I seriously find major fault with Bnai David.
The use of time and money to feed the local homeless population, which are mostly psychotics (any sane homeless person lives by the beach in Venice Santa Monica) is a waste of time and money. Yes, it is a good deed. But there are much more important good deeds that can be done. How about educating the Jewish children in the area that cannot afford Hillel/Shalhevