Israeli consulate is relocating

Like anyone moving after 40 years in the same place, Ofer Mazar has a hard time deciding what to take along and what to discard.

In this case, Mazar has to worry about the cumulative diplomatic and administrative paperwork of the Consulate General of Israel, which is moving on March 23.

Leaving behind the offices on the 17th floor of 6380 Wilshire Blvd., between La Cienega Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, its home since 1972, the consulate will reopen March 26 in the Landmark II Building at 11766 Wilshire Blvd., near Granville Avenue, west of the 405 Freeway.

Mazar, the consul for administrative affairs, is a 23-year veteran of the Israeli foreign service and has been in charge of moves by Israeli embassies and consulates around the world.

All of the consulate’s 45 staffers will have new desks and furniture at Landmark II, plus greatly improved infrastructure, services and security, compared to those at the old site. The Israel Tourist Office will move into the new building a few months later.

Currently, Landmark II houses the British, Bulgarian, Norwegian, Dutch, Romanian, Croatian, Hungarian and Azerbaijani consulates, representing a mini United Nations. None of the diplomatic missions flies its national flag on the street level, and neither will the Israeli consulate.

Back in 2008, then Consul General Jacob Dayan fought a reluctant landlord and city regulations to realize his ambition to fly Israel’s flag on a tall pole outside the 6380 Wilshire Blvd. building. The initial flag raising was celebrated by a 3,000-strong rally, African-American and Latino bands and choirs, and 60 shofar-blowing rabbis and laypersons.

Prior to the current move, a team of experts from Israel’s foreign ministry checked out various properties and locations. The search was made more difficult by the worries of some landlords that the new Israeli tenant might trigger security problems.

In consideration of those who now will be farther away from the new offices, the consulate intends to improve its contacts by upgrading its Web and social media capabilities, Mazar said. The consulate will retain its current general phone number of (323) 852-5500.