Dear Community, 

In this issue, you will have a chance to learn a great deal about the Emergency Fund. 

I am so proud of the work of this group because they study every case from multiple angles and help the client towards self sufficiency whenever possible. They visit homes and observe all contributing factors. Since the demands are great, they try to find out if there are governmental and nonprofit, and family resources. They tap into those  first.

My absolute favorite story is (I am changing some details, but the essence is there) – a woman breadwinner lost her job. She was about to lose her home and everything. The two case workers noticed in the conversation of the home visit that she loved to drive. They suggested that she become a Lyft driver. The EF would pay for the down payment of a leased car and make the first six months of lease payments and evaluate at the end of six months.
Would you believe the person called in the fourth month to say that she was doing fine and that EF did not need to make further lease payments? Our community is so lucky to have these professionals making lives easier for many. They deserve your financial support to help many.

I know many generous people who have their own emergency funds to help individuals. Are you doing anything to help them become independent?  If you do not, you are part of the problem. Refer your clients to the EF and support EF. They will be better off. 

On another note, we expect a full house for the lecture by Consul General Dr. Hillel Newman on July 31st. Please be sure to register for the lecture on the second Temple period which covers the Persian , Greek and Roman periods. 

At this time, we are pleased to showcase Susan Azizzadeh, a significant person in our community who besides being IAJF President for eight years, co-chairs the EF with Haideh Herbert Aynehchi about whom you read recently. 

Thank you for your warm reception of these newsletters. Please share them with friends and specially young people. We started these newsletters so we send you one mailing per week. 

A Pleasant Shabbat. 

M. Elie Alyeshmerni

The Complexity of Human Rights
 متوت-معسی: پیچیدگی حقوق بشر

After forty years of wandering the desert, the Israelites are finally about to reach their destination. They make a stop in the land Masei and discuss how they will be sharing their new home amongst the twelve tribes. However, one tribe is left out from the designs. The Levites are expected to focus on studying and learning for the benefit of the people, their temples, and their faith. Therefore, Hashem did not wish to burden them with land ownership. Instead, he asks them to live freely within each tribes’ state and expects them to be taken cared of by the local people. Just as we have seen with the treatment of Moses, teachers are greatly valued and highly respected because of the way that they shape society, and so we show them gratitude for  their service  through selfless tzedagha. 

From Despair to Hope

Susan Azizzadeh is an active and compelling member of the Iranian American community.

Upon her 1978 arrival in the United States with a psychology degree from the National University of Iran, she embarked upon a teaching career and has subsequently been affiliated with several non-profit organizations.

She has created cultural and educational programs, as well as events to increase awareness of bigotry, bias, and inequality. Serving as President of the Iranian American Jewish Federation from 2014 to 2022, Susan has effectively united an incredibly diverse community on an international scale through her leadership on topics of social justice, gender equality and human rights. Her commendable hard work and dedication has enabled IAJF to establish strong relationships with many local and federal government officials within the State Department and Department of Foreign Affairs to combat antisemitism.

She has innovatively developed Iranian American cultural and social platforms, collaborated with multi-ethnic organizations to celebrate diversity as well as to pass the Anti-BDS Bill. An inspiring activist in respect to both human and women’s rights, Susan is a proud advocate of peace, justice, and philanthropy. She is a Board member of Persian American Women Conferences (PAWC) and Persian American Civic Action Network (PACAN).

Currently, Susan is serving on the Board of Iranian American Jewish Federation. She is Advisor to the President and co-chair of the Emergency Fund.  

