This week, Jacob is doing research on the Internet for a little dvar Torah he'll be giving at the Etta Israel Shabbaton at Beth Jacob Congregation. Etta Israel is the popular local organization that caters to kids with Down syndrome and other special needs, and it's where Jacob studied Judaism every Sunday for seven years.
Understanding the unique power of Shabbat. Shabbat does not just come and go every week. In fact, it never really goes away.
Conventional wisdom holds that the well-heeled population is spearheading this out-migration and that this sprawling out is continuing, particularly among the better-heeled population. By rights, Jews should be joining them; they are considerably wealthier, better educated and more likely to be homeowners than most Angelenos.
Yet, unlike most white Angelenos, or middle-class minorities, for that matter, Jews are sticking to their turf, not only in Los Angeles but in other key urban centers. Today's Jewish population in L.A. County, unlike the white population, which dropped by over a million, actually grew slightly from 503,000 to around 520,000.
Jacobson and Dorman have installed a security system and now keep a video camera by the door, which they take whenever they leave the house. They are afraid of their neighbors, and the tapes they have made show good reason to be.
As Los Angeles housing prices continue their upward climb, members of Orthodox and Conservative communities are having a tougher time finding affordable houses to buy within walking distance of their synagogues -- a must for observant Jews who don't drive on Shabbat.
For the last two years, I've dreamed of a simple thing: I've just wanted to be able to say, "I'm in the other room."