To its detractors, Los Angeles seems very much like a modern-day Sodom or Gomorrah -- besotting civilization with a trash culture of celebrity murder trials, reality TV and movies that trade on violence and superficiality. Even to Angelenos, the city can be trying and sometimes disheartening. Our metropolis seems almost biblically plagued with crawling traffic, battling gangs and stratospheric home prices; with a vast divide between rich and poor, between legal and under-the-table and between cycles of boom and bust -- as well as with fires, earthquakes and mudslides. And yet, by the standard that should have saved Sodom -- 10 righteous souls (we consider families as one) -- Los Angeles' future shines bright at the dawn of 2006 C.E. For Los Angeles is amply provided with tzadikim -- good people who do good work in the community. The men and women featured here -- beginning what we intend to make an annual list -- are just a sampling of what is worth celebrating in our community.
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