JVS Honored by Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation

Photo of JVS Scholarship recipient Yasaman Rahimian

1-30-2013 – Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) was one of four nonprofit agencies honored by the Y & S Nazarian Family Foundation for its efforts on behalf of Iranian American Jews. JVS received a plaque and certificate of commendation during the Nazarian Foundation’s “Night  of Appreciation” at the Fowler Museum of Cultural Studies at UCLA.

“Our agency is open and would love to deepen and strengthen the ties we have with the Iranian community in Los Angeles,” said JVS President John Goldsmith as he accepted the commendation. “We’re very proud to be a part of it.”

Coinciding with the exhibition “Light and Shadows: The History of Iranian Jews,” the Night of Appreciation celebrated the successful integration of Iranian Jews into America and specifically the Los Angeles community over the past three decades. By recognizing JVS, Jewish Family Service (JFS), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA), the Nazarian Foundation looked to acknowledge some of the key local agencies that helped make this integration possible.

“We’ve been quite busy and we’ve had a very rich three decades, and now we have reached a point where we can stop, take a moment and look back and recognize those who helped us along the way,” said Dr. Sharon S. Nazarian, President of the Y & S Nazarian Family Foundation. “We want to appreciate and thank these organizations and show them that, as a community, we’re here to give back in whatever form we can.”

JVS was recognized for its lengthy history of helping Iranian immigrants with their initial resettlement needs, job training and employment and for assisting students to achieve their educational goals through the JVS Scholarship Program. The donor-directed Scholarship Program awarded more than $457,000 to 147 local Jewish students in 2012-13 and the Scholarship Committee has given out more than $5.5 million in the program’s 40 year history. More than 1/3 of the scholarships granted over the past seven years have gone to students of Iranian Jewish descent.

Speaking at the “Night of Appreciation,” graduate student Yasaman Rahimian, who has received JVS Scholarship support for all six years of her educational career, acknowledged that her achievements would not have been possible without JVS.

“Every time I thank the donor who gave me the money, I think to myself, ‘I want to be like you one day. I want to give back to the community and I want to help Jewish students to become successful,’” said Rahimian, a pharmacy student at Western University of Health Science. “It feels great to know that we live in a community that we care for each other. We want each other to be successful.”