LAPD patrol officers in the San Fernando Valley are now packing a powerful resource small enough to fit into a breast pocket. The Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance has teamed up with Deputy Chief Michael Moore and LAPD chaplain Kenneth Crawford to create the Community Social Services Card, a business-card-size resource that lists Jewish agencies best quipped to deal with particular emergency situations.
Police are accustomed to calling in pastors when they encounter a troubled teen or domestic disputes, but Valley Alliance Executive Director Carol Koransky said the officers have been at a loss when it comes to the Jewish community.
"Having the name of a rabbi isn't going to do it," she said, adding that one person can't address all of the issues an officer might encounter.
The card lists which agencies officers should to turn to in the event of family violence intervention (Jewish Family Service), seniors evicted from an apartment (Bet Tzedek) and mental health services for teens (Vista Del Mar), among other problems.
Koransky came up with the card idea during a recent meeting in Mission Hills with LAPD division heads.
The Valley Alliance originally printed 300 cards, which were so well received by the LAPD that its Valley Bureau is now awaiting 1,000 more cards to be distributed among the six divisions. An additional 200 will also be distributed to Fire Department stations in the Valley area.
If the Valley-based pilot program works well, Koransky said the cards are expected to become standard issue to police citywide. -- Adam Wills, Associate Editor
Postcard and dog tag campaign seeks release of Israeli soldiers
Remember the names of Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit?
They are the three Israeli soldiers, whose kidnappings by Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists triggered the Israeli campaigns in Gaza and Lebanon.
The fighting ended with the three men still in foreign hands, but a Los Angeles-based drive to obtain their release is picking up steam. More momentum will be added when Jewish leaders from across the United States meet in our city next month.
This week, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is distributing another large batch of postcards and dog tags imprinted with the names of the kidnapped soldiers. Each of the cards displays photos of the three men under the heading, "For them, the war is not over." On the reverse side is a message addressed, respectively, to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and Jacob Kellenberger, International Red Cross president.
"I urge you to do everything in your power to see to the well-being and safe return of these brave young men captured while defending their country," reads part of the request to the three world leaders.
Approximately 36,000 cards were sent to synagogues for distribution during Yom Kippur services, and an additional 60,000 are being printed. Only a few hundred dog tags could be produced before the High Holidays and went mainly to community leaders. However, an additional 7,000 to 10,000 are being ordered and will go to college and other students through Hillel campus offices.
In the third stage of the campaign, the cards and dog tags will be presented to delegates attending the general assembly of the United Jewish Communities, meeting Nov. 12-15 at the L.A. Convention Center.
"We hope that when the delegates return to their hometowns, they will launch similar efforts in cities across the country," said John Fishel, Federation president.
The original concept for the campaign evolved gradually.
"In the month before the High Holidays, the fighting in Lebanon was drawing to a close, but the fate of the kidnapped soldiers remained unresolved," Fishel said.
To draw attention to their plight, Fishel's first idea was to place large print ads and distribute fliers around the time of Yom Kippur. But about three weeks before the Day of Atonement, marketing executive Roger Fishman and Elliot Brandt, AIPAC regional director, visited Fishel to pitch the idea of putting the prisoners' names on dog tags.
After some brainstorming, it was decided to also send postcards, and then the pressure was on to produce the items fast enough to meet the Yom Kippur deadline.
"The feedback I've received so far has been extremely positive," Fishel said.
For information on how to obtain the dog tags and/or cards, contact The Jewish Federation at PR at www.jewishla.org or call (323) 761-8070. -- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
Jewish Home Taps Caan for Walk
"Las Vegas" star James Caan, a.k.a. "The Jewish Cowboy," has been named honorary chair for Jewish Home for the Aging's seventh Wells Fargo Walk of the Ages on Dec. 3. The walk is one of the largest of its kind in the San Fernando Valley and follows the Jewish Home's scheduled Oct. 29 opening of its $58.5 million Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer Medical Center.
Organizers are hoping to raise $400,000 for the Jewish Home's residents this year, nearly $100,000 more than last year's total. The 5K event starts at 8:30 a.m. and will begin and end at the Jewish Home's Eisenberg Village Campus, 18855 Victory Blvd., Reseda. The walk is open to participants of all ages.
To register or for more information, visit www.walkofages.kintera.org or call (818) 774-3100. -- AW