With the start of the presidency of Mrs. Susan Azizzadeh in IAJF in 2014, and following recommendations from Dr. Minou Soomekh-Michlin and Haideh Herbert-Aynehchi, the Social Services division of the Emergency Fund was established to enhance the services that existed under Mrs. Shahla Javdan, the past president of IAJF.Initial services mostly consisted of financial aid in the form of food coupons and rent assistance. Dr. Minou Soomekh-Michlin, Professor Emeritus of Social Work with decades of experience in mental health and social services, and Haideh Herbert-Aynehchi with a master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling and decades of experience as qualified Senior  Rehabilitation counselor had a vision of providing the type of services to not only help the applicants with the urgent crisis at hand, but also to help them gain stability and self-sufficiency. The proverbial concept of teaching a person to fish rather than provide a fish for a day.To best reach this goal, these professionals recommended a holistic approach to evaluate each applicant and factors contributing to the crisis. They developed applications, an intake process, and service procedures that included home visits by two case workers to present to the team of Social Services committee for approval. With the assistance from committee members, criteria for eligibility were also established.At the time, the committee consisted of the following professional volunteer members: Dr. Minou Soomekh-MichlinHaideh Herbert-AynehchiSusan AzizzadehShahla JavdanDr. Shadee Toomari – psychologist and interim chair; Manigeh Youabian- lifetime community activist and philanthropist; Betty Youabian – Community activist and philanthropist; Dr. Yousef Kohanzadeh – University professor and community activist; Saeed Sassooni – lifetime community activist; and Yael Hassid – Community activist and philanthropist.Elahe Borokhim was the case coordinator of services that included initial intake and extensive research regarding existing services within the community at large, overseeing the program, and follow ups.Once the committee was established, Susan Azizzadeh, IAJF’s president undertook chairmanship of the committee and invited Elie Alyeshmerni to serve as her co-chair. In 2022, under the presidency of Mr. Alyeshmerni, the committee expanded. Susan Azizzadeh and Haideh Herbert-Aynehchi were designated as co-chairs of the Emergency Fund by Mr. Alyeshmerni. As the needs of the community grew, the following members were invited to join the committee by invitation from Haideh Herbert-Aynehchi.Manijeh Taban – philanthropist and leader of a support group for Dementia Family Support; Manizheh Yomtoubian – Founder of Persians for Cure, philanthropist, and community activist; Farnoush Abrishami – Case manager at Jewish Family Service and community activist; Dr. Nahid Sahimi-Rafii –  Physical therapist, chair of Health and Wellness Committee, Alzheimer educator; Eileen Slutsky – Retired Director of Disability and Assessment at JVS-SoCal, former CARF surveyor.Per invitation from Dr. Nahid Rafii, Farzaneh Farzan-Eshaghian – Member of VBS Counseling Center, joined the ranks. The latest addition to the Emergency Fund is Nasrin Mandegar – the new case coordinator. A new orientation packet and training were provided to new members.We welcome all the new members and extend our appreciation to all the dedicated members of the Emergency Fund Committee.Currently, EF is thriving and is providing services for members of the Iranian Jewish community.

Left to Right:Shahla Javdan, Susan Azizzadeh, Saeed Sassooni, Haideh Herbert-Aynehchi, Manochehr Nazarian (IAJF Chairman-Board of Directors), Elahe Borokhim, Manigeh Youabian, Betty Youabian, Manizheh Yomtoubian, Dr. Shadee Toomari, Dr. Nahid Rafii, Dr. Minou Soomekh-Michlin                      
NA’AMAT USA PresentsJewish in India: The Art and Life of Siona Benjamin July 19th, 2023 at 4:00pm PT for a special Zoom event!
 Siona Benjamin is a painter originally from Bombay, now living in the US. Her work reflects her background of being brought up as a Bene Israel Jew in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India. In her paintings she combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic inspired by both Indian miniature paintings, transcultural myth, and iconography.
 For more information, please emailAmy Taus at

Successful evil-doers plan and carry out their nefarious activities at the time that is most opportune for them. During their planning, they employ tactics and surveillance methods that should stand out as unusual and be noticed. If people were to report these unusual activities to organizations that piece together the clues, a tragedy can be averted. We have all experienced examples of “why didn’t I notice that clue” after the fact. We can protect ourselves and our communities by saying something when we see something. Whom should you report it to? If you see a shooting in progress, you call 911, but if you see something out of the ordinary that could have safety repercussions, you should contact the Joint Regional Intelligence Center at you do, please give as much detail as you can. Every extra detail of what, when, where, how, by what means, can help the professionals to figure out the puzzle and avert disaster. Please do your share.

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