Sinai Temple in Westwood has spent at least $365,000 annually on increased security since Sept. 11.
"That's just for my manpower, to have bodies here when the building is open," said Howard Lesner, the Conservative synagogue's executive director, who gleans the extra security budget from a post-Sept. 11, $36-per-student fee at Sinai's day school and another $200-per-family temple fee.
For Vera Haim, teaching Jewish children about their religion, history and culture gave her life a deeper meaning. For 17 years, the 53-year-old Israeli-born educator taught at Jewish nursery schools throughout Southern California, most recently at Temple Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills. Nothing made Haim happier than helping young students develop self-esteem and a curiosity about their roots.
But her dream job held the seeds of a nightmare. Earning just $15,000 annually and with no health-care benefits, Haim landed in dire financial straits after she and her husband divorced last year. Unable to support herself, she had to move in with her 31-year-old son. In short order, she left Kol Tikvah and nearly doubled her income by opening a home day-care business in her son's house.