Advocacy for the Jewish Community

Our work is based on partnerships with area organizations, devoted community leaders, and committed elected officials all collaborating on common goals. 

We work in partnership with national, state, and local advocacy organizations on budget and legislation issues as they arise. Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) leads the Federation system’s efforts nationally for the inclusion of Jewish communal priorities in every federal spending package, the continued (and increased) support of nonprofit security, and the development of anti-hate legislation. We take a leadership role in, and work within, the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) to ensure the state’s annual budget is reflective of our values and continues investing in anti-poverty and anti-hate programs.

In 2020, against the backdrop of COVID, when the  Multipurpose Senior Services Program and other at-home senior service programs were on the budget chopping block, our advocacy saved the programs from being wiped out. 

From the California Department of Education’s introduction in mid-2019 of a deeply flawed draft K-12 Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum to the approval of a more equitable final version in 2021, we advocated vigorously against the inclusion of antisemitic material and demanded that the curriculum accurately reflect the diversity of Jewish Americans and represent their experiences.

Together with multiple Jewish communities and along with the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) and the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, we have secured $141.2 million in this year’s state budget to help fund issues directly impacting Jewish life in our communities.

The final budget includes:

  • $40 million to rebuild Jewish and secular camps ravaged by wildfires across California
  • $50 million to support security grants for synagogues and other institutions at risk of hate-motivated violence
  • $36 million to provide home health care and food services to aging Holocaust survivors, administered by Jewish Family Service agencies across California
  • $9 million for the construction of an inclusive housing project for adults with disabilities in Los Angeles
  • $3 million to renovate and enhance the Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center
  • $1.8 million for the new Commission on the State of Hate, a commission that will monitor and track hate crimes
  • $1.4 million for the new Governor's Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education

Vital to advocacy is relationship building. In March 2023, we helped convene 60 CEOs and board leaders from over 30 Bay Area Jewish organizations—representing the core leadership of the Bay Area Jewish community—for JPAC's New Legislator Reception.

Joy Sisisky, Federation CEO, speaking at JPAC's New Legislator Reception in March 2023
For more information, please contact:
Amy Spade
Senior Director, Community Impact