and other hate in Orange County and throughout the U.S., Federation’s Rose Project held a day of immersive learning on antisemitism and its impact on the broader community in partnership with the ADL, Congregation Shir Ha-Ma'alot and UC Irvine’s Center for Jewish Studies. Hosted by UCI’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, Driving Out Darkness: Orange County Summit on Antisemitism and Hate brought together on the UCI campus a predominantly non-Jewish audience of more than 300 leaders from the K-12 and higher education communities, nonprofit and civic groups, faith and interfaith leaders, elected officials and law enforcement. Together with national and local experts, they explored the history and contemporary manifestations of antisemitism and the relationship of antisemitism to other forms of hate and to threats to democracy. The framing created the foundation through which Federation can build partnerships to combat antisemitism and all hate, based on shared understandings of how antisemitism threatens all communities.
Exploring antisemitism across the political and ideological spectrum, participants learned how antisemitism fuels white supremacy as well as how anti-Zionism can be antisemitic, while gaining skills to navigate antisemitic incidents. The summit allowed Federation to build and strengthen relationships, and staff is exploring new, collaborative programs to counter antisemitism and all forms of hate. The summit was generously supported by grants from the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County and Jewish Federations of North America.
Find out more about the summit HERE.
Late Night 2022 Headliner
Jewish Federation's Solomon Society is proud to welcome Patton Oswalt to Late Night 2022. Patton Oswalt is a multi-hyphenate talent (actor, writer, comedian, producer) and award-winning performer. From his comedy specials to more than 200 film and television roles including Parks and Recreation, for which he received a TV Critics Choice Award, Oswalt chooses work that inspires him and entertains audiences.
In the past year he produced and started in James Morosini’s I Love My Dad as the dad – ‘Chuck’, and appeared in productions such as the critically acclaimed Neil Gaiman series The Sandman on Netflix as the voice of ‘Matthew the Raven’, and as ‘Max’ in Mystery Science Theater 300 on AMC. Later this year you will find him on the Apple+ miniseries Manhunt as ‘Detective Lafayette Baker’, and staring on the upcoming Netflix show Absolute Domination, now in post-production.
In 2021 he co-created M.O.D.O.K., a Marvel stop-motion animated adult comedy series for Hulu and also voiced the titular character. He is also known as the voice of ‘Max’ one of the lead characters in the children’s animated film The Secret Life of Pets 2. Oswalt is well known as the narrator on the popular TV show The Goldbergs on ABC, he co-starred as ‘Principal Durbin’ on the NBC Universal comedy A.P. Bio, and was the voice of ‘Remy’ in Disney’s Ratatouille. His other recent credits include: Star Trek: Picard on Paramount +, Space Force on Netflix, The Conners on ABC, Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO, Marvel Studios’ Eternals, and the animated Adult Swim show American Dad.
Our Women Leaders Shine on National Level
Lori Schwartz, past JFedOC Board Chair, joins Heather Kline, current JFedOC Board Chair, as the newest Orange County member of Jewish Federation of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy (NWP) Board. NWP is an eight-year leadership program which deepens a woman’s connection to the work of the Jewish Federation system and provides a platform to network with like-minded philanthropic women from across North America. Both Lori and Heather, alongside NWP Alumna Debbie Margolis, continue to translate their Jewish values into action through their community involvement and various leadership roles. Locally, Women’s Philanthropy guides women on their own individual leadership journeys so they can continue making a difference in OC, in Israel and abroad.
Shabbat with Mandel House and Horwitz Family House
Jewish Federation is proud to offer ongoing Jewish programming, in partnership with our community organizations and congregations, for residents of Mandel House and Horwitz Family House, the homes we established in 2014 and 2017 with significant support from our donors. One recent highlight: an outdoor Shabbat dinner, organized and sponsored by JCC Cares, in the Chase Family Holocaust Memorial Garden at the JCC. Adrienne Matros (pictured, with two Horwitz Family House residents and their parents), her team of volunteers, and the JCC’s Israeli shinshinim – young Israeli emissaries to Jewish communities like ours – joined in the singing, blessings, and celebration.
High Holidays Around OC
Our community congregations and organizations are hosting a wide variety of High Holiday offerings this year. JFedOC has compiled a comprehensive list of the wonderful upcoming opportunities to observe and celebrate 5783, making it easier for you to connect with our community. Be sure to check this page often, as events and services may be added.
Thursday, November 3
Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra performance at Segerstrom Concert Hall
Tickets go on sale August 1
International Lion of Judah Conference
Caring for Jews in OC & Around the World
• Holocaust Survivor Program
• Lifelines Emergency Assistance
• Israel & Overseas Projects
Jewish Life & Community Engagement
• Women’s Philanthropy
• Solomon Society
• PJ Library
• Passport to Jewish Life
• Programs for Mandel House and Horwitz Family House
• Jeremiah Society
Community Relations & Combating Antisemitism
• Rose Project Programs
■ Student to Student
■ Youth Leadership Initiative
■ Israel Education
■ Building Bridges Across Difference
• Community Relations