The word “Maman” in Persian means “Mother,” a person who is always there for you, to help guide, nurture and support you. Maman nonprofit founder Sara Raoof Jacobs, a mother of three children, named this organization after the spirit of her own mother, Mahvash Ghiam Raoof.
While Sara’s mother battled cancer, she witnessed the power of the Iranian Jewish community, which came together to support her and her family during those difficult years. Additionally, Sara learned the importance of helping others from her mother’s examples of paying it forward. Maman was established in 2022 with the aim of continuing Sara’s mother’s legacy.
Giving back is an integral part of any community. Sara established the Maman nonprofit as an ode to her mother and the deep values she learned from her. Today, Maman serves as an avenue for men, women and children to give back and help others in a multitude of ways.
Join us! There are many ways to get involved. We offer many avenues for volunteers, more than just financial donations. Every individual could use their own talents, connections and networks to help hold one another’s hands and strengthen our community.
Sara Raoof Jacobs
Sara Raoof Jacobs was born in Shiraz, Iran. At just 15 months old, she fled Iran with her family, escaping religious persecution during the Iranian Revolution. Sara was inspired by her mother’s giving nature to start Maman nonprofit. Throughout her life she has been volunteering her time to help others and galvanizing the community around her to do the same. In college at UCLA, she majored in Psychology and minored in Social Welfare. As a student, Sara was an integral member of many social justice organizations, such as the Coalition for Coexistence in the Middle East. She also sat on the board of the Iranian Jewish Women's organization and was a founding member of the Persian Hillel group. Inspired by a mentor, she decided to attend law school and earned her J.D. degree.
Community work has always been a part of Sara’s life. When volunteering, friends would also want to get involved, but she never had a system in place to organize their many efforts, until she founded Maman nonprofit. Sara established Maman, in honor of her mother’s legacy, as a platform for others to be able to pay it forward. She also teaches Kabbalah, continuing a practice from her ancestral bloodline. Her mission is to do good and bring light into the world, and to help others do the same. Sara currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her three children.
Farah Vhadat is a Public Health professional with a specialization in Community Health Sciences. Farah's particular areas of expertise include community engagement, disease prevention, health promotion, and global development. Farah has applied her passion of community engagement in the U.S. as well as in international countries, such as, India, Israel, Haiti and Greece. Farah is a graduate of UCLA and holds a B.A. in Women's Studies. She earned a graduate degree from The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Farah is currently living in Los Angeles, California.
Tanaz has been with Mayor Garcetti's Office for 5 years where she currently serves as the Director of Interim Housing Strategies for the Mayor's Office of City Homelessness Initiatives, overseeing all interim housing projects. Prior to this role, Tanaz served as Sr. Program Manager for Interim Housing, as well as, Sr. Area Representative for the Office of Public Engagement. Additionally, Tanaz also serves as the Mayor's liaison to the greater Jewish community and the Iranian community. Tanaz is a graduate of USC where she received her Bachelors, Masters Degree and Teaching Credential. She is involved with different LA based non-profits, and volunteering efforts. As a Los Angeles native, Tanaz is very passionate about this city and is committed to creating positive change.
Tanaz is also very passionate about yoga, meditation and raising global consciousness.
Liana is currently the Administrative Assistant at Brentwood Sunshine Preschool. Before that, she served as an Early Childhood educator at a Synagogue in Brentwood for seven years. She received her Masters in Leadership in Early Childhood Education from Brandman University after receiving a certificate in Early Childhood education from UCLA. In her free time she loves to bake and create sweet treats, check out museums, and spend time with friends and family.
Sanaz currently serves as VP of student services at Encino Charter Elementary and VP of JYC.
She currently serves on 3 different non-profit boards. Her passion is to make a difference in the lives of youth. She also runs her small business, Bedazzlemeup.
Maman's mission is to normalize giving and receiving support of any kind.
At Maman we believe people should never feel alone. We are determined to help change the consciousness of our community to give back and reverse the stigma of shame people may feel for receiving support. We are passionate about engaging the public to come together and help others, whether as a volunteer or financial supporter, we believe in nurturing the community in a variety of ways.
Individuals and families have complete privacy when receiving aid from Maman. We believe in helping anyone who needs it, whether it’s a person battling an illness, abuse, foster children, special education, special needs, medication, transportation, food security, housing assistance, acute care to help individuals get back on their feet, and other needs. Our mission is to bring light and positivity to the world — whether that means taking an action through kindness or paying it forward or elevating our consciousness in whatever capacity possible.
Maman is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. EIN: 88-0868090