Congregation Beth Meier will debut a religious school program in Russian for children ages 6 to 8 at its Studio City campus starting Sept. 9.
You can hear envy in the voice of Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. It is a subtle envy but one well known to certain parents in Studio City who, like Greuel and her family, live next to, but not in, "The Promised Land."
"We're actually just outside the boundary of Carpenter," Greuel said.
She refers to Carpenter Avenue School, where about 900 kids from kindergarten through fifth grade receive arguably the finest primary education in the notoriously dysfunctional Los Angeles Unified School District. To live within the boundaries of Carpenter, or to get a rare waiver permit allowing your child to go there, is a sought-after prize.
About a year and a half ago, Lisa Thomas drove her father to Jerry's Famous Deli in Studio City, one of their favorite restaurants, to have a birthday brunch for him. However, when they arrived at the deli, they saw fire engines everywhere. The San Fernando Valley eatery was ablaze, causing an estimated $2 million in damages.
For 16 months, Thomas and her husband, Bruce Thomas, a sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, felt an emptiness in their lives -- or, rather, a void in their stomachs. Although they began eating at a nearby deli, nothing could replace Jerry's sky-high corned beef sandwiches, hearty matzah ball soup and friendly service, she said.
So when Jerry's rose from the ashes and reopened with standing-room-only crowds on Sept. 16, the Thomases were there. The couple arrived with the family's newest addition, 7-month-old Grant.