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First-Ever LAPD Jewish Community Forum

Wednesday night in Tarzana, the LAPD held its first-ever Jewish Community Forum in partnership with our Federation. More than 150 community members from all sectors of the San Fernando Valley came out to Braemar Country Club for an evening of dialogue with captains from the various divisions of the LAPD Valley Bureau.  Topics included an overview of safety/security measures and challenges, potential threats and plans that are in place to keep the Jewish community protected; as well as how the organized Jewish community is working in partnership with the LAPD.

Following welcoming remarks by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Jon Peters, Assistant Commanding Officer for the Valley Bureau, gave an overview of the evening’s program and expressed the strength of the LAPD’s partnership with the Jewish community and our Federation.  L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer and L.A. City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield spoke briefly about their personal connection to the Jewish community, and how its safety and security were critical areas within their respective roles.  Feuer said, “The community assembled tonight is a priority – not only to my office, but to me personally.” Blumenfield added, “Security is about cooperation, collaboration and vigilance.”

Federation’s Ivan Wolkind with Israel Consul General David Siegel and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck

Ivan Wolkind, Federation’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer, spoke about our longstanding relationship and collaboration with LAPD and other law enforcement agencies. He also talked about our Federation’s Community Security Initiative, which was created with the goal of representing the security-related interested of Jewish organizations throughout Los Angeles.

Israel’s Consul General David Siegel quoted Charles Dickens in referring to “these are the best of times, and the worst of times” in describing the situation in Israel with regard to security matters. He went on to reference the collaboration and sharing of best practices and training that’s taken place between the LAPD and Israel’s security agencies. In addressing the Jewish community specifically Siegel talked about growing terrorism and anti-Semitic hate crimes taking place in various parts of the world including a surge of activity in France as just one example. He said, “Israel is on the frontline, but world events affect all of us.”

Attendees were individually invited by the captains for the respective divisions with the LAPD Valley Bureau. The evening provided ample time for the community members to get to know their local captains and discuss their concerns while building and strengthening their existing relationships.

The event was moderated by Josh Rubenstein, chief meteorologist for CBS 2 and KCAL 9, who is actively involved in both the LAPD and the Jewish community. For more on the event, read the coverage in the Daily News.

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