Jan Perry Interview

Jan Perry represents the ninth district on the Los Angeles City Council.

She plans to run for mayor in 2013.

We talk by phone Friday morning.

Here’s a transcript of the parts of the interview I find most interesting:

Luke: “Do you have heroes?”

Jan, without any hesitation: “Yeah. My parents.”

“While they grew up in a segregated country, they were still optimistic and patriotic. They pursued the American dream with great vigor.”

Luke: “Why did you choose to major in journalism?”

Jan: “I like writing, I like reading, and I like getting at the truth… I like considering not only my beliefs, but I like to analyze the beliefs of others.”

Luke: “When you look back on your life, what are the most momentous decisions you’ve made?”

Jan: “Go to college. Get married. Have a child. And to run for office.”

Luke: “Tell me about your religious journey.”

Jan: “I’m not sure what you mean by that.”

Luke: “Well, I’ll tell you mine in 30 seconds.”

Jan: “Yeah. Help me out here.”

Luke: “My father’s a preacher. I was raised the son of a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian evangelist… In my teens, I became an atheist and explored communism and different ways of looking at life. I ended up converting to Orthodox Judaism.

“What motivated your journey to Judaism?”

Jan: “To fill a void. To understand who I am as a woman and to do so in a manner grounded in basic tradition and forthright belief. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. It all goes back to defining one’s belief system and looking for a framework to live it.”

Luke: “Many people hear Judaism’s teachings and say ah hah, that’s how I’ve always believed. Yes! Yes!”

Jan: “Yeah. That’s a good way to put it. You find a place where you belong.”

Luke: “You have these inchoate feelings and beliefs and Judaism makes them concrete and clear.”

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About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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