In one version of our lives, childhood is a series of deprivations and desires whereby we want things we can’t have, some of which we grow out of or just forget. In my case, I was seized with heartache when I entered the newly opened 8,000-square-foot Leica store on Beverly Boulevard at Robertson in West Hollywood. Until then, I had forgotten how much I wanted to own a Leica.
Before he told members of his family, Nathan Looney told members of his synagogue, Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), that he was transitioning from female to male. He says the encouragement he received is typical for members of this Pico Boulevard congregation.
I have a feeling that several years from now, as the movement to strengthen Jewish connection in America accelerates, the coolest night of the year will be Shavuot.
Wednesday afternoon I answered my door in Pico Robertson to discover three young people, ranging from 18 to 22 years old. They wanted to talk to me about “Israel Restoration.” For a moment I thought they were talking about rebuilding Israeli forests. However, the moment I saw their literature, I knew they were Christian missionaries. I welcomed them into my home and proceeded to give them a two-hour lesson about the spiritual beauty and integrity of Judaism. I also answered their questions, including who I thought Jesus was.
Volunteers spent five hours uprooting dead trees and planting new ones; setting up herb planters in front of stores; repainting curbs, poles and fire hydrants; sweeping mulch and dirt off the sidewalks; and lugging heavy garbage bags in the predominantly Orthodox neighborhood of Pico-Robertson in West Los Angeles.
Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, head of Chabad of California, has a dream -- a block-long, five-story "village" on Pico Boulevard that would provide a girls day school and boarding school along with affordable, safe housing for Holocaust survivors and other elderly people and for teachers with large families.