Jewish Journal

Community Briefs

by Journal Staff

Posted on Aug. 29, 2002 at 7:59 pm

Anti-Israel Protesters Rally Outside Feinstein's Office

Anti-Israel demonstrators and pro-Israel counterdemonstrators squared off in front of Jewish Sen. Dianne Feinstein's West Los Angeles office last week. Feinstein (D-CA) has a track record of supporting pro-Israel legislation.

A coalition of self-proclaimed Middle East peace advocates, led by the Pasadena Area Coalition for a Just Palestinian-Israeli Peace, staged the rally to vent their opposition against what they call "Israel's war crimes." The coalition gathered at Feinstein's office to deliver to the senator's Middle East deputy, Michael Schiffrin, a letter that protests what they call "human rights violations."

Turnout for both sides of the peaceful protest during the Thursday rush hour was very low. The coalition -- a mix of roughly 40 white, black, Arabic and Jewish demonstrators -- rallied on the northwest corner of Santa Monica and Sepulveda boulevards. They waved a Palestinian flag and chanted slogans such as "Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! The occupation's got to go!"

Across Sepulveda Boulevard, on the northeast corner, about 50 members of the Jewish community -- Persian, Israeli and Ashkenazi Jews, and a good portion children and teens -- counterdemonstrated, waving Israeli flags and holding up signs with slogans such as "Stop The Jihad!" and "Stop Teaching Hate!" -- Michael Aushenker, Staff Writer

On Being Jewish and Gay

In a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, LAPD Deputy Chief David Kalish discussed his life in Los Angeles as an openly gay, Jewish police officer. The title of the Chronicle article, "Possible Candidate for LAPD's Top Job is Gay -- So What?" may have been premature. Kalish, who has publicly announced his desire to be the next chief of the LAPD, has long been open about his sexual orientation, even appearing at police department events with his partner, a Thai man. In a July 24 radio interview on KCRW, Kalish told Warren Olney that "for me, being gay or being Jewish has provided me a deeper sensitivity about bias and prejudice that many minorities and women have experienced, and truly created a greater commitment on my part to fight injustice."

Still, television news crews seem to have picked up on the deputy chief's sexual orientation following the Chronicle article, just as the Police Commission prepares to interview the top 13 candidates for the job. The Police Commission is expected to begin interviews after Labor Day. -- Mike Levy, Staff Writer

'To Life' Still Beating Strong

Chabad of California drew on its highest caliber of star power for its 22nd Annual L'Chaim To Life Telethon on Sunday, Aug. 25, raising $5,473,793, what they say is their biggest take ever. Last year's event raised $5,104,533.

Funds raised go toward Chabad's centers, schools, residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities and shelters for the homeless and senior citizens.

Co-hosted by Dennis Prager and the indefatigable Chabad patriarch Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, the seven-hour telethon boasted a parade of personalities headlined by comic actor Adam Sandler, singer/songwriter Neil Diamond and actors James Caan and Elliott Gould. The syndicated program, which was broadcast locally on KCAL 9 and co-chaired by Jerry Weintraub and Chabad lawyer Marshall Grossman, was graced with the now-de riguer appearance of honorary Chabadnik/Academy Award-nominated actor Jon Voight. For more Chabad Telethon coverage, see next week's edition of The Circuit column. -- MA

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