As the Jewish community nears the end of Passover on April 9, the second contract extension between the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Southern California's major supermarkets -- Supervalu Inc.'s Albertsons, Kroger Co.'s Ralphs and Safeway Inc.'s Vons -- is set to expire at midnight.
The citations on Webb's office walls are just part of the philanthropic tale. A thick binder, bursting with letters, photographs and newspaper clippings, provides still more information on a long life dedicated to resurrecting the Jewish community. Leafing through the record of his giving -- schools, hospitals, synagogues, universities -- his delight is palpable.
"Homelessness is curable and we must cure it," Leo Baeck Senior Rabbi Kenneth Chasen said in his welcoming remarks. "Jews know too well the experience of being strangers and outsiders. We have lived in countless places where there were no homes for us."
"Synaplex provided us an opportunity to experiment and explore and suggested new ways to create a sacred community," Moskovitz reported. "In a sense, it's completely transformed our service. Our Synaplex Shabbat was like a stone dropping on a calm pool of water. The ripple effect continues to reverberate in a positive and profound way across our temple community."
On Friday nights, when 13-year-old Michael Rothbart approaches Leo Baeck Temple for Shabbat services, he urges his parents to tune to 87.9 on their radio dial. He is hoping that Avram Mandell, Leo Baeck's educational director and the founding force behind the temple's very low-power radio station, has popped in some pre-recorded Jewish music.
I'll admit to a bit of initial wariness about a bus tour through Inglewood, Lennox and Hawthorne, sponsored a couple of Sundays ago by the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA). The three communities just east of LAX have poverty and crime rates far exceeding the averages in L.A. County. But the 90 people who boarded the two buses at the Westside Jewish Community Center were not interested in casual sightseeing.
Michael Sachs remembers that he had initially thought that a program on death wasn't really important for people in their 40s.
"But, in fact," he now says, "I learned things I assumed I wouldn't need to think about for many years. I thought the program dealt with potentially distressing material in a nonthreatening, matter-of-fact fashion," he said.
Corporate, private and organizational donors underwrite the day, including Temple Israel. The budget this year is $450,000. The city's participation will include providing security, busing and street closures. Additional donors are both welcomed and needed, Levinson said.
The lawns and quadrangles of UCLA this weekend looked like a great renaissance bazaar, with banners flying and rows of white tents lining the walkways.