B’nai Tikvah Congregation of Westchester has been selected to receive the Solomon Schechter Award for Excellence in Synagogue Programming.

This award is presented to congregations affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism that have distinguished themselves during the preceding two years in aspects of congregational life.

Ileene Morris is credited winning this prestigious award for the congregation due to her work with Hazak, which reaches out to the senior population.

Hazak is a recently established organization for mature Jews and has as its moto “Wisdom, Maturity, and Looking Ahead.”

Ileene spent numerous hours planning and executing programs, including study groups, seminars and activities both in-house and outside the congregation.

“Ileene is a blessing. Her hard work and devotion are appreciated by all members of the congregation, especially the seniors it benefits,” said Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen.

The award will be presented in a ceremony in Boston in December.

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism promotes the role of the synagogue in Jewish life to motivate Conservative Jews to perform ethical behavior, spirituality, Judaic learning, and ritual observance.

LAPD DROP-IN STATION — Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Bill Williams, commander of the Pacific Community Police Station, was on hand Wednesday, July 20th, to open the doors of the newest LAPD drop-in station in a ground-floor location in the Fountain Park Apartments at Playa Vista.

The station will allow officers from throughout the Pacific Area to “drop-in” to handle paperwork, make phone calls and meet with people from the community, the chief said.

Though it will not be manned on a regular basis, Williams said he hopes his officers will take advantage of the location provided to them.

He added that drop-in locations like this one provide the opportunity for officers to complete paperwork and stay close to their duties in the field without having to return all the way to Pacific Station.

Local residents, like Pam DeArmas, who serves on the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey, said the new drop-in station will add peace of mind to those who live nearby.

“One of the most important things that impact our quality of life is crime, and having these officers dropping in at Playa Vista on a regular basis will go a long way to increasing the presence of LAPD and providing more immediate access to officers for those of us who live here,” DeArmas said.

“We know that the officers cannot be here around the clock, but just having them drop in occasionally will provide a new level of comfort for all of us.”

NEW LMU FACILITIES — The Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Athletics Department made a commitment to develop and enhance its facilities in the last several years and this summer will be no different.

Three major projects have already begun or will begin this summer to improve venues at various sports locations on campus.

The biggest of the projects is a new softball field. Construction has begun, and the highlight to the facility will be park-like areas for fans to watch the Lions in action.

The new softball field comes after one of the most successful softball seasons in LMU history.

The Lions finished the season 34-20, winning the Pacific Coast Softball Conference and advancing to the program’s first NCAA tournament.

The softball field will be rotated from its former location so that home plate will be in the corner where Page Stadium and Sullivan Field meet at Pride Park.

Behind the centerfield fence will be the Lions’ second major construction project, a golf short game center.

The practice facility for the LMU men’s golf team will include a putting green and chipping area.

Also in the same location will be hitting tunnels for the softball team.

The third project will be a joint venture with the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center. The facility will turn the northwest corner of the pool deck into a relaxation area for fans attending LMU events for water polo and swimming and the members of the Burns Recreation Center. The area will include a grass lounge area, built-in seating, a student-athlete recognition wall and brick walkway similar to Pride Park, new storage locations and an area to barbeque.