January 31, 2002
Rabbi Yomtov Trial Date Set
A preliminary hearing for Rabbi Mordechai Yomtov is set for Feb. 4 at the Los Angeles Municipal Court in downtown Los Angeles. Yomtov, 36, was arrested Dec. 3 and charged with 10 felony counts of committing lewd acts with three of his students, ages 8 to 10, at Cheder Menachem, an all-male Orthodox yeshiva located in Hollywood and run under the auspices of West Coast Chabad. The alleged incidents rocked the tight-knit Lubavitcher community, and there is a continuing investigation into any other acts possibly committed by Yomtov during his seven years at the school. Anyone with information is asked to call investigators toll-free at (877) 529-3855. -- Wendy J. Madnick, Contributing Writer
JDL Members Denied Bail
The chairman of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and a group member were denied bail. JDL Chairman Irv Rubin, 56, and co-defendant Earl Krugel, 59, are being held on charges of conspiring to blow up a Culver City mosque and the office of an Arab American congressman. A U.S. judge said Jan. 29 that Rubin "remains a flight risk, and also clearly there is a danger to the community."
The judge added that Krugel is a "minimal flight risk" but also denied him bail because "there is a danger to the community at this juncture." -- Jewish Telegraphic Agency
JCCs Hold Fundraisers
Despite cloudy skies, The North Valley and the Silver Lake-Los Feliz Jewish Community centers (JCC) held successful Save Our Center fundraisers on Jan. 27. The centers are two out of five local JCCs threatened with closure.
About 150 members attended the Silver Lake-Los Feliz potluck event, which raised $14,500. These funds are in addition to $26,000 already raised in pledges. The center needs roughly $40,000 to stay open through June.
The Silver Lake event, hosted by Robert Roig, featured a live jazz band comprised of SilverLlake parents Curt Anderson, Peter Freiberger, Andrew Rose and Ken Pace. Speakers included Councilman Tom LaBonge, who said that Silver Lake was named after Harry Silver, the first Jew who ran for mayor in the area. Councilman Eric Garcetti and David Novak, JCC director of marketing, also spoke.
Concerned parent Jenny Issacson, on Silver Lakes' media advisory committee, said that parents are optimistic. "I know we can raise the money that we need to for our business plan," Isaacson said.
At North Valley, more than 100 people raised $8,000 for their JCC. Speakers included Assemblyman Paul Koretz, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and area rabbis.
"I think we have a long road ahead of us, but we have a lot of business professionals that know how to get things done," said North Valley parent Andrea Goodstein. "It's a doable thing."
At Valley Cities JCC, Bert Solomon organzied a group of seniors to raise money for their center. "This center was a haven that provided much-needed programs for our seniors," wrote Solomon in a fundraising appeal.
All five of the JCCs threatened with closure have submitted business plans to the executive board of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles, which will decide on each center's viability by Feb. 5. -- MA