November 21, 2018

Community Briefs

Grocery Shop for Israel

Boost Israel’s gross national product while buying itsgrocery products.

That’s the idea behind Fine Foods From Israel, acollaboration among the California Israel Chamber of Commerce, The JewishFederation of Greater Los Angeles and the Israel Export and InternationalCooperation Institute, and includes a diverse range of sponsors, likeStandWithUs.com, Israel Discount Bank and various schools and synagogues.

The March 19-31 citywide event, which urges Angelenos to”Savor the Flavors of Israel,” features the participation of 90 markets,including 56 Ralphs supermarkets and kosher outlets such as Valley Glatt KosherMarket and Elite Market in the Valley, Kosher Club and La Brea Kosher Market inLos Angeles, Fairfax Market (Sami-Makolet) and Picanty in the Fairfax District,and Elat Market and Nut House in the Pico-Robertson area. Store discounts,promotions, and food samples will allow customers to partake in fresh produceand dairy products, Mediterranean cuisine, kosher goods and other specialtiesof Israel.

“It’s good timing,” said Doron Abrahami, consul for economicaffairs of Israel in Los Angeles, “because it’s two weeks before Pesach andeverything you can buy for Pesach, you can buy Israeli products.”

Israel, which presently has a $100 billion economy, shipsabout $38 billion in total exports, an estimated $1 billion of thatfood-related.

“Trade can always be improved,” said Teri Cohan Link of theCalifornia Israel Chamber of Commerce, “and with what’s going on in Israelright now, there’s been a serious disruption with trade.”

“Beyond whatever we do philanthropically, it’s importantthat people do consider purchasing Israeli products,” Federation President JohnFishel said.

The campaign will also encourage locals to purchase at least$1,000 of Israeli goods annually.

For more information, call (323) 658-7924 or visit www.finefoodsisrael.com. — Michael Aushenker, Staff Writer

Bratton on Terror

With only 9,000 officers for a city of 5 million, the LosAngeles Police Department has been woefully underequipped to tackle the 250,000gang members roaming the city, Police Chief William Bratton told a packedaudience at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles on March 6. This isone of a number of appearances Bratton is making in the Jewish community.

With 650 murders in 2002 and homicides increasing 100percent in two years, the LAPD has been unprepared to deal with terrorism,Bratton said, explaining that scandals such as Rampart have driven away 1,000 officers,and the impending war has also siphoned off additional officers.

“Next to New York and Washington, we are the biggest targetin the country,” he said. “We are a city that is not prepared. L.A. hasunderinvested in its police force.”

Bratton has hired a new team of top brass and consultants,including terrorism expert John Miller, one of the few journalists to conduct aface-to-face interview with Osama bin Laden.

“We are much better off now than we were four months ago …a year ago, and we’re getting better all the time,” Bratton said. “I think wecan do it. I have a lot of faith in this department.”

Bratton, who is married to Jewish Court TV anchor RikkiKlieman, said he wants to restore prestige to the force. “My goal, quitesimply, is to reduce crime, fear and disorder,” Bratton said.

Bratton will be the guest speaker at The American JewishCommittee’s Civic Achievement Award Dinner honoring Rick J. Caruso on March 20.For information, call (310) 282-8080.

For a previously published Journal interview with PoliceChief William Bratton, go to www.jewishjournal.com/archive . Keyword: Bratton. — MA

Purim for Soldiers

West Coast Chabad Lubavitch has sent more than 2,000mishloach manot (Purim baskets) to Jewish soldiers serving in Kuwait. The packageswere packed by Chabad schoolchildren in California and then airlifted to the Mideaston Tuesday.

“Many of the Jewish men and women serving in the militaryare convinced that the Jewish community in the United States is unaware of theJewish population in the military,” said Lt. Col. (Rabbi) Mitch Ackerman, whowill be traveling to Kuwait this Purim as an Army chaplain and who helpedChabad organize the airlift. “This support or recognition creates a mostpositive experience and is greatly appreciated.”

Ackerman will personally deliver many of the packages to thesoldiers, and he will also be reading the Megillat Esther to the soldiers in Kuwait.

“These mishloach manot packages are a way that we can bringthe spirit of Purim to the soldiers now,” said Rabbi Chaim Cunin, publicrelations director for West Coast Chabad Lubavitch. Cunin noted that in the1940s, the Lubavitcher rebbe had distributed prayers to the Jewish members ofthe armed services.

“People are often surprised that Jewish kids are serving inthe military, but it is very common,” Cunin said. “We are doing our best toshow that they have the support of the Jewish people all around the world.” –Gaby Wenig, Contributing Writer