But as other venues closed in Beverly Hills (the Canon Theatre was demolished in 2005), Rabbi David Baron, Los Angeles' rabbi-impresario, saw an opportunity: "a home for my temple and also something much bigger," he says. "People hate shlepping to the Pantages in Hollywood or downtown to see Broadway-caliber shows.... I had a dream of being able to preserve, restore, maintain and revitalize this complex and this theater (Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills), and to make it a real community hub, a cultural, performing arts center for the entire area."
In the end, it wasn’t a Jewish organization that saved a valuable Jewish community center, but a forward-thinking Christian cleric.
Bishop J. Jon Bruno, head of Los Angeles’ Episcopal Diocese, has stepped in with the money needed to rescue the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center, which had faced an imminent shutdown and the sale of its property.