Southern California’s Iranian Jewish community has been abuzz this week after a recent press conference held by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca who announced that Iranian Jewish volunteer deputy Shervin Lalezary was responsible for the arrest of an alleged serial arsonist in the Hollywood area. The 30-year-old Lalezary, who is also a real estate attorney, spoke humbly at the press conference about his detection and arrest of the suspect in the case. To say that local Iranian Jews are thrilled and proud of Lalezary is an understatement. Community leaders and members I have spoken to this past week have all demanded that I give proper coverage in the L.A. Jewish Journal to Lalezary because they believe he is one of the great examples of what is right about Southern California’s Iranian Jewry.
Following last year’s conviction of former local Iranian Jewish banker Ezri Namvar and the recent arrest of Iranian Jewish radio talk show host John Farahi, many in the community have been disappointed with the lack of good news coming from those within their ranks. So this story of Lalezary comes at a great time when L.A. Iranian Jewry can proudly point to one of their own as an example of our generosity to the greater community in L.A. and our desire to bring about “Tikun Olam” or healing of the world. Iranian Jews live in a very insular and tight-knit community, often not allowing outsiders to really understand them. Sadly as a result, sometimes a few individuals from outside the community are often quick to write-off or judge the entire community based on a few rotten apples. Yet every once in a while a great example of our community’s giving nature, love of community and desire to help others shines— such was the case this week with deputy Lalezary. He is not only an educated productive contributor to the economy of L.A. but also volunteers his free time for the benefit of law enforcement and protection of all Angelinos. This blog salutes deputy Lalezary and congratulates his family for giving us an individual who has given back to the larger community unselfishly and with bravery. Again, he is what is truly right about L.A.’s Iranian Jews and a fantastic example that the new generation of young Iranian Jews can emulate.