March 2, 2000
Saving a Troubled Agency
Can one man's passion single-handedly raise the JCRC's profile?
On a moody February morning, at his favorite Westside delicatessen, Ozzie Goren is picking at his scrambled egg whites as he issues another sound statement. When it comes to intensity, it really doesn't matter what the opinionated Goren is talking about -- the passion is always as hot as his cup of coffee (black -- no cream), whether he's discussing life, business, or The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Right now, the subject happens to be his long history of commitment to L.A.'s Jewish community.
"My father said to me over and over," says Goren, "'There's only one thing that you can leave behind -- and that's your good name.'"
Last year, The Federation tapped the avuncular 77-year-old real estate developer -- a veteran community activist and former Federation president -- to chair the Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC), its public affairs department. (Goren is also on the Board of The Jewish Journal.)
Sitting across from Goren, it's easy to see why the outreach organization picked him.
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