To accommodate Shabbat-observant patrons, the Robertson branch of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) has changed its weekend hours. Located in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Pico-Robertson, the branch is now open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays and closed on Saturdays.
Today in Los Angeles, the three Jewish women profiled below - Andrea Grossman, Louise Steinman, and Julie Robinson - have created their own 21st century versions of the salon. Whereas once the salon was a private, exclusive gathering, today it has become far more democratic.
About six months ago, Gregory Rodriguez, a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times opinion section, phoned his friend, Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, West Coast regional director of the American Jewish Committee (AJ Committee). Rodriguez had attended events purported to promote intellectual fellowship among diverse Angelenos, but had found them not-so-diverse. "There's a lot of lip service paid to crossing barriers in this city, but many gatherings are organized around political or ethnic lines," Rodriguez said.
To mix things up a bit, the two friends went on to launch a program, co-presented by the Los Angeles Public Library. The series, Zócalo, which means "public square" in Spanish, will gather Eastsiders and Westsiders for private discussions and public lectures on crucial civic issues. It kicks off at the downtown Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium on April 9 at 7 p.m., when the Economist's Washington correspondent Adrian Wooldridge, co-author of "The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea," will describe his take on the corporation as "an engine that can work for the public good as well as ill," Greenebaum said.