Despite early predictions of rain, the weather cooperated in full. The Jan. 13 festivities and ceremony at the Chabad of the Conejo (COTC) took place on a brisk, chilly day with a cloudless and pristine sky over Agoura Hills — the kind of day that the late Rabbi Mordechai Bryski, in his home of Brooklyn, N.Y., would have envied.
After a protracted and often contentious battle, Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School West got the green light in late November to build a permanent school on a bucolic, 72-acre site adjacent to Agoura Hills when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved its application for a conditional-use permit.
The Agoura Eruv, a project conceived by a small group of local Chabad congregants, covered portions of Agoura Hills and Oak Park, as well as a small sliver of Westlake Village. The Oak Park segment of the eruv had been taken down prior to the Jan. 23 meeting, and on Jan. 25 the Eruv Committee officially ordered the elements in Agoura Hills and Westlake Village dismantled.
On this Friday morning, Norm Katz, Bunny Schwartz and a guy named Joel are squeezed together like early hour commuters in a crowded subway. They're discussing the role of men and women in traditional Judaism, between the cash register and the reduced baked goods rack -- a space of about three feet -- inside the Kosher Connection of Agoura Hills, the only kosher meat market from Reseda to Santa Barbara. Busy shoppers elbow past, but the trio remains steadfast.