LOS ANGELES – The Simon Wiesenthal Center recently honored Amal and George Clooney at its 2020 Virtual Gala.
The Gala highlights included a moving ceremony bestowing Medals of Valor to an Ecuadorian immigrant who sacrificed his life to save Jews in a terrorist attack on a Kosher supermarket in New Jersey, a Jewish member of Parliament who stood up to the anti-Semitism of the British Labour Party, and an Italian husband and wife musician and composer who have devoted their lives to find and resurrecting the music written by artists in the death camps.

The SWC’s years-in-the-making relationships and outreach to leaders in the UAE, Bahrain, other Gulf and Arab countries.

Pope Francis’ address to the SWC’s delegation at the Vatican earlier this year where he spoke about fighting anti-Semitism and hate.

This year’s event was hosted by Jeffrey Katzenberg and SWC Founder and CEO Rabbi Marvin Hier. Support came from leaders of Hollywood’s entertainment community as well as from the business world.


LOS ANGELES – UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies presents the free virtual screening and discussion of the award-winning film “Incitement,” which chronicles the true events leading to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. “Incitement” won the Israeli Film Academy Award, the Ophir Prize, for best picture 2019 and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The program marks the 25th anniversary of this pivotal and tragic event in Israeli history.

The live discussion of “Incitement” will take place October 28 (12-1 p.m. US Pacific Time, via Zoom) and feature director and co-writer Yaron Zilberman and scholar Yoram Peri, author of The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin (Stanford Univ. Press) and a former political advisor to Prime Minister Rabin. A prominent Israeli-American filmmaker, Zilberman previously directed, co-wrote, and produced the internationally acclaimed “A Late Quartet,” starring Academy Award winners Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken. Zilberman also created a new Israeli TV drama series about the 1973 Yom Kippur War, “Valley of Tears,” which was just picked up by HBO.

A Vimeo link to watch the film will be provided to registrants a few days prior to the online discussion.  Award-winning film chronicles the true events leading to the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.


LOS ANGELES -- As the need for financial relief continues to grow during the COVID-19 pandemic, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is partnering with the Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA) to extend financial help to families in financial distress who are living in the Second Supervisor District by offering  no-fee, zero-interest loans. Recognizing the urgent need for support, a grant of $500,000 has been allocated by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to facilitate emergency loans of $3,00-$6,000 for individuals and families and up to $18,000 to aid small businesses who may not qualify through normal financial channels.      

“It’s often one car accident, one exorbitant health care bill, one month of not being able to pay rent that can lead a family into financial distress, and far too often, homelessness. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this dynamic,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “I am pleased to be partnering with the Jewish Free Loan Association, one of our communities long-serving lending institutions, to aid families struggling to make ends meet with no-interest and no-fee loans that can meet their urgent needs.”

Not only can JFLA's loans be used to help individuals and families facing personal financial struggles, they can also be used to support small businesses through these trying times.  

“At this moment of stress and uncertainty, JFLA remains committed to helping our friends and neighbors get through this unprecedented crisis,” said JFLA Executive Director Rachel Grose.  “With help from partners like Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, our zero-interest loans are making a real difference in people’s lives.”

“The loan I received from JFLA helped me find a place, pay my deposit and first month's rent. I know what it feels like to be homeless—I don’t ever want to go back to that dark place," said one of JFLA’s clients, named Andrea. If you are in need of financial assistance, please visit https://www.jfla.org/ for more information and to apply for a loan.


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LOS ANGELES – Following news reports of the installation of unauthorized drop box locations throughout several California counties, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office is proactively partnering with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to shut down reported unauthorized drop boxes in Los Angeles County.

The Registrar’s office is working aggressively to protect the integrity of our elections and has employed all options to respond to reports of unauthorized Ballot Drop Boxes and ballot collection and to inform voters of official and legal options for returning their ballots. “We strongly encourage voters to contact the Registrar’s office for a list of official drop box locations and to report any incidents of disruptive or suspicious activity,” said Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan.

A list of official Los Angeles County drop boxes can be found here: https://lavote.net/home/voting-elections/voting-options/vote-by-mail/vbm-ballot-drop-off

The Secretary of State’s Office is reminding voters that guidance is available to identify an official ballot drop box. Official Los Angeles County ballot drop boxes are clearly recognizable, designed to meet state standards for security, and, importantly, bear the official Los Angeles County logo.

“Misleading voters is wrong, regardless of who is doing it,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Political parties and campaigns can engage in get out the vote efforts, but they cannot violate state law. The unofficial, unauthorized drop boxes in question violate state law and jeopardize the security of voters’ ballots. State and local elections officials have worked tirelessly to provide voters multiple safe, secure options to return their vote-by-mail ballots. These unauthorized drop boxes are a disservice to elections administrators and a disservice to voters who deserve to cast their ballots with clarity and confidence.”

“Protecting one’s vote is as critical as protecting one’s identity, credit, or bank account,” said Acting Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Rafael Carbajal. “Just like we have bad actors trying to scam our residents out of their money, we have those trying to rob them of their vote and their voice. DCBA encourages consumers to stay as vigilant with their ballot as they are with their money, check with the Registrar Recorder/County Clerk to find official Los Angeles County drop boxes, and report any suspicious drop boxes.”

Los Angeles County is committed to addressing voter concerns and any appearance of violations to the legal standards for Ballot Drop Boxes and ballot collection as quickly and thoroughly as possible.


LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean C. Logan announced a new way to report suspicious election activity in the Presidential General Election.

The RR/CC and Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) have worked together to develop a new reporting tool giving voters and residents the ability to alert the RR/CC if a Ballot Drop Boxes has been damaged, and provide potential service areas of suspicious unofficial ballot drop boxes or ballot collection.

“Protecting our democracy includes awareness and transparency, and I am pleased to announce a new resident tool that helps protect ballots and alert our office of any attempts to damage or mislead voters,” said Logan. “The swift nature in which the Department of Consumers and Business Affairs assisted in this effort speaks to the commitment across the County to protect and provide great customer service to our voters.”

The reporting tool is now available and can be accessed online, here: report.lavote.net

“Our mission to preserve a fair marketplace for consumers and businesses goes beyond contracts and transactions. In a fair marketplace, our votes must be honored and protected as well," said Acting Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Rafael Carbajal. “DCBA remains committed to fully supporting the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's efforts to make sure that all Los Angeles County voters have their voices heard in this election."


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       15-21 Cheshvan, 5781                                        Nov. 2-8, 2020 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES--643rd Web Ed.