With Chanukah marking the rededication of the holy temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees’ defeat of Judea’s Seleucid rulers more than 2,000 years ago, the week of the holiday turned out to be the perfect time for the Academy of Jewish Religion, California (AJR-CA) to celebrate the opening of its new campus in Koreatown.
The chant coming from Bet Tzedek Legal Services employees and their supporters as they marched on the streets of Koreatown on Aug. 22 was unified: “All day, all night, health care is a human right.”
For the first time since the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA (AJR-CA), was founded 13 years ago, the pluralistic institution that trains rabbis, cantors and chaplains has its own space. The school moved from Westwood into the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles earlier this month.
A naturalized citizen from South Korea was arraigned today on charges related to the numerous bomb threats made Dec. 18 against Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) in Koreatown and a police squad car parked adjacent to its campus, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police responded to multiple bomb threats targeting the Koreatown home of Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) and a police squad car parked adjacent to the campus on Dec. 18, disrupting life for much of the workday at one of Los Angeles’ largest synagogues and its surrounding neighborhood.
LAPD units on the scene at Wilshire Blvd. Temple‘s Koreatown synagogue are deploying bomb disposal units and robotic devices “to assess the situation” following a series of three bomb threats.
Susan Goldberg, rabbi of Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock, grew up in nearby Echo Park. “There were no Jewish families around when I was growing up,” Goldberg, 38, said. Now that these neighborhoods are being gentrified, and a young, creative crowd is moving in, the Jews are coming, too.
Joel Stein throws himself into things. I know this personally, because he threw himself into making me eggplant parmesan the week my son was born. He and his lovely wife delivered it personally, with bread and wine, braving the dangers and dog barks of Koreatown to feed two hungry, tired new parents.
It's late on Sunday evening at KFI 640 AM's &'9;Koreatown station, and within the confines of an overly bright fluorescent-lit radio booth, a tall man with Phil Donahue-white hair and a scraggly reddish beard worthy of the Norse god Thor sits alone at the mike.
Dressed in dependable Chabad wear -- white dress shirt, black slacks, yarmulke and tzizit hanging out -- Rabbi Chaim Mentz is an unexpected voice, booming out of the radio in a heavy Brooklyn accent.
"You got questions, I got answers!" Mentz enthuses in a gravelly voice.
My daughter and I were driving through Koreatown again. Five years had passed since the first Rodney King verdict, since the riots, since the day we'd first driven these same streets, with their smoldering buildings and the militia standing guard. She noted every new building and every lot that remained vacant.