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LA Jewish Federation

  • California Dreaming

    Santa Monica pier at sunset. It’s been cold by L.A. standards and the wind was whipping off the ocean. Tourists were bundled up in their hoodies, but the seagulls didn’t mind. They hung effortlessly in the air, buoyed by the breeze.
    To hear Jay Sanderson tell it, he’s trying to pull off a similar trick. The recession has taken a large bite out of the L.A. Jewish Community Federation, as it has basically everywhere, prompting some anguished hand-wringing over the future of Jewish philanthropy. Fundraising in L.A. was off more than 12 percent in 2009 from the year before — not good, but not nearly as bad as elsewhere. Sanderson, though, was as buoyant as the birds.
    I met Sanderson late on Monday in an upper floor conference room at the Federation headquarters on Wilshire. It’s a deeply institutional space; it’s heavy wooden table is inlaid with teleconferencing mics, and floor-to-ceiling windows offer a commanding view of Beverly Hills. The lustrous black ellipse of the Flynt Publications building dominates the horizon. The setting practically screams Jewish power.
    From the start, it’s clear Sanderson has no business being there. The former CEO of the Jewish Television Network, Sanderson was tapped last year to helm the L.A. Federation and it’s obvious he is not a man tamed by the mores of Jewish organizational life. He has yet to internalize the maddeningly evasive yet verbose style that is the lingua franca of Jewish bureaucrats.
    Sanderson did me the utmost kindness of answering my questions in plain English. He’s extremely polished and quick with a fresh coinage — perhaps excessively so. Several of his lines I later located almost verbatim in interviews he’s given to the L.A. Jewish Journal. But to a refreshing degree, Sanderson calls em’ like he sees em’. More ▸

  • And here is the story: Jay Sanderson named new exec at LA Jewish Federation

    I think we beat the LA Jewish Journal by 28 seconds with the scoup…. but they have the full story: The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has named as its next president Jay Sanderson, CEO and executive producer of Jewish Television Network (JTN), a nonprofit producer and distributor of Jewish-themed television programming. Sanderson, 52, replaces… More ▸