Loading...

Jewish Resurrection 

A deal’s within reach to save community centers in Silver Lake and Sherman Oaks

Thursday, May 27 2004
Comments

In a 1999 rampage, white supremacist Buford Furrow poured 70 rounds of gunfire into the Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, wounding five. But he didn’t shut down the bullet-riddled North Valley JCC. That unproud task fell to pillars of the Jewish community itself, which allowed North Valley and other JCCs to be mismanaged, underfunded, shut down and sold off over the last three years.

The same fate now looms over the JCCs in Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake and Conejo Valley. But a rescue plan for two of these JCCs is tantalizingly within reach, the Weekly has learned. An anonymous benefactor has come forward with an offer to buy and save the Valley Cities center in Sherman Oaks. And community leaders in Silver Lake are close to pulling off a similar scenario, though without a deep-pockets philanthropist.

WEB EXCLUSIVE:

Related Stories

  • Sunny Sushi Becomes WTF Sushi in Silver Lake

    Sunny Sushi on Hyperion Ave. in Silver Lake was a little bit sad. Tiny, rather dingy and usually empty, the restaurant was a place to go when you wanted easy affordable sushi and didn't care too much about ambiance. And then it went away.  Last week, a new sushi spot...
  • Best Live Music in L.A. 7

    Los Angeles has some of the best live music venues in the city. Take these, for example.  But what if one prefers to enjoy bands in the cozier settings of a bar or restaurant?  Here, then, are the 10 best L.A. bars and restaurants with live music.  10. Casey's Irish Pub...
  • Hipster Lakes Battle 9

    Whether you wish to join their ranks or avoid the nuisance, the precise location and behavior of the phenomenon known as "hipster" seems to be a matter of dire importance to all Angelenos. These gentrifying, culture-conscious creatures can be found preying on vintage purses, foraging for craft beers, avoiding basic bitches and...
  • Silver Lake Murder 4

    A man was fatally shot at a Silver Lake Del Taco today, police said. The attack on a busy stretch of Sunset Boulevard near Hollywood was reported at 10:55 a.m., Los Angeles Police Department Det. Meghan Aguilar told us. The killer was described as a teenage boy, not older than...
  • "Secret" Chinese Delivery Hits Silver Lake and Los Feliz 4

    While there's a whole world of Chinese food in the San Gabriel Valley, it's a common complaint among residents of the rest of Los Angeles that the sketchier stuff can be difficult to find. I'm talking about the kind of crappy but delicious Chinese food that's incredibly common in most...

Undone by Debt and Negligence: Bills, not bullets, killed the community center that survived a racist attack. Other centers are trying to hang on. By Howard Blume

One way or another, both centers will be sold — either to community members who want to keep them going or to developers who will tear them down. Deliverance hinges on whether the mismanaged nonprofit that oversaw the community centers can and will accept less than full-market value for the two properties. Either way, the nonprofit parent is poised to go out of business, which is the most applauded move it’s made in years.

For L.A.’s Jews, especially less religious ones, the JCCs’ role has been to make the margins of Judaism comfortable and welcoming. They’re a place where it’s assumed that you don’t keep kosher, and that you may not know exactly when and how Purim and Passover are supposed to be celebrated. And their programs, facilities and jobs are open to everyone.

“In our center, you see black children, Hispanic children, Asian children,” said Michael Brezner, a lay leader of the Valley Cities JCC. “We also cater to children with special needs. We have autistic children here. We’re a non-religious organization. Our charter is to enrich people’s lives and promote Jewish culture. Children in our programs learn that everyone’s alike. They learn tolerance. And they learn how to get along with people in the world. The place is magic.”

And difficult to replace. There’s something obscene about closing child-care programs that have waiting lists — in a city desperately short of quality child care. The same goes for the threatened razing of Silver Lake’s full-sized gym, which could be serving neighborhood children and adults.

L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti, who represents much of Silver Lake, has brokered meetings involving the two key parties to the denouement: the JCCs’ own parent organization, and the Jewish Federation, its major creditor.

“The time to close this deal is now,” said Garcetti. “The Silver Lake JCC shouldn’t be held hostage for any larger concerns now that they have an offer on the table.”

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Skid Row Gets City Recognition Through Murals (PHOTOS)

    Skid Row might not exist to City Hall, where the area is officially known as Central City East, but residents this week are celebrating their community and its 19th century name with a pair of murals, the second of which was recently completed. Interestingly, despite reports that getting murals registered...
  • Justin Bieber Takes Over Notorious L.A. Party House

    This party house has already been the target of neighbors' complaints, so we wonder how things will go with Justin Bieber reportedly renting the place. See also: Weidlake Party House Gets MTV Show Despite Neighbors' Complaints The Weidlake residence in the Hollywood Hills has been the site of parties, porn shoots...
  • Young Man Killed Over His Skateboard in Echo Park

    The streets just northwest of downtown were busy with club-goers attending the Echo Park Rising music festival over the weekend, but that didn't stop three suspects from attacking a skateboarder over his ride, according to police and reports. The skater in his 20s was fatally stabbed, cops said. Family members...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows