Organization: Etta Israel Center, Los Angeles, CA
Grant Year: 1997
Project Director: Dr. Michael Held
Type of Grant: Signature
Grant Amount: $150,000 (3 years)
To support the development of a virtual community for Jewish disabled students and support groups. The site that was constructed, www.etta.org, still exists as this tremendous resource: over the past decade, it has received close to a million unique visitors.
The foresight of the Covenant Foundation and ETTA in constructing this website has become clearer each year. The look, feel, and content of the website are continually upgraded; in fact, ETTA has recently contracted with a graphic design firm for a modern refresh to raise the site’s profile. The site continues to be “”a meaningful link in the lives of people … who are… touched by special needs.””
The site has grown as ETTA as has grown. ETTA now serves hundreds of clients across the greater Los Angeles area. As ETTA has moved further into providing services to adults with disabilities, it has filled countless gaps in the community.
According to the summative Grant Report, the Etta Israel website “created a meaningful link in the lives of people – primarily teachers and parents who are passionately and intimately involved with children, youth and adults with special needs. By presenting information in a concise, clear and searchable format, parents and teachers can access the information they need when they need it.” The website also helped Etta Israel widen its organizational reach beyond the local community: “www.etta.org has provided EIC with worldwide exposure for our services and programs… By providing information online, EIC has been able to connect with and participate in collaborative efforts with organizations beyond our limited Los Angeles service area. We are able to impact families, teachers and service providers nation-wide.” This captures the excitement that so many organizations and individuals felt about the web at the turn of the millennium – the sense that one could now easily transcend geographic boundaries and achieve instant communication and connection with people a nation or world away.
ETTA merged with OHEL Children’s and Family Services in 2012 to further cement its lifetime commitment to its clients, and together form a national organization committed to people with special needs. The full “”ETTA Family”” of clients and their families, board members, supporters, volunteers, and community numbers in the thousands.