How should Conservative Judaism cope with dwindling membership, growing intermarriage rates and society's increasing religious and political polarity, while remaining true to its base in halachah (Jewish law)?
After World War II, two Jewish GIs returned to Los Angeles and founded a synagogue in Westchester. Beth Tikvah, as it was called, finally found a permanent home in 1959 on the Westchester bluffs.
But last month, the Conservative congregation -- known since 1968 as B'nai Tikvah after merging with the nearby B'nai Israel in Baldwin Hills -- held its last service at the historic Westchester building, with its 204-seat sanctuary. On Aug. 20, about 100 people showed up for a final Havdalah service to say goodbye.
Because of dwindling membership and a lack of Jewish families in the area, the congregation decided to sell the property and look for a new location on the Westside.