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September 6, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 6, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 PAGE 11A kO Torah School graduation Eagle Rock, May 19. Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock at the revitalized Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and By Hillel Kuttler ern parts of the city and the anniversary of its founding, San Fernando Valley. By the which occurred on Dec. 23, BALTIMORE (JTA)--When 1970s, assembling a minyan 1923. Henry Leventon, his wife and was difficult.And the situation To markthe occasion at this three daughters attended worsened through the 1990s. year's Hanukahparty, one of their first Sabbath service at Still, the synagogue hung TBI's recent arrivals, Delaine Temple Beth Israel of High- on, itsmembersresistingcalls Shane, is assembling an ex- land Park and Eagle Rock in todisbandormergewithother hibition of the synagogue's 1976, the gabbai at the Los congregations, history. She is soliciting Angeles synagoguejimmedi- In recent years, though, items that help document ately approached. TBI, as it is known, has ex- the history--"anything that "Justwhatweneed:ayoung perienced a revival. Young connects the people to the man and his family!" the sex- couples and their children temple," she said. Photo- tongreetedthementhusiasti- are moving into the area and graphs, home movie clips, cally. Leventon, considering comingtothesynagoguefrom journals, letters and stories himselfhardlyyouthfulatage more distant areas. TBI now preservedbycongregantsand 49, saw the aging worshipers has approximately 170 fami- their descendants, wherever and understood the intent, lies as members, services are they may be--Shane wants Thesynagogueinnortheast held every Sabbath morning them all. L.A.wasfading.Themigration and two Friday nights each Highonthewishlistarethe from the small Jewish corn- month, a Hebrew school op- magazines published jointly munities in the two neigh- erates, and b'nai mitzvah and by TBI and a local B'nai B'rith borhoods, and the larger one adult education classes meet. lodge in the 1940s and 1950s, in nearby Boyle Heights, had Against the odds, TBI is The Jewish Observer in High- started in the 1950s to west- poised to celebrate the 90th land Park, and photographs from the official opening of By contrast, he said noaisothinkitisagreatexample the TBI building--the only congregations remain infor our current members and one built by the congrega- Boyle Heights, the hub of future congregants that their tion--in December 1930.early-20th century Jewish participation, volunteerism She's hoping to come up with life that once boasted more and overall involvement does anyprinted material fromthe than 30 synagogues. Sass make a significant difference dedication event, too. recently helped restore the [to] this temple. Were it not Poking around closets, neighborhood's Breed Street for the people of the past, she found 1930s-era lighting Shul as an art, culture and my family would not be able fixtures, an American flag educationcenterinwhathas to celebrate and cherish the presented to TBI in 1939, a long been a largely Hispanic Jewish community we now wooden synagogue sign from community, have at TBI." the late '40s and beautiful Shane chairs TBI's history Leventon, 83 and a wid- stained-glass windows re- committee, whose members ower, is among those who moved for safekeeping. Her are deciding how to organize kept things going for people search ofU.S, census records the exhibition. The syna- like Shane. The native of and city directories, building gogue's interior is just 3,800 Belfast, Northern Ireland, permits and maps provided square feet, sotheexhibitwill occasionally has to rebuff insight into the synagogue's not be permanent, although his daughters' pleas to move founders and its early years, historic photos will continue from the city. In that way, he One nugget she uncovered: to adorn the social hall. exemplifies the will of those A founder asked the local Shane, an environmentalwho welcomed him to the mailman to provide the Jewish specialist for the Metropolitan congregation long ago. names and their addresses of Water District of Southern "We struggled along and those living along his route. California, personifies the struggled along, and now The information helped in synagogue's renaissance.She we're having an upswing recruitment, and husband Russell, along with young families," said All the information, and with their daughter, Sarah, Leventon, TBI's president any donated mementos, will now 10, stumbled upon the from 1987 to 2005. be preserved for TBI's newer building in 2008, when they "To have family services generations, began considering a move [the first Friday each month], The effort to document closer to the city from sub- for an old-timer like me, is a the synagogue's rise, fall and urban Sherman Oaks. Their novelty," he said. "We've had ascentanew"underscoresthe home in South Pasadena is a few bar and bat mitzvahs in fallacy that Los Angeles and a five-minute ride from TBI. the past year, when we hadn't California have no history, "As a young person, I was had any for decades." let alone Jewish history," said always looking for a temple I Please email Hillel Kuttler Stephen Sass, thepresidentof could click with/' said Shane, at if you the Jewish Historical Society who was raised in a Conser- own items relating to TBI's of SoUthern California.vative synagogue; TBI first history. If you would like The central story, he said, affiliated with the Conserva- "Seeking Kin" to write about is the congregation hanging tive movement and now is your search for long-lost on long enough to see better independent, relatives and friends, please times. "I walked in [to TBI] and it include the principal facts and "A few years ago there was was very warm, heimische," your contact information in a a film, 'The Miracle of Inter- she said, using