Jewish Journal

Photo essay: Mayor Delshad’s first State of the City address

by Karmel Melamed

August 31, 2007 | 4:27 pm

On August 30th nearly 300 Beverly Hills residents, business owners, community leaders and elected officials gathered at Graystone Mansion in Beverly Hills for Mayor Jimmy Delshad’s first State of the City address. Delshad, made history this past February when he became the first in the Iranian American Jewish community to attain the position of Mayor in the U.S. after winning his re-election to the Beverly Hills City Council by a slim margin this past February. The post of mayor rotates among the City Council members in Beverly Hills. Delshad was first elected to the city council in 2003 but faced two other Iranian Jewish candidates earlier this year in his re-election race. Votes cast for the Iranian candidates accounted for more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the Beverly Hills city council race this year.

Delshad’s new role in politics has drawn interest from among other Iranian American Jews who were previously not been involved with politics in the U.S. and had been barred from political involvement for centuries in Iran. For the past 30 years since their arrival in Southern California, a substantial number of Iranian Jews have gradually attained tremendous wealth in business as well as prominent positions in academia. Delshad’s involvement in local government has opened up a new area for Southern California’s Iranian Jewry to pursue and branch into.

(left to right; Iranian Jewish businessmen; E. Hamid and Nourollah Gabbai, photo by Karmel Melamed)

(Iranian Jewish businessman and philanthropist Parviz Nazarian, photo by Karmel Melamed)

(left to right; Leon Farahnik, Nessah Synagogue Board Member and Mayor Delshad,  photo by Karmel Melamed)

(Iranian Jewish Businessman Said Hakim, photo by Karmel Melamed)

(left to right; Iranian fashion designer ‘Bijan’ and Mayor Delshad, photo by Karmel Melamed)

(left to right; Young Iranians, Sam Keywanfar, Mike Hakim, Paul Naficy, photo by Karmel Melamed)

(Mayor Delshad’s son Daniel Delshad, photo by Karmel Melamed)

(former Beverly Hills Mayor, Steve Webb)

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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