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Finding Purpose Beyond the Screen: Thor Gold’s Ezra Network Story

After a stint in the entertainment business, film school graduate Thor Gold added a few writing and directing credits to his name, but breaking into Hollywood proved difficult. Like many others, he amassed a lot of work experience in the food service and hospitality industries.

Thor was looking for new opportunities – he wasn’t sure if Hollywood held the career he wanted. He reached out to his connections and found career coach Giselle Hartman with the EZRA Network, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in partnership with the Jewish Family Service LA, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, and JVS SoCal.

The EZRA Network offers help in various areas including legal counseling, mental health care and employment. At JVS SoCal, Giselle’s role is to offer individualized job search assistance, skill development and job placement support. Participants are referred by synagogues across Greater Los Angeles, including the San Gabriel Valley and the South Bay.

His interaction with the EZRA Network was a shot in the arm for his confidence, specifically how Ms. Hartman took the time to work directly with him, offering extensive job search assistance, interview prep, resume and cover letter edits, as well as onboarding coaching.

“The EZRA program and Giselle were phenomenal,” says Thor, “in terms of really honing in on my resume and changing it and making it more readable, but also taking care of the red flags.”

Giselle helped him by pointing out his transferrable skills and directing him to highlight his accomplishments with bullet points, like the time when he raised more money for his previous employer.

With this support, Thor was able to secure a part-time position at the Jewish Family Service LA, where he works as a meal coordinator. Jewish Family Service LA provides programs that help people live with dignity and exercise self-determination.

Thor feels very happy and is extremely satisfied helping his community through his role delivering meals to people in need. “It’s just a nice feeling,” says Thor, “I’m glad I’m able to do that, whether it’s to serve them a meal or to just talk with them.”

Looking back to the time when he faced a great challenge, Thor is grateful to have had the Jewish community to reach out to for help. “There’s nothing more debilitating than not being able to find work…[The Ezra Network] gave me a boost of confidence.”

To learn more about the work of JVS SoCal within the EZRA Network, please visit

If you’d like to help others like Thor find a rewarding career that combines what they love doing with the ability to earn a good income, consider donating here.