Too many will sit in synagogues through this season and be equally concerned with their own economic situation as they will the state of their soul.
For years, members of Mogen David, a traditional synagogue on Pico Boulevard near Beverwil Drive, watched young Orthodox families trek down the hill past the brick building at the westernmost end of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood on their way to other synagogues. Lay leaders of Mogen David, which according to the shul's executive director, Rabbi Gabriel Elias, had a dwindling membership of about 600 families -- 80 percent of them older than 80 -- knew that if they were to survive they would have to get those families in the front door.
So after much soul-searching and with a painful dose of pragmatism, the board decided four years ago to carve out separate men's and women's sections in the sanctuary, get rid of the microphones and start a search for a Modern Orthodox rabbi.
Who's taking a stand against Israel this week? Would you believe ... the Bus Riders Union (BRU)?
While the Bush administration's strong support for Israel might not yet be paying off dividends in the Middle East, the stance has certainly been a boon for local Jewish Republicans.
About 160 members turned up at Westside Jewish Community Center's Birch Auditorium last Sunday in an effort to keep their center from closing down.