Development & Endowment Support

BJE’s support for day schools includes training in development and endowment efforts. Development professionals from the 37-accredited BJE day schools, as well as other day schools as far south as San Diego and as far north as San Francisco, meet quarterly to receive trainings from experienced professionals on various development topics. BJE also provides an opportunity for development professionals to network, share best practices and troubleshoot challenges with peers in the field.

Simha and Sara Lainer believed in big ideas, and they believed in Jewish education.

During their lifetime, they helped big ideas become real, starting with their first gift to BJE in 1951 – a gift that continues to benefit students, nearly three generations later. In many ways, Simha and Sara Lainer embodied the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" and dedicated their philanthropic efforts to enhance Jewish educational opportunities; their legacy is a commitment to ensuring a Jewish future by endowing Jewish day school education in Los Angeles. The Lainer Family felt that the best way to honor their parents was through a big idea: one that would transcend an individual school or neighborhood; enable schools to plan for the future without compromising current needs; help ensure that families could rely on having access to quality Jewish education, regardless of economic fluctuations; and place the long-term economic future of Jewish day schools in the top 25th percentile of independent and private school peers in Los Angeles.

The Lainer Day School Endowment Fund

In 2007, that big idea took shape as the Simha and Sara Lainer Day School Endowment Fund, a community-wide, $100 million endowment initiative to secure the future of day school education in Los Angeles - a joint project of BJE and the Jewish Federation. A challenge to schools: begin working on your own endowment – with an eye toward a combined total of $80 million in school-based endowment funds. A challenge to the community: raise $20 million in a central fund. The central fund would provide an incentive to BJE-affiliated schools committed to growing endowment by earmarking funds on a 1:4 matching basis for new endowment dollars raised, up to a maximum based on school budget size. With BJE as a communal partner to provide training and assistance for school-based efforts, and together with Federation helping secure community-based support, the Lainer Family pledged to match, on a one-to-three basis, up to $5 million. The Jewish Federation also stepped up with a pledge of $1 million. Within a short time, an initial investment of $4.25 million from the community was on deposit. As is often the case, one big idea leads to another.

Phase I: The Jim Joseph High School Affordability Initiative

In September 2009, the Jim Joseph Foundation, in partnership with BJE and the Jewish Federation, kicked off Phase I of the initiative in the form of the Jim Joseph Foundation High School Affordability Initiative with a $12.7 million demonstration grant for five Jewish high schools. The project challenges the five high schools to raise $17 million towards their own endowment funds. There were immediate benefits to the participating schools as well: by meeting a set of endowment benchmarks over a six year period, each school received a portion of the $12.7 million grant as operating support to pay for development staff, training, and other resources, along with funds to aid middle-income families in need of tuition assistance. The Jim Joseph High Schools were the first to benefit from the Lainer Day School Endowment Fund 1:4 matching program.

The five high schools in the now-completed program raised a combined $17,369,183 of which $16,416,166 has been deposited as of November 2016.

Jim Joseph High Schools:

deToledo High School

Milken Community High School

Shalhevet High School

YULA Boys High School

YULA Girls High School

Phase II Endowment Development/Generations LA

Generations LA is funded by the AVI CHAI Foundation, PRIZMAH, and Los Angeles donor families - Diane P. & Guilford Glazer Foundation, Richard & Wendy Kellner, Mark & Ellie Lainer, Aaron & Sheila Leibovic, Peter & Janine Lowy, Milton Baran Living Trust, Alan & Sheila Spiwak, William and Anna Tenenblatt, and one anonymous donor.

Generations LA launched an initial cohort of seven LA day schools in October 2011, a second cohort of five schools in October 2013, and a third cohort of four schools in March 2015. The three-year program, a partnership between BJE and PRIZMAH, has already helped these 16 schools raise over $19M in cash endowment pledges and legacy commitments.


As of January 1, 2017, Generations LA schools have already:

• Secured over $19.3 million in cash pledges and legacy commitments

• Deposited over $5.28 million in cash

Generations LA Schools

Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School

Adat Ari El Labowe Family Day School

Bais Chaya Mushka

Beth Hillel Day School

Brawerman Elementary School of Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Cheder Menachem

Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center

Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy

Kadima Day School

Temple Israel of Hollywood

The Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am

Sinai Akiba Academy, a Sinai Temple School

Valley Beth Shalom Harold M. Schulweis Day School

Weizmann Day School