The Max Factor Family Foundation (MFFF), a private family foundation, rtecently announced that it has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Pico Union Project in support of its vibrant alternative Jewish community close to downtown Los Angeles.
Founded in 2013, the Pico Union Project, through its signature Sanctuary@Pico Union initiative, offers programs related to spiritual discovery, self-exploration, Jewish arts and social justice for hundreds of Jews across Los Angeles. The funding from MFFF will enable “opportunities to explore the rich, textured layers of Jewish tradition through song, story, prayer, art, dance, food, mindfulness, and community activism,” said Pico Union Project Executive Director Dr. Zach Lasker.
The award marks the second year in a continued partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) in which one of its Cutting Edge grant recipients is selected for MFFF support. In 2016, The Foundation bestowed a total of $2.3 million to 12 innovative, local Jewish organizations including a three-year, $200,000 grant to the Pico Union Project.
“We view this connection to The Foundation’s Cutting Edge Grants as an opportunity to make a more meaningful impact and influence innovative change in the L.A. metropolitan region through collaborative funding,” said Jonathan Glaser, a MFFF trustee and great-grandson of its namesake. “The Foundation brings to our attention and investigates some amazing programs that we would otherwise not hear about.”
Glaser continued: “We were excited by the Pico Union Project’s vision to bring Jewish values to a diverse culture in an increasingly vibrant area of Los Angeles. The Factor family’s roots in Los Angeles were in the Boyle Heights area, so the idea of supporting Jewish life in the core of Los Angeles resonates with the family.”
The Pico Union Project’s Dr. Lasker stated: “The generous support of the Max Factor Family Foundation and, earlier the Jewish Community Foundation, a recognized leader in funding innovation, is vitally important during the early stages of our development, allowing us to build capacity and keep our doors open to all. The Pico Union Project community is devoted to the Jewish principle to love your neighbors as you want to be loved; in the Sanctuary we celebrate honoring our differences and celebrating our commonalities.”
Marvin I. Schotland, president and chief executive officer of The Foundation, stated: “We are honored by the Max Factor Family Foundation’s demonstration of confidence, choosing to leverage our Cutting Edge Grant to Pico Union Project through additional collaborative funding of its own. This prospective ‘multiplier effect’ adds impact to our Foundation’s funding while increasing the prospects for success of the initiative. Its selection of the Pico Union Project is highly fitting given the Factor family’s deep Los Angeles roots. Craig Taubman, the creator of Pico Union Project, is applying his distinctive vision to reanimating Judaism and community-building in the central city area.”
Established more than 70 years ago by six descendants of legendary makeup mogul Max Factor, Sr., the MFFF has worked collaboratively with The Foundation since 2008. The Foundation serves in an advisory capacity to MFFF, as well as other private family foundations, providing a broad range of consultative philanthropic services including the design of meaningful philanthropic strategies that magnify giving impact.
“We remain honored and humbled by the deep, longstanding ties between the Factor family and our Foundation and our advisory role in their charitable endeavors. Multiple generations of Factor family members have held – and continue to occupy – leadership roles at The Foundation and have been instrumental in its sustained growth over many decades,” Schotland concluded.