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A Shul Torn Apart

What happens when a new direction does not take hold?

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/a_shul_torn_apart_20031114

For years, members of Mogen David, a traditional synagogue on Pico Boulevard near Beverwil Drive, watched young Orthodox families trek down the hill past the brick building at the westernmost end of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood on their way to other synagogues. Lay leaders of Mogen David, which according to the shul's executive director, Rabbi Gabriel Elias, had a dwindling membership of about 600 families -- 80 percent of them older than 80 -- knew that if they were to survive they would have to get those families in the front door. So after much soul-searching and with a painful dose of pragmatism, the board decided four years ago to carve out separate men's and women's sections in the sanctuary, get rid of the microphones and start a search for a Modern Orthodox rabbi.

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