The Forward 50

Jay Sanderson

Jay Sanderson

Community

Jay Sanderson is shaking up America’s second-largest Jewish federation in important ways. This year, on the 100th anniversary of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Sanderson gave out the first grant in his Next Big Jewish Idea competition, which invited new philanthropies that have never received federation funding to make their pitch for a $100,000 cash prize. The competition — won in July by LaunchBox, an initiative to involve more Jewish families in Jewish traditions and rituals — underlined his belief that federations must find new paradigms for identifying and funding worthy causes.

In another departure, Sanderson, in his second year as president, has been seeking to address the needs of Jews affected by the national economic

crisis by assigning social workers to work directly on the staffs of L.A.-area synagogues. “After 2008, we realized that the economic downturn was impacting Jews in profound ways,” he told the Forward. “The existing social network wasn’t equipped to help people with their immediate needs.”

Sanderson, 54, came to his job from outside the federation system, serving previously as CEO and executive producer of the Jewish Television Network. He is part of a wave of new federation leaders who are replacing an older leadership cohort now heading toward retirement. “Will the communities in this country have [the] courage to try someone who hasn’t worked in the federation system for 25 years?” he asked rhetorically in an interview earlier this year. “Not that they aren’t good people, but sometimes I think good thinking comes from people who weren’t born and bred in the federations.”

Plus One

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, the Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.