Jewish agencies to merge with hope of improving efficiency—and other nonprofit news

The following is the start of a series on nonprofit news with weekly roundups on updates and upcoming events. Are you a nonprofit with news to share? Email [email protected] with “nonprofit news” in the subject line. 

Jewish Long Beach and Alpert Jewish Community Center will be merging to become a single agency, and will be addressing any community questions at a virtual town hall on May 5. According to Zachary Benjamin, chief executive officer of Jewish Long Beach, this merger has been under consideration for the past couple years, but the pandemic sped up the process.

“These are two organizations whose missions are complimentary, that share a physical space, that serve many of the same constituents, so there’s no reason why there should be firewalls between them from a staff standpoint, and from a government standpoint that would possibly impede the ability for the organizations to carry out their mission,” Benjamin said.

The merger is intended to improve the efficiency of the organization, and not much will change for the constituents, he said.

“This is really an exciting time and an exciting juncture for the community. Our dream as we roll out this new integrated structure is for the community to dream with us about a bright future for Long Beach and for the Long beach Jewish community. There’s boundless potential, and we’re excited as staff and leadership, and we hope the community is as excited as we are,” said Benjamin.

The virtual town hall, called “Dream With Us,” will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, at 7 p.m. To register in advance, go here.

Attend a Healing Elements and Lifeways workshop series

On May 4, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Healing Elements and Lifeways (HEAL) will offer the first of four free workshops, each focusing on a different element, fire, earth, water, or air, related to aspects of wellbeing.

May is Mental Health month, and American Indians and Alaska Natives experiences vast mental and physical health disparities, and these workshops are intended to strengthen connection to community, nature, and the four elements.

The event is partnered with Los Angeles-based Indigenous artist Tekpatl Kuauhtzin.

Participants must be a resident of Los Angeles County, 18+, with priority given to Black or Indigenous residents and people of color.

It has yet to be determined if the workshop will be virtual or in-person.

Fill out the interest form here, and confirmed participants will be contacted with session info.

Bridging Wellness hosts Day of Healing 

A healing protest will be held on May 8 featuring yoga, group meditation, performances, speakers, and free wellness resources for community members. There will also be a march/run in honor of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man who was pursued and fatally shot while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia, in February 2020.

The day will end with a traditional West African offering to the ocean.

The free event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 8 at 350 Elm Ave., Long Beach.

Attend a virtual drawing workshop for Pride Month

On May 9 from 2 to 3 p.m. participants will learn how to trace and transfer printed images of queer icons. Participants will also discuss queerness and the legacy of queer leadership. LGBTQ+ family and allies are encouraged to attend.

The free event, organized by Compound LB, will be hosted by Rebekah Rose, a queer, nonbinary illustrator and trauma-informed yoga teacher in Long Beach, whose work centers issues related to queerness, trauma healing, and social justice.

For those who register by 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, complimentary activity kits will be provided.

Register here.

His Little Feet to hold fundraiser on June 5

The Long Beach nonprofit His Little Feet has provided shoes and socks to more than 17,000 children in need, and will hold an in-person “The Heart & Sole Gala” fundraiser from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 5.

Tickets are $149, which includes a three-course dinner, a glass of wine, live music, a magic show, a wine pull, and a silent and live auction.

Reserve your ticket by May 29 here.

COVID-19 protocols will be followed, including limiting attendees and requiring social distancing.

The event will be at The Grand, 4101 E. Willow St.

The Aquarium of the Pacific to host student film festival 

This free, live-streamed event will feature films made by high schoolers throughout Southern California from 7 until 8:30 p.m. The films will cover one of the following topics: responsible seafood, thriving in a changing climate, and the ocean and me.

No tickets or RSVP required.

View the event page here.

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