Chabad, MOT Want To Grow, Neighbors Opposed

From the Los Angeles Times:

On most weekdays, young boys in yarmulkes can be seen hanging out with friends in front of the new kosher Subway sandwich shop, while Orthodox women in modest dress stroll past Judaica stores and synagogues along Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

Dubbed the “Kosher District” by some planners, this roughly 12-block stretch near Robertson Boulevard has exploded in recent years with restaurants, shops and religious institutions aimed at serving the neighborhood’s growing Jewish population.

But the project has sparked protests among Westside residents weary of increasing traffic and overcrowding in an already bustling neighborhood. Similar battles have erupted in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills as the area struggles with more growth.

Neighbors are threatening legal action against Chabad, an Orthodox Jewish outreach organization, over its proposal to construct a new girls school, condos, a ritual bathhouse and retail stores on the boulevard between Wetherly and Crest drives.

Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, the head of Chabad of California, said his group has been battling neighborhood opposition in one form or another across the region for the last 40 years. These days that opposition includes some of its Jewish neighbors.

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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