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Woodland Hills | Valley Focus

Citizens Group Forms Local Disaster Center

May 03, 1996|DONNA MUNGEN

The first permanent disaster center in the Los Angeles area will be dedicated tonight at Kol Tikvah Temple in Woodland Hills.

The Irving Grant Disaster Center is a testimony to the combined efforts of the American Red Cross, the Valley Interfaith Council and Kol Tikvah Temple to bring emergency disaster care as close as your neighborhood temple, church or mosque.

The idea for the center started several years ago when concerned Valley residents joined forces to ensure that disaster emergency services would always be available to local residents.

During a disaster, the new center--staffed by volunteers from the temple--will provide food service and mental health and disaster assessment.

Irving Goldberg, a retired businessman who spearheaded the project, calls the project "a mission of love" and hopes the center will serve as a prototype of more to come.

He said he is particularly pleased with the 100-plus volunteers from his temple who have already completed their "Introduction to Disaster" Red Cross training.

"If we work together before, during and after a disaster, this city of both racial and religious diversity will be a better place to live," he said.

The center--named for the late Irving Grant, who was active in community service--also meets the American Red Cross' mission of providing person-to-person assistance.

Rabbi Steve Jacobs of Kol Tikvah and state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) will be among the dignitaries at tonight's dedication service, which starts at 7:45 at the temple, 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills.

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