Photo by Scott Clark, courtesy of Lili Bosse Mayor of Bevery Hills for ZEFYR LIFE - All Rights Reserved.
Lili Bosse is an American politician and philanthropist. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, she has supported many Jewish causes in the United States and Israel. She served as the Mayor of Beverly Hills, California in its centennial year, from March 2014 to March 2015. During her tenure, she spearheaded the weekly "Walk With the Mayor" for residents, supported the boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei, and promoted trade with China for the luxury industry. In March 2017, she began her second term as the mayor of Beverly Hills. We were lucky to find some time to catch up with the Mayor amidst her very busy schedule!
Florian DAVID: In March 2014 you started your second term as Mayor of the great City of Beverly Hills. You were sworn in by Sidney Poitier (who had already sworn you in as Vice Mayor in 2013!). This Man means the world to us, and to you we suppose - what a great honour to have him by your side! Could you tell us, why Sidney Poitier?
Lili BOSSE: Sidney Poitier is a close family friend so needless to say, having him install me was an honor that has no words. He is a trailblazer and has set the bar to a stratosphere that only he can fill. An icon worldwide as well as a man who is a gentleman, class act who continues to inspire us all every day.
DAVID: What is your favorite movie with Sidney Poitier and why, any particular scene that springs to mind?
BOSSE: To Sir With Love. His character in the film as a teacher who motivates his students to be the best version of themselves, to me, mirrors who Mr. Poitier is in real life.
DAVID: What attracted you in the idea of Public Service?
BOSSE: I feel most alive and happy when I am working together with others to make a difference. There is no greater feeling in the world that giving from one’s heart.
DAVID: Where were you born?
BOSSE: New York
DAVID: You are a single child, with a historic legacy I may say that is peculiar, dark and to some extent beautiful because it is about resilience and loving life. Could you please tell us a bit about your Mother Rose Orenstein Toren?
BOSSE: My mom was a survivor in every sense of the word. She survived the death camps of Auschwitz and had a very strong sense of not letting anything stop her. Her message to me always was to “Never Give up’ and I never do. I hear her voice every day to remind me.
DAVID: Your parents - your mother Rose Orenstein and your Father Jack Toren - met in Israel after the war, did they ever tell you the actual story of how they met and what attracted them to one another?
BOSSE: They just told me it was love at first sight.
DAVID: Deep down do you still consider yourself an immigrant?
BOSSE: Yes. I am an extension of my parents. I honor them for coming to the United States to live the American dream with the hopes to provide every possibility for their only daughter. They never could have dreamed that one day I would be the Mayor of Beverly Hills. I owe my fiber of my being entirely to them.
DAVID: What does being an American mean to you?
BOSSE: It means everything to me. I am grateful every day to be American as to me it represents a world of possibilities that are endless. Life, Liberty and Justice for all. Core values for freedom and destiny.
DAVID: America today is very divided - our small world is very divided! - but specifically, regarding America, what happened to Martin Luther King’s Dream? What do you believe could today bring back the American People together?
BOSSE: Every day I live my life with an open heart to everyone. I do believe that we are stronger united than divided and will always strive for connection and love.
DAVID: You have a loving husband and two beautiful kids, what key values have you been wanting to transmit to them?
BOSSE: It always leads to Love for me. Love with an open heart and be authentic to who you are inside. Love, Love, Love.
DAVID: What would you say is the key to a loving, enduring relationship?
BOSSE: Respect is the foundation and having shared life values.
DAVID: I saw that you were on the Board of the Visionary Women Foundation, led by Angella Nazarian whom we welcomed recently?
BOSSE: I am a women’s woman. I love when women succeed and support one another. Sisterhood is at he core of my fiber of my being. Visonary Women is women supporting women who truly make a difference in the world. There is nothing better!
DAVID: Who are your biggest inspirations in life? (dead or alive personalities, friends…)
BOSSE: Easy. My family-Jon, and the boys, my girlfriends and Beverly Hills family. They give me the bounce in my step every day.
DAVID: Where are you at on your journey to making Beverly-Hills the healthiest city in America?
BOSSE: My goal is for Beverly Hills to be a Healthy City. Healthy People. Healthy Economy and Healthy Government and we are making great strides. Every monday I lead a Walk with the Mayor through our beautiful city. Over 200 people join weekly as we walk the city, visit businesses. I love being an accessible Mayor that people know they can find me every Monday out with our community as they can talk to me about anything outside of City Hall. I have spear headed the Beverly Hills Bold program to showcase our world class city as a destination not only in the day but now with a vibrant night-life and shopping later in the night. This year our city has also enacted further smoking restrictions to protect against second hand smoke and we really pride ourselves as being a very close community that although world famous, has a loving small town feeling.
DAVID: You recently struck a deal with the beloved Deepak Chopra - we love Deepak - what’s the idea behind this partnership?
BOSSE: Deepak Chopra was inspired by my healthy city initiative and felt that together we could inspire other Mayors and cities to incorporate Health as a priority. I am excited to share that at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami a few months ago, a resolution was unanimously passed by the Mayors to bring Health initiatives into more cities throughout the United States!
DAVID: Thank you very much Dear Lili Bosse!
BOSSE: Thank you!
Lili Bosse (born Toren) grew up on South Maple Drive in Beverly Hills, California. She is the only child of Holocaust survivors. Her father, Jack Toren, died in 1993. Her mother, Rosalia (Orenstein) Toren, born in Poland, escaped from the Auschwitz concentration camp and wrote two books about her experiences: Destiny in 1991 and A New Beginning in 1997 which can be found on AMAZON.