June 21, 2001
Valley Bus Rally
Hundreds of Valley residents attended a rally Sunday at Shaarey Tzedek Congregation to protest a possible MTA busway that would turn Chandler Boulevard into a segment of the proposed East-West Transit Corridor.
Speakers at the rally included Shaarey President Irving Steinberg; Emek Hebrew Academy educational director, Rabbi Yochanan Stepen; and Emmett Cash, political consultant to Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) and Sherman Oaks and Valley Glen residents.
Opponents of the plan say the busway would disrupt pedestrian traffic and divide the close-knit residential community.
Proponents of the plan call the community's objections unreasonable, and say they will take the community's concerns into consideration, for example, by adding Shabbat signals. They say the buses, which would come once every 10 minutes, would run at a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour, allowing anyone to cross the street safely. The busway will greatly alleviate traffic in the East-West Corridor, advocates say.
Women Pray for Israel
A women's Yom Tefilah (Day of Prayer) in support of Israel is scheduled for 10 a.m., Sun., June 24 at Yeshiva Gedolah. "This is not about territories or settlements. This is about Israel. We have to do something; we have to pray," said Leiba Gottesman, who led organizing efforts for the event with women from synagogues across Los Angeles.
Scheduled to address the group are Bella Gottesman, a survivor of a bus bombing in Israel 20 years ago, and YULA teacher Shifra Revach. Rabbi Naftali Elzas will lead special prayers for Israel.
Yeshiva Gedolah, 5444 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles.
First-Timers Travel to Israel
Sixty-six California college students left to Israel Monday on a program sponsored by West Coast Chabad Campus Programs in conjunction with Birthright Israel and Mayanot.
"We want to tell our brothers and sisters in Israel that we look forward to their hospitality and that we are united with them. Now more than ever, we must demonstrate our commitment to the people of Israel," said Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, West Coast director of Chabad Lubavitch. "We also want to clearly demonstrate that the Jewish community is united as one in our commitment to them."
The 10-day trip of first-time visitors will include trips to holy and historical sites, cultural programs, technological wonders of modern Israel and meetings with Israeli leaders.
At LAX on Monday, delegation leader Rabbi Mendel Cunin, who is the collegiate coordinator for Chabad of California, distributed "I Love Israel" T-shirts and sandwiches -- kosher, of course -- at LAX before their departure. -- briefs by Jewish Journal staff