JCF Next Stage Grant

BJE Awarded Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Next Stage Grant

BJE is deeply grateful to be among the recipients of a very generous 2023 “Next Stage Grant” from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation).

Since 1937, BJE has continually strengthened L.A.’s Jewish educational system by looking forward, carefully planning, and nimbly responding to meet our community’s ever-evolving needs. Throughout its history, BJE has worked in partnership with schools and other community organizations to advance its enduring mission. In its internal operations, BJE is a partnership of devoted board leaders and dedicated staff professionals who, in consultation with BJE’s many stakeholders, identify strategic goals and pursue significant outcomes.

Since 1993, Dr. Gil Graff has served as BJE’s Executive Director. When, early in 2023, he informed the BJE board that he would retire from that position in June 2025, BJE turned to one of its longstanding partners, Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, with a proposal to help it plan for and transition to its “Next Stage.” The grant requested and received from The Foundation will enable BJE to retain a search firm to identify well-qualified candidates for the position of successor Executive Director and support the new Executive Director’s onboarding, including a period of working alongside Dr. Graff.

In the coming months, BJE will complete a year-long strategic planning process (involving interviews and surveys of hundreds of stakeholders and facilitated by external consultants), producing a five-year plan designed to address current and emergent Jewish educational needs most effectively in the changing landscape of Greater Los Angeles. Seamless executive leadership transition is essential to the successful accomplishment of the ambitious goals charted.

“We are tremendously grateful to The Foundation for its continued partnership in seeing BJE to its ‘Next Stage,’ literally. This grant will bolster BJE’s operations and enable our leaders and professionals to continue to do the great work of building Jewish education without missing a beat.” said Bennett L. Spiegel, BJE President.