From the J. archive

July 12, 1991

From “Jewish police officers buck norm”

Over the airwaves, Jeff Katz comes off like a twisted Borscht belt comedian — but the frequency he’s on belongs to the Berkeley Police Department.

He isn’t the only wisecracking Jewish officer on the Berkeley beat. When people read Abbie Cohen’s name on her police uniform and ask, “What’s a nice Jewish girl like you doing in a job like this?” the former social worker replies, “Who says I’m nice?”

While Katz and Cohen didn’t grow up expecting to be law enforcement officers, they don’t find being Jewish is incompatible with their work, although a lot of their fellow Jews seem to think so.

“It isn’t a traditional job for a Jew,” admits Dick Grossman, the only Jewish officer with the Walnut Creek Police Department. “My grandmother wanted me to be a lawyer.”

After graduation from college, he went into an executive training program for Macy’s but tired of it quickly. The difference between his current job and the retail business is like “the difference between night and day,” he says. “You never get bored.”

Katz has been with the Berkeley Police Department since 1983. At first, he didn’t tell anyone about his career switch from teacher to police officer.

“Jews don’t become cops — not in America,” he says, laughing.

He decided to take up law enforcement after someone suggested it to him in his Navy days.

Now, after seven years in the police business, he finds that the ideals of law enforcement and Judaism share certain principles.

“Jews are meddlers; they want to see everything righted,” he says. “They have a moral view — the rabbinical court, where the rabbi is the mediator. The cop also provides instruction.”


July 12, 1918

From “Zionist Bodies of San Francisco to Unite Into One Large Organization”

San Francisco’s several Zionist organizations, embracing every element of local Jewry from orthodox to reform, are to merge into one large body through which they will continue to work in behalf of a legally secured and publicly recognized homeland in Palestine.

This move, of deep significance to Zionism in the Pacific Coast, was announced this week by Marvin M. Lowenthal, director of the Pacific Coast Zionist Bureau with headquarters in San Francisco.

It comes as the result of the policy laid down by the recent Zionist convention at Pittsburgh, opposing the existence of more than one Zionist organization in a city and urging consolidation in cases where there are several Zionist bodies in one community.

Definite steps toward merging the various Zionist organizations of San Francisco already have been taken and the details will be worked out as rapidly as possible.

Four Zionist organizations of this city, it is definitely announced, will be merged by the plans now under way.

These are Agudath Zion, oldest of the San Francisco Zionist bodies; the Hadassah; the recently reformed Palestine Restoration Association of Northern California, and the Zionist Forum, made up of prominent Jewish professional men.

Whether the Mizrahi, the orthodox wing of the Zionist movement, will join the consolidation, has not yet been determined.

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From February 15, 1918