AJC Los Angeles Regional Office
AJC WELCOMES CALIFORNIA APPELLATE COURT DECISION ON UC IRVINE HECKLERS OF ISRAELI AMBASSADOR, COMMENDS HONEY AMADO'S LEADERSHIP
AJC welcomed the decision of the Appellate Division of the California Superior Court in Orange County in State v. Sayeed, et al. The court upheld the conviction of 10 individuals who repeatedly interrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech at the University of California at Irvine in February 2010. They had violated a statute which bans anyone from willfully disturbing or breaking up a lawful assembly, the court ruled. AJC filed an amicus brief written by Honey Kessler Amado, joined by the Jewish Council of Public Affairs and Jewish National Fund. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
AJC LOS ANGELES JOINS CONGRESSMAN ENGEL (D-NY), COUNCILMEMBER BLUMENFIELD, CITY ATTORNEY FEUER, AS LA CITY COUNCIL TAKES HISTORIC STEPS ON IRAN SANCTIONS
Senior members of AJC Los Angeles leadership and staff took part in a press conference on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, one hour before standing with Councilmember Bob Blumenfield as he secured the Los Angeles City Council’s support for his measure that makes Los Angeles the first city to be in full compliance with the Iran Contracting Act of 2010. That law, authored by then Assemblymembers Feuer and Blumenfield, bars persons engaged in investment activities in Iran’s petroleum, natural gas, or nuclear industries from bidding on or renewing contracts with the State and local governments.
"What happens in Los Angeles matters," declared Cliff Goldstein, President of AJC Los Angeles, speaking before City Council in favor of the motion. "And so the battle to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and stopping the nuclear proliferation that would surely follow, must be fought here as well, Goldstein continued. "Through your actions this morning you can make an important statement in support of human rights and a safer and more just world."
The Iran Contracting Act of 2010 made California the first state in the nation to enact a law pursuant to the congressional passage of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA). Section 202 of CISADA authorized state and local governments to divest their funds from parties involved in Iran’s energy sector and to bar such parties from state and local government contracts. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was among those who drafted the original language, under then Chairman Howard Berman.Chair of AJC Los Angeles’ Iran Task Force, Sherry Weinman recalls that AJC vigorously supported passage in the state legislature of the Iran Contracting Act of 2010, helping to make California the first state to utilize a set of increased penalties and indemnity provisions provided by earlier federal legislation.
"AJC has worked in close partnership with our elected officials for many years on implementing local and state sanctions against Iran," said Weinman. "The passage of further Iran sanctions legislation by the Los Angeles City Council should be understood as a progression; an example of the benefits and outcome of this lengthy collaboration," Weinman continued. "In this case, now Los Angeles City Councilman Blumenfield and City Attorney Feuer were among those standing alongside AJC President Cliff Goldstein, Executive Director Rabbi Mark Diamond and California Congressman Eliot Engel touting the passage of sanctions by the Los Angeles City Council – a motion that passed 13-0." CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
PRESS RELEASE: AJC LOS ANGELES APPLAUDS UCLA STUDENT GOVERNMENT DECISION TO DEFEAT ISRAEL DIVESTMENT RESOLUTION
AJC Los Angeles applauds the UCLA undergraduate student government decision to vote down a resolution early Wednesday morning, which called for UCLA and the Regents of the University of California system to divest from companies that do business in disputed territories within Israel including Caterpillar, Cement Roadstone Holdings, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard and Cemex.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) voted against the resolution with a 5-7-0 vote in a secret ballot, after nearly 9 hours of impassioned public commentary by students, which began the evening before at 7 p.m. and lasted until about 4 a.m. More than 500 people attended the meeting.
"As an American, a Jew and a third-generation Bruin, I am proud that USAC defeated the BDS divestment resolution," said Daniel Inlender, Chair of AJC Los Angeles’ Communications Committee and co-founder of AJC Los Angeles’ ACCESS Young Professionals program.
"The Council's vote clearly affirms the inherently offensive nature of the resolution; a proposal which unfairly attempted to single out Israel as a scapegoat. University campuses as vibrant as UCLA's provide the unique opportunity for students, faculty and staff alike to explore ideas in a manner which fosters understanding and attentiveness to the possibilities for creative interplay, especially when they observe what appears to be unrelenting conflict with few realistic options for resolution in the near term," continued Inlender. CLICK HERE TO READ WHOLE PRESS RELEASE.
DEBBIE AND NATY SAIDOFF MEET POPE FRANCIS
"I still cannot believe that I shook the hand of and spoke to this transformational figure in history," said Debbie Saidoff, AJC Los Angeles Vice President and National Board of Governors member. "Pope Francis exudes an aura of loving kindness,’chesed,’ in Hebrew. He is the embodiment of his message; humility and humanity. He has awakened a sense of possibility of a world more responsive to the fundamental needs of the poor and a sense of social justice."
Debbie and Naty Saidoff traveled to Rome with an AJC leadership delegation in February to meet with Pope Francis. "I am very grateful to you for the distinguished contribution you have made to dialogue and fraternity between Jews and Catholics," Pope Francis said to the AJC leaders.
The Saidoff’s recall many memorable moments during their time in Rome. Most dramatic may have been "being led through the inner sanctum of the church to enter the Sistine chapel through the doors reserved for the Pope and cardinals during the conclave." During their meeting with Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, they were particularly touched when he conveyed, "For Catholics not to understand the Jews and the Old Testament is tantamount to a child not knowing their mother." The Saidoffs also joined AJC in hosting a Shabbat dinner that brought together cardinals and other Vatican officials with Israel's ambassador to the Vatican. "Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC's Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, gave a moving and personal d'var torah and Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs, using his exceptional cantorial skills, led us in song and prayer."
"AJC has a long and proud history of building relations with the church, Debbie recalls. "We were fundamental players in the realization of Nostra Aetate. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
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Los Angeles NewsRSS
- AJC Welcomes California Appellate Court Decision on UC Irvine Hecklers of Israeli Ambassador, Commends Honey Amado's Leadership
- AJC Los Angeles Joins Congressman Engel (D-NY), Councilmember Blumenfield, City Attorney Feuer, as LA City Council Takes Historic Steps on Iran Sanctions
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