the Yiddish brief email. "Seeking Kin" is vale Avenue,' about the last word for homey, sponsored by Bryna Shuchat congregation in the South "Since so many shuls inand Joshua Landes and faro- Bronx," Sass said of the New Los Angeles are gone now, but ily in loving memory of their York neighborhood. "Well, TBI remains, I think that it mother and grandmother, this is the miracle on Monte is imperative to preserve this Miriam Shuchat, a lifelong Vista Street." temple's history," she said. "I uniter of the Jewish people. on w By Alex Traiman istry has not offered children another across the country," for nearly 10 years. Ehrlichman explained. Like many sudden Israeli It is this ability to spread As Israeli children begin initiatives, thedecisiontovac- itself that has some in Israel theirschoolyear, oneparticu- cinatehasbeenmetwithsome worried that an outbreak of lar requirement for students opposition and controversy, polio may be more likely to is taking on a somewhat by a group that believes that develop from the widespread sudden and newfound sense spreadingthevaccinationmay distributionofthevaccination of urgency--inoculation be more dangerous than the than from of the traces of the against polio, disease itself, virus itself found in sewage. The disease, which many A petition was recentlyFurthermore, the oralvac- in Israel had believed to be taken to Israel's Supreme cine is not typically adminis- completely eradicated for Court to halt the issue of the tered in developed nations. more than two decades, has vaccine. The petition was Health officials, however, recently been identified in quickly heard and rejected, contend that the ability of sewage systems--first in the The controversy surrounds the oral vaccine to protect south and then in the north of the ability of the oralvaccina- an entire population from an the country--during routine tion to spread to those who outbreak well outweigh the testing, have not received it. risks that the vaccine may Many across Israel are "There are two kinds ofactually spread polio. invoking thoughts of a bib- vaccination against polio," According to Ehrichman, lical-style plague outbreak, said Dr. Ehrlichman. "One the chances that the virus even though no formal cases is called IPV (Inactivated wouldspreadthroughthevac- of the disease have been Poliovirus Vaccine) and it is cine itself are extraordinarily reported, not given orally. Jonas Salk, rare, due to the fact that it is "There has not been an who was Jewish, inventeditin not the full virus that is be- outbreak of polio since a few the '50s. The OPV (Oral Polio ing administered, but rather caseswerereportedinlsraelin Vaccination) was invented a heavily weakened version 1988," Dr. Mati Ehrlichman, years later by Albert Sabin." of the virus designed to help director of the Glaubach De- "The only difference be- individuals develop immunity partment of Pediatric Emer- tween the two is that the IPV to the full virus. gencyMedicineatJerusalem's is not a live vaccine. The OPV "It is not the virus," Eh- ShaareZedekMedicalCenter, is live vaccine. The IPV, the richman said. "It is the live told non-livevaccine is a little bet- attenuated virus within the Yet suddenly, as a result terbecausethereisnochance vaccine. The benefit is that of the sewer system findings ofdevelopingwildpoliovirus, those who have not received andthepotential for immune- But it only vaccinates the one the vaccine, they can be vac- deficient children to contract who is getting the vaccine, cinated even without getting the disease, Israel's Health not the others who are not the vaccine by mouth." Ministry haslaunchedarapid getting the vaccine. With During the 1950s, Israeli campaign to immediately OPV, even those who are not children were initially only inoculate children using an receiving the vaccine can get offered the IPV, as this was oral form of polio vaccination vaccinated, because the vac- and still is considered to be an (OPV),which the Health Min- cine can be passed from one to effective form of vaccination Flash 90 Israeli President Shimon Peres (right), whose son had contracted and overcome polio, watches as a medical worker administers a dose of a polio immunization to a young boy at a clinic in Jerusalem on Aug. 21. Israel's Health Ministry im 'ated a mass vaccination program for more than 1 million children in Israel following the recent discovery of the polio virus in sewer systems. for those who take it. Then, dangerous at all, and it is only Arab states, or from Bedouin according to Ehrlichman, in addedasanotheropportunity in Sinai." 1988 there were some cases of to eradicate the virus." "In the PalestinianAuthor- wild Poliol so the Health Min- "The chances are very low ity, children are given both istryaddedOPV. From I988to that anybody should get the vaccinations. In Egypt they 2004, all Israeli children got virus. But as we saw in 1988, give both. In Jordan they bothvaccinations.Mter2004, some children got the virus, are giving both vaccinations theHealthMinistrydecidedto so we should be careful," Eh- becausethediseasewasnever stop the OPVvaccination, like rlichman added, fully eradicated,"Ehrlichman other developed countries, When asked how polio, asaid. and to give only IPV. disease that is only endemic Even if contracted, the "Now, because we have in three countries--Afghani- chances that a child would found some wild polio in the stan, Nigeria, and Paki- becomepermanentlydisabled sewer, the HealthMinistryhas stan--could spread to Israel, from the virus are slim. For decided to administer OPV, a developed nation whose mostindividualswhocontract with the hope that the entire children have been receiving the virus, the symptoms are disease will be eradicated," vaccinations for decades, relatively minor, and most Ehrlichman said. "The add- Ehrlichman posited, "I think symptoms--including paral- ing of this vaccination is not it is possibly coming from ysis--are0ften fully resolved.