Our Mission

The Rose Project raises and applies funds for targeted programs and activities that advance the values, interests, and security of the Jewish Community, fostering a more coordinated and interconnected set of Orange County stakeholders.

Our Vision

Orange County is a safe and comfortable place for Jews to live.

Areas of Focus

Our organization, in close collaboration with local Jewish organizations, other ethnic and religious community partners, and the National Jewish Council for Public Affairs, addresses emerging policy concerns and responds to current events. This collective effort, which you are an integral part of, focuses on the following key areas:

Government Affairs

We en­gage in ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vo­cacy on is­sues af­fect­ing the Jew­ish com­mu­nity in Orange County and be­yond. We fo­cus on build­ing re­la­tion­ships with our leg­is­la­tors through leg­isla­tive vis­its, JPAC and events.

Community Relations

As the Jewish Federation of Orange County, we hold a pivotal role as the primary communications nexus, connecting the Jewish community and the broader OC community. This unique position allows us to develop and maintain deep relationships, facilitating conversations that strengthen support for the Jewish community. We engage with public officials, faith-based partners, business leaders, law enforcement agencies, and the education sectors, serving as a community mobilization hub. Our aim is to efficiently utilize resources for local needs and promote collaborative projects of shared interest with non-Jewish communities, ensuring that your voice is heard and your needs are met.

Combatting Antisemitism

With the alarming surge in antisemitism and hate crimes, our Rose Project takes proactive measures to educate individuals of all ages on identifying, preventing, and responding to such acts. Additionally, we focus on enhancing the Jewish student experience and combating anti-Jewish sentiment within educational settings. Through initiatives like Student to Student (STS), we empower Jewish student leadership and promote self-sufficiency. We strive to create safer environments for Jewish students by providing educational resources for educators and referring high schools to the Institute of Curriculum Services curriculum. The impact of STS presentations extends beyond the classroom, fostering increased understanding of Jews and Judaism among high school students, raising awareness of religious and cultural diversity, and instilling a greater willingness to confront antisemitic comments and stereotypes.

Jewish Security

Ensuring the safety of the Jewish community is not just a concern but our paramount commitment. The Federation takes a leading role in coordinating communications with law enforcement, first responders, public officials, and all Jewish institutions. We are actively involved in developing and maintaining a comprehensive plan for Jewish community security in Orange County, aimed at proactive engagement and safeguarding the well-being of our community members. Your safety is our top priority.

Programs & Resources

Learn About Student To Student

The impact of a Student to Student (STS) presentation goes well beyond the classroom and the school day. After engaging with STS Teen Ambassadors, high school students better understand Jews and Judaism, have increased awareness of religious and cultural differences and commonalities, and gain a greater desire to interrupt antisemitic comments and stereotypes when they hear them inside and outside a school setting. Click HERE for more info.

Learn About The Power of One

This toolkit helps facilitate discussions on issues ranging from antisemitism to the current conflict in Israel, “The Power of One” offers a comprehensive guide for engaging non-Jewish friends, addressing challenges in educational and professional environments, and effectively communicating with elected officials. Click HERE for more info.

Learn About Countering Hate Resources

At the core of our efforts to shrink the footprint of hate lies a commitment to fostering inclusivity and understanding. Toward that goal, we have created a comprehensive resource page providing invaluable tools for educators, administrators, and learners, empowering them to build a more informed and inclusive educational environment. The resource page also provides avenues to report instances of antisemitism and hate. Click HERE for more info.

Federation & Rose Council Statements

Statement: Santa Ana City Council 3/4/24

In Person Speech: Irvine City Council 2/27/24

Good evening, honorable members of the Irvine City Council.

My name is Erik Ludwig and I’m the President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Orange County.

In recent months, we have witnessed a deeply troubling rise in antisemitic rhetoric, not just in the broader public domain but distressingly, within these very chambers. Remarks made in previous council meetings have not only pained our community but have also sown division and fear among us.

It is with a heavy heart that I note the silence—or worse, the implicit endorsement—of some council members regarding this hate speech. This silence is deafening and serves to legitimize prejudice and bigotry.

The Jewish community, a vibrant part of Irvine's mosaic, deserves to feel safe and respected. The continued use of antisemitic tropes and speech in public forums threatens the very fabric of our inclusive society. It emboldens hate, undermines democracy, and contradicts the values that define us.

I urge members of this council to use all tools at its disposal including the Council’s own Meeting Decorum Rules to address and curtail this dangerous trend. It is imperative to enforce policies that not only condemn hate speech but also hold those accountable who use public platforms to spread divisiveness and intolerance.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Thank you for your time.

Erik Ludwig
President & CEO

Statement: Irvine City Council 2/26/24

Statement: Irvine City Council Meetings 2/16/24

The Jewish Federation of Orange County is deeply concerned by the antisemitic rhetoric on display at recent Irvine City Council meetings. We firmly oppose the use of city resources beyond municipal affairs and urge the Council to avoid engaging with divisive, hate-fueled speech.

Statement: Int'l Court of Justice Ruling 1/26/24

While today’s ruling by the International Court of Justice is deeply troubling in multiple aspects, it importantly affirms Israel’s right to self-defense after the horrific attacks of October 7th and demands the immediate release of all hostages. On the day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is vital to preserve the integrity of the term “genocide” and ensure that it is not perverted or cheapened for political ends.
Click here to read a full statement from the Jewish Federations of North America.

In The News

Jeff Margolis’ recent Op-Ed in the Jewish Journal:

Countering Hate Summit in the Jewish Journal:

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