The Jewish Alliance for Animals
Submitted by: Los Angeles Animal Alliance Category: Engaging in Our Community
The Big Idea
The torah calls Jews to both tikkun olum and tzaar baalei hayim, repairing the world and caring for animals. However, throughout the greater Los Angeles region, more than 100,000 homeless dogs and cats are euthanized each year, which is nearly 250 per day. This is far less than in decades past but still too much in a region of 10 million people. The euthanasia of homeless animals is due to several factors. This includes: 1. a lack of people ready to support, adopt or foster homeless animals; 2. too many people buying animals from retailers, puppy mills and breeders and not from shelters and rescuers; 3. the number of homeless animals exceeding both shelter and rescuer capacity to care for them; and 4. not enough spaying/neutering, humane education, and community outreach programs.
In Israel, companion animals also struggle with rampant homelessness and preventable suffering. There are over 2 million homeless cats and 100,000 dogs abandoned in Israeli shelters annually, 90% of whom are euthanized. We believe that the suffering of homeless dogs and cats in both Los Angeles and Israel are social problems that can be solved through community organizing. Jews overwhelmingly want to help the dogs and cats near their homes, synagogues and neighborhoods. Despite our morals and good intentions, so many people do not know how or have access to opportunities to help animals.
Others volunteer or donate to local shelters and rescue groups. They know how wonderful Los Angeles area humane organizations are and how much caregivers and animals could benefit from more community connectedness and support. The Jewish Alliance for Animals is a community organizing initiative that will harness the power of the Jewish community to increase humane life saving in both Los Angeles and Israel.
Offering consistent, high quality, humane community service opportunities will increase the connectedness of Jews who care about animals as well as attract new involvement in local Jewish life and congregations. We will create programming partnerships with congregations, religious schools and establish synagogue based leadership groups to mobilize their congregations and communities to work with humane caregivers.
The Los Angeles Jewish community can be a beacon of community organizing, progress, tikkun olum and tzaar baalei hayim to Los Angeles and Israel. We believe that the Jewish Alliance for Animals will strengthen Jewish community organizations to become epicenters for civic engagement, service learning, life saving and solving local problems. The Jewish Alliance for Animals will provide consistent, high quality opportunities for people and communities to work with each other and help animals. This community organizing will impact the vitality of the Jewish community by increasing our connectedness to congregations, neighborhoods and Israelis, and help save the lives and reduce suffering for countless animals in Los Angeles and Israel.
Our goals include: facilitating humane community organizing partnerships with the Los Angeles Jewish community; increasing both life saving and Jewish connectedness in Southern California; working with other faith groups to engage their congregations with animals; and bringing local humane professionals, expertise and volunteers to Israel to increase their community's life saving capacity. We believe that significantly reducing the euthanasia rate of roughly 250 companion animals per day, or 100,000 a year, in a region of 10 million people is very achievable. Proliferating adoptions from shelters and rescuers, decreasing adoptions from retailers and puppy mills, and proliferating fostering, spaying/neutering, and humane education programs, will all be central to community organizing that transforms the lives of people and animals.
Israel's humane community, their 2 million homeless cats suffering on the streets, and 100,000 dogs annually abandoned in shelters, 90% of whom are euthanized, also call out for help. Los Angeles' best humane professionals, their expertise, programs and our volunteers will work side by side with Israelis to decrease suffering, increase life saving and strengthen spay/neuter capacity.
This Is A Great Idea Because
The Jewish Alliance for Animals is innovative because it seeks to connect like-minded people, humane caregivers and the Jewish community, to work together towards our shared goals of tikkun olum and tzaar baalei hayim, repairing the world and taking care of and reducing the suffering of animals. We expect to create a new sector of Jewish public service in temples and across the Jewish and humane communities. We also hope that these programs and the shared successes and experiences they create, will increase social capital among Jews, congregants, and the humane and general community.
In particular, the Jewish Alliance for Animals will provide program and capacity building leadership to the broader Los Angeles religious community and the Interfaith Alliance for Animals. We likewise believe that offering humane community service opportunities will attract new involvement in local Jewish life and congregations. Our partnership is also unique because we seek to transform the health of the humane community and companion animals in both Los Angeles and Israel through community organizing. The Jewish Alliance for Animals community organizing aims to give consistent and high quality service opportunities that bring together diverse people with different skills and social networks to increase the well being of companion animals.
Specifically, the Jewish Alliance for Animals is a community organizing initiative to harness the power of the Jewish community to increase humane life saving in both Los Angeles and Israel. The Jewish Alliance for Animals is a project of the Los Angeles Animal Alliance and the Interfaith Alliance for Animals program. Los Angeles Animal Alliance programming partners are leading shelters and rescue groups throughout the region, including A Dog's Life Rescue, City of Los Angeles Animal Services, Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA, spcaLA and Stray Cat Alliance.