November 2, 2006
Israeli Security Offers Pointers to LAX; Education Programs Get Multimillion Dollar Boost
Israeli Security Offers Pointers to LAX
Three Israeli security experts received warm praise from local city officials after concluding a four-day recent inspection tour of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) recently.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a statement during his Asia travels lauding the "peer-to-peer sharing of critical security measures in place at Ben-Gurion Airport."
City Councilman Jack Weiss, who hosted the Israeli delegation, said that the inspection visit was the first of its kind to any U.S. airport.
Heading the Israeli group was Nahum Liss, director of the security planning department at Ben-Gurion International Airport, joined by department officials Hadas Levitan and Alon Browon.
They were not available for comment and LAX officials declined to discuss specific recommendations for security reasons. However, LAX Commission President Alan Rothenberg told the Los Angeles Times that the Israeli experts "had a half dozen suggestions, some of them very low tech, some of them very high tech."
The Los Angeles airport is considered the prime terrorist target in California and its Tom Bradley International Terminal processes as many passengers annually as the Ben-Gurion airport, Rothenberg said.
In reporting the visit, the L.A. Times emphasized that "Israel airport security is recognized throughout the world as the gold standard," particularly for its "behavioral recognition tactics."
The Israeli delegation was invited by Weiss, who participated in a conference on homeland security in Israel earlier this year. "We came to appreciate that Israeli government officials have unique and valuable experience in protecting airports and airliners from terrorism and that they could be helpful partners in securing LAX," Weiss said.
"We hope that we can arrange to put this security exchange on a permanent footing," he added.
-- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
Education Programs Get Multimillion Dollar Boost
The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (JCF) recently announced that it had awarded grants totaling a record $57 million in 2005, up 33 percent from a year earlier.
The 52-year-old foundation, the largest manager of charitable assets for Jewish philanthropists in Los Angeles, distributed more than 1,300 grants last year to a variety of secular and religious causes.
"Whether the foundation's grants target the young, the elderly, the arts, education, or social services, we aim to make a real difference in people's lives," said Marvin I. Schotland, JCF president and chief executive.
With the foundation's total assets having jumped 83 percent over the past five years, JCF recently announced that it would award grants of up to $250,000 over a three-year period, compared to maximum grants of $50,000. As of Dec. 31, 2005, the foundation had $603 million in total assets.
Among the 2005 recipients of noteworthy JCF grants:
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