Gusts that peaked at 97 miles per hour whipped through the Los Angeles area Wednesday night, downing trees and power lines and leaving some synagogues and Jewish schools with minor damage and no power.
Like just about everybody else, Orthodox Jews in Los Angeles have their issues with the 405 Freeway widening project. Unlike most people, however, their primary concern is not necessarily the impending closure of a stretch of the freeway on the July 16-17 weekend.
The museum at the Nazi death camp at Sobibor will remain open, after intervention by the Polish government that followed the museum’s announcement it would close due to a shortage of funding.
So members were stunned last Thursday, when it was announced that a $2.7 million offer from a private philanthropist to buy the Burbank Boulevard property and turn it over to the center was rejected by the building's current owner, the Jewish Community Centers Development Corp. (JCCDC) -- formerly the JCC parent organization Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles.
A venerable Jewish business in the Fairfax District has received a short-term stay of execution. Hatikvah Records, an internationally known vendor of both popular and rare Jewish music, will remain open at 436 N. Fairfax Ave. until mid-January, despite earlier reports that its closure was imminent.
In a reflection of the continued struggles of the area's Jewish community centers, the Conejo Valley JCC is slated to close its doors forever on June 30, the second announced center closure in recent months.
Meanwhile, the beleaguered Silverlake Independent JCC might survive. The group that operates the center said that keeping it afloat is now a major priority.
For more than 50 years, Valley Cities Jewish Community Center (JCC) has served as a magnet for San Fernando Valley Jews, a one-stop shop that offers a panoply of services, ranging from nursery school for the young to lectures for seniors.
Moses begged God's forgiveness for 40 days and 40 nights, Kobe Bryant's going on at least that long plus a $4 million sorry ring. We all have our ways of expressing remorse, but what are we buying with our flowers, phone calls and fine jewelry? Maybe the more observant among us are trying to be "inscribed in the book of life," to obey strict talmudic laws, but people like me, we just want to feel okay about ourselves. We'd like our names erased from the Book of Guilt.
Of the five doomed Los Angeles area Jewish Community Centers (JCC), at least one center's membership is not rolling over without a fight. About 100 members showed up for a Sunday morning emergency meeting Dec. 23 at the Westside JCC's Birch Auditorium, where, in a dramatic turn of events, members raised the lion's share of the $129,000 needed by Dec. 31 to keep most of the WJCC in operation at least until June 30. At the meeting, Paula Pearlman, Westside JCC advisory board leader, shared with the membership the fiscal breakdown of what it would take to keep the center open in the short and long term.
Just last month, Walt Disney World appeared to be right in the path of a bona fide hurricane. Hurricane Floyd was headed for Florida's eastern coast, and Walt Disney World was forced to close its doors for the first time in its 28-year history. But Mickey's luck held out. Floyd veered north, and Walt Disney World was saved from potential devastation.
Everyone knows that California is earthquake country, but somehow you're never fully prepared. Take the Los Angeles chapter of the American Jewish Congress. It has been dislocated by two separate quakes recently. It survived the first one. The second was devastating.
Beth Olam Cemetery in Hollywood, one of the most venerable and historical Jewish cemeteries in Southern California, is in danger of being abandoned and padlocked.