Mayor Lili Bosse is not afraid to speak up, be it at a rally on the streets or from her seat presiding over the Beverly Hills City Council. She will soon be recognized by the Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization as an outspoken voice against antisemitism and misogyny.
In a unanimous vote, Bosse was selected as the sole recipient of the organization’s 2023 Woman of the Year “Shamsi Hekmat Award.” The voting committee described her as a “passionate advocate for public safety and a strong supporter of women’s rights, human rights, inclusivity and abolishing antisemitism and hatred of any kind.”
Bosse will be honored at a gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on March 5 .
“It really takes my breath away and it’s very overwhelming and, in many ways, very hard to describe in words,” Bosse told the Courier, describing her reaction to the award. “This organization and these women are the pioneers and are the trailblazers that have carved the path for women like me to be where I am today.”
The Iranian Jewish Women’s organization has a 75-year history fighting for women’s rights and against antisemitism. It was founded in Tehran in 1947 and resumed activities in Los Angeles in 1976, where many Iranian Jews fled due to persecution and political instability.
Bosse, while not being Iranian herself, sees many similarities between the women of the organization and her own family, who survived the Holocaust and fled to America.
“I see a lot of my mother in these women because my mother was an immigrant as well and was a wonderful role model to me,” said Bosse.
Bosse attributes her passion for fighting antisemitism and injustice to her family history.
“My mother was a survivor of Auschwitz and every day of her life, literally until her last breath, told me to never give up,” said Bosse.
When news broke of the killing of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Iranian government Bosse did not wait to take action.
She, alongside the City Council, immediately adopted a resolution calling on the federal government to increase sanctions against the Iranian regime and for the United Nations to expel Iran from its Women’s Rights Commission.
Bosse has insisted that City Hall remain lit up with the worlds “Justice for Mahsa Amini” to this day.
“To me justice for Mahsa Amini is more than that,” said Bosse. “It’s justice for human rights, it’s justice for women’s rights, it’s justice for everybody whose freedom is being taken away.”
Bosse also participated in multiple marches alongside prominent Iranian and Women’s Rights activists, including a rally in Beverly Hills.
“Taking part in these rallies and these marches have been very powerful to me, because there’s a sense of connection and of community and a shared feeling that we can together create change,” she said.
The organization is also recognizing Bosse for her efforts to fight antisemitism in Beverly Hills and beyond. Recently she traveled all the way to Athens, Greece to speak at the Antisemitism Summit and has also appeared on Dr. Phil to talk about the importance of fighting antisemitic bigotry.
Her award will be granted at a luncheon in celebration of International Women’s Month, Nowruz and Purim. Three 2020 award recipients will also be honored. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit IJWO.org.