Jewish Journal

Gov. Jerry Brown: ‘California and Israel can lead together…’

by Ryan Torok

January 30, 2014 | 3:45 pm

Gov. Brown, addressing AJC-LA on Jan. 29. Photo by Michael Kovak

Governor Jerry Brown, appearing as keynote speaker at an American-Jewish Committee-Los Angeles event on Wed., Jan. 29, highlighted the potential for future environmentally-focused partnerships between California and the Jewish State.

“We’re going to make another initiative, on alternative energy, on electric batteries on cars. There’s a lot of things that California and Israel can lead together, in a partnership for creative change for a sustainable future,” Brown said, during the AJC-LA event.

Addressing philanthropists, community leaders and elected officials who work inside of the L.A. Jewish community, or whose work affects that demographic, and who had assembled at Wilshire Boulevard Hotel in Beverly Hills to honor philanthropist and entrepreneur David Bohnett, California’s highest elected official talked more than just Israel.

During his 15-minute-long remarks, he professed his admiration for Abraham Joshua Heschel, particularly the icon’s book, “The Sabbath.”

Brown said that he learned from the book that the Shabbat “is not about achieving some exterior goal, but it’s really opening oneself to be able to sanctify time… let's take every seventh day to just be, and appreciate and open our minds to the divine” he said.

Brown also discussed the state of California. His verdict on California’s condition? Kakha Kakha (Hebrew for “so-so”).

“The state is not that bad. Despite what you’ve heard, the state’s pretty good. I can tell you the good points, and I can tell you the bad points,” he said at the AJC-LA gathering.

His transportation goals? If all goes well and California successfully constructs a high-speed rail, the West Los Angelenos in the audience might surprise themselves by where they find themselves adventuring to, he said.

“You might even have people in this room who want to get to Bakersfield,” he said.

Bohnett, who is not Jewish, is a philanthropist, technology entrepreneur and activist. He is chairman of the David Bohnett Foundation, which describes itself as “committed to improving society through social activism.” The foundation’s work includes providing resources to LGBT nonprofits.

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