Yesterday roughly 1,000 individuals attended the third Biennial Civic Conference for the “30 Years After” (3OYA) Iranian Jewish organization based in Los Angeles. As in years past, 30YA made a splash yesterday hosting a series of local, state and federal elected officials as well as community activists to discuss pressing issues that young Iranian American Jews professionals are passionate about. The 30YA panels included speakers such as U.S. Ambassador Mark Wallace, U.S. Ambassador Dennis Ross, L.A. City Controller Wendy Gruel, U.S. Congressmen Howard Berman, Brad Sherman and Henry Waxman. The interesting panels discussed the future of Jewry in L.A., dealing with the Iranian nuclear crisis and even candidates running for the 2013 L.A. mayoral race. In addition, 30YA also honored L.A. County volunteer Sherriff’s Deputy Shervin Lalezary for his efforts in arresting an arsonist that was terrorizing L.A. earlier this year. Aside from the panels, the highlight of this year’s 30YA conference was the Gala dinner which included comments from Israeli Consul General David Siegel.
Since 2007 30YA has blossomed and grown tremendously by awaking the influential Iranian Jewish community under the age of 45 who want to become more engaged in politics and civic activities. Sam Yebri, 30YA’s president had high praise for the organization’s volunteers and members who put together this year’s conference. “Our third conference built on our prior successes and helped us reach out to more members of our community and new community and political partners,” said Yebri. “ We were gratified to see so many new faces in the crowd - from high and college students to our parents and grandparents' generation” . The following is a brief conversation I had with Yebri about the outcome of this year’s conference: