They’ve shared one campus and the same constituency for over 70 years and now they will be one organization. Unanimously passed by the boards of both agencies, Jewish Long Beach and the Barbara and Ray Alpert Jewish Community Center (AJCC) have voted to integrate, creating a single, seamless organization positioned to serve the Jewish and broader communities for generations to come.
“The integration process signals the dawn of an exciting and unprecedented new era for our Jewish community and its agencies,” said Jewish Long Beach CEO Zach Benjamin. “The Alpert JCC and Jewish Long Beach will become uniquely positioned to set and adjust community priorities designed to advance Jewish life in a manner that is not only deeply effective, but also efficient and sustainable for the long term.”
Their priorities are broad, including creating impact-driven programming, education, grant funding, leadership development, and advocacy opportunities.
Recent years have heralded much change inside the walls of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg
Jewish Long Beach Campus.
“We’ve had these discussions over the years and amid the pandemic, it became very clear that this was the right decision for both organizations,” said Deborah Goldfarb who retired in 2019 as the CEO of the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation. She was recruited out of retirement in August of 2020 to serve as the interim executive director of the AJCC.
“We realize that this news will generate significant questions and curiosity,” Benjamin said. “Most importantly, the communities of Long Beach and West Orange County can continue to expect the same quality programming that they have always enjoyed from the AJCC. The primary differences will be in the efficiency with which our missions are carried out.”
To address all questions related to the coming together of these two iconic local Jewish institutions, Jewish Long Beach and the Alpert JCC invite the community to “Dream With Us” at a community-wide virtual town-hall meeting on Wednesday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m. At that meeting, they will unveil the integrated structure, mission and vision, and process for carrying out the consolidation of two long-standing agencies with distinct but complementary identities. Please register in advance for the town hall meeting http://bit.ly/JLBxAJCC .
Jewish Long Beach was formed through the merger of the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of Long Beach and West Orange County. Deborah Goldfarb ushered in that change exactly as she was retiring after 14 years at the helm managing both the Federation and Foundation.
Jewish Long Beach can trace its roots to the 1929 creation of Jewish Welfare Funds that materialized across the country, largely in support of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Europe. The outflow of Jewish refugees reached its crescendo just after World War II, as the fledgling state of Israel welcomed Holocaust survivors and other Jews whose lives had been endangered by anti-Semitism. Today, Jewish Long Beach is a multifaceted agency that serves the Jewish and broader communities through strategic grant-making, advocacy, the development of emerging leaders, and stewardship of the community’s philanthropic funds. Jewish Long Beach manages over $30 million in assets and owns and operates the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Jewish Long Beach Campus.
The Barbara and Ray Alpert Jewish Community Center, originally the Long Beach Jewish Community Center, was established in August 1948 by action of Jewish Long Beach’s predecessor organization, the Long Beach Jewish Council.