Our History

The Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and Desert Area, as the central communal organization for the Jewish population for the Coachella Valley, is dedicated to promoting the values and quality of Jewish life. It is committed to fostering a continuity of Jewish life for future generations. The Federation is further committed to the unity of the Jewish people worldwide, the strengthening of the State of Israel, and the helping of Jews in need wherever they reside.

History of our Jewish Community

In 1937, there were fewer than ten Jewish families living in the Desert Area. During World War II, General Patton’s Jewish trainees came in from desert training, and Friday night hospitality in peoples homes was offered to lonely Jewish soldiers. When the El Mirador Hotel was transformed for South Pacific casualties, Jewish servicemen and their families made requests for Passover Seders. After the war, families recognized the need to establish communal services. Records show that in 1946, the first United Jewish Communities Campaign in this community received 84 donations and raised over $7,000.00!

Today,the Palm Springs and Desert Area Jewish Community is growing and thriving. There are services for individuals of all ages. Each year many make the Desert Area their winter home and many more families are settling here as full-time residents. We estimate that there are over 20,000 Jews in our community.

The Coachella Valley is breathtaking and our Desert is an exciting place that offers something for everyone!

We hope you enjoy learning more about our community.

Baruch Ha'bah – Welcome!

Federation Officers

Chairman of the Board
Celia Norian

Campaign Co-Chairs
Nancy Ditlove
Libby Hoffman
Sherry Schor

Secretary
Bernard Reiter

Treasurer
Phil Glass

Immediate Past Chair
Bill Chunowitz

Co-Chair Allocations
Elliott Cohen
Allan Lehmann

Board of Directors
Sheri Borax
Judith Cohen
Arnie Gillman
Ellen Glass
Bobbi Holland
Margie Kulp
Ron Langus
Allan Nyman
Stephanie Ross
Gary Schahet
Sandy Seplow