The Social Justice Vision at Stephen S. Wise Temple

Our congregation will see Social Justice as a calling that derives from our sense of God and the imperative of Jewish Tradition. The Stephen S. Wise Temple community will use our influence, power and compassion to be a force for positive, meaningful and effective change in the quality of life on behalf of all the citizens of Los Angeles and the world.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

LA Jewish Foundation Rejects Project Renew LA Grant Application--but we are not giving up!

I'm disappointed to report that the LA Jewish foundation has rejected our grant proposal.  For reasons yet unknown to us we did not make the initial clearing process.  This means that we are back to the drawing board looking for new potential grant providers.  Jay Epstein our development director at Wise LA has suggested two foundations and we are in the process of drafting proposal letters to see if they might be interested in a fully developed proposal.

We're moving forward anyway!
Professionals' Task force:  Beyond that, regardless of the status of the grant we are moving forward with the partnership to the best of our abilities.  Thanks to our Milken High School Student Intern we've pulled together a meeting of the professionals from Stephen S. Wise and Dolores Mission/Proyecto Pastoral so that we can determine the tasks that are reachable.  The staff include, Father Scott Santarosa, Cynthia Sanchez (director) from Dolores Mission, representatives from Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, me (Ron Stern), Susan Donner, MD (UCLA school of Medicine), Joey Freeman and Wendy Ordower from Milken High School and staff from LA Voice Pico organizing network. 

Volunteers and Supporters' Task Force:  Father Scott has a committee called the Finance and Development group.  They are professionals (lawyers, film industry etc) who are well established in the LA Catholic community and support his work at Dolores Mission.  He and I have discussed setting up a Task force that combines his committee with those from the Social Justice Leadership Team who would like to guide the work with Boyle Heights.  The resources brought to the table by this group of our leadership and his leadership will increase our chances of success for the Partnership Project.  Please email me if your interested.  Click here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Milken High School Students and the LA Youth Council

Did you know that Los Angeles has a youth council?  Check it out here.  In fact, the latest article on the web page is written by our own Milken Student and Stephen S. Wise Temple member Noah Ickowitz. 

Rabbi Stern met with students from Milken High School who are active in the LA Youth Council and shared information about our Social Justice work. Milken is looking to work with representatives from the Youth Council who go to school at Roosevelt High in Boyle Heights (any graduates reading this?).  The students at Roosevelt are interested in setting up a Youth Council chapter just like Milken's.  Students are planning some meetings between the high schools to learn about each other's experiences of life in LA and see what kinds of partnerships they can establish.  Possibilities include mentoring relationships, Koreh-LA activities and perhaps even some discussion groups between students at both school just to let them get to know each other better. 

Joey Freeman is the LAYC chapter chair at Milken and was the president of the entire LAYC previously.  He is an enthusiastic participant and is working hard to create excitement at Milken so that the work will continue after he graduates this spring.