Next week, on June 15th,  California will fully re-open, and like so many of you I am very eager to be able to take off the mask, return to the office, visit local businesses, attend community events and enjoy the LA summer. We are fortunate that vaccines have been made widely available, and the Biden administration’s support for our community is helping keep us afloat. With the state’s “Vax to Win” lottery, a chance to win up to $1.5 million, there’s even more reason to get your shot ASAP if you haven’t done so already.

I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to take advantage of the Pierce College site before it winds down on June 19th. Pierce is open from 8:00am-8:00pm, no appointment needed, and Angelenos can request their vaccine of choice. The City will transition to focusing on vaccinating hard to reach and vaccine resistant populations through pop-up sites and local outreach and vaccinations will still be available at pharmacies and through health care providers.

Even if you think you could survive COVID19 exposure, getting vaccinated opens the door to workplaces, attending social events, and is reassuring to everyone around you who may be at risk.

In this newsletter, I share some news about our efforts to help the unsheltered people in the district get the help they need, improving the fire resistance of local multi-family buildings, and more. If you have a question or issue you’d like to discuss with me and my team, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 818-774-4330


Beginning on last Friday to Thursday, June 17 at County-run vaccination sites, participating LA city and mobile sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites, everyone 18 and older coming to get their first vaccine or who brings a first-time vaccine recipient with them to their second dose appointment, will have an opportunity to win a pair of season tickets to the 2021-2022 home season of the Clippers, the Rams, or the Chargers.  Official rules and participating site locations will be posted on the Los Angeles County Vaccination Sweepstakes page online tomorrow.  The LA Football Club soccer team or the LA Dodgers season tickets vaccination sweepstakes is currently in effect through the end of the day today.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 7 new deaths and 220 new cases of COVID-19.  Of the seven new deaths reported today, one person that passed away was over the age of 80, three people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, one person who died was between the ages of 50 and 64, and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach.

To date, Public Health identified 1,245,771 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,414 deaths. There are 244 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 18% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 6,870,000 individuals with 17% of people testing positive. Today's daily test positivity rate is 0.4%.

Next week, L.A. County will issue a modified Health Officer Order to align with the State that will include new masking guidance, requirements for workplaces to adhere to the Cal/OSHA standards, and any needed sector-specific protocols that remain in place for schools, day cares, camps, and high-risk congregate settings. These sector specific guidance documents will be aligned with the State guidance for these sectors.  The many other sector-specific protocols that are currently on the Public Health website will be retired on June 15.

Masks will not be required for fully vaccinated people, except in the certain settings where masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.  Masks will be required for unvaccinated people in indoor public settings and businesses.  

The Public Health hosted a Virtual Town Hall on reopening on last week, which was streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube @lapublichealth.


LOS ANGELES – From Moriah Films’ I Have Never Forgotten You, narrated by Academy Award®-winning actress Nicole Kidman, this clip highlights how Simon Wiesenthal tracked down Karl Silberbauer, the Gestapo officer who arrested Anne Frank. Dutch neo-Nazi propagandists were fairly successful in their attempts to discredit the authenticity of Anne Frank's famous diary until Wiesenthal located Silberbauer, then a police inspector in Austria, in 1963. "Yes," Silberbauer confessed when confronted, “I arrested Anne Frank.”

“Anne Frank was one of the millions of victims of the Nazi regime, a young girl who was not allowed to grow to adulthood, who was denied the right to live merely because she was Jewish. Had she escaped the Nazis' horrible machinery of mass destruction, she would perhaps have become a mother, a grandmother, and have passed on her experience of life and her acquired wisdom to her children and grandchildren,” stated Wiesenthal.

In the Fall of 1939, in Danville, Iowa, ten-year-old Juanita Jane Wagner picked a name from a list of pen pals. Her teacher, Miss Birdie Mathews, had visited the Netherlands and brought back names and addresses of Dutch children for a pen pal project. The name of Juanita's pen pal was Anne Frank, also ten years old.

Juanita promptly wrote Anne and told her about Danville, her name, her family, in particular her sister Betty, and life on the farm. Eagerly, Juanita waited for a reply, which finally arrived in February or March (1940).

When Juanita and Anne realized that they each had an older sister about the same age, they arranged for Betty and Margot, Anne's sister, to also become pen pals.

The only existing letters from the correspondence between the sisters in Danville and Amsterdam are Anne's letter to Juanita (April 29, 1940) pictured above and Margot's letter to Betty (April 27, 1940). Both letters came in the same envelope, addressed to "Miss J and B Wagner."

Both Anne and Margot wrote their letters in English. It is believed that they wrote their first draft in Dutch and that their father, Otto Frank, translated the words to English. He then had his daughters rewrite their letters in English. Also included with their letters were little photographs of themselves and a picture postcard from Amsterdam. They are also exhibited here.

Juanita and Betty were thrilled to hear from their Dutch pen pals. They wrote back immediately and sent snapshots of themselves. Again they anxiously waited for mail from Amsterdam.

A couple of weeks later (May 10, 1940), the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. The Dutch fought back, but, in four days, they surrendered to Germany.

As their teachers spoke about the war, Betty and Juanita worried about Anne and Margot. Were they safe? Were they alive? They kept hoping for news. But no more letters came.

The letters are on permanent display at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in the "Anne" exhibit which also houses more original artifacts and information about the life of Anne Frank.

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                                      11-17 Tammuz, 5781                                                   June 21-27, 2021 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES--652nd Web Ed.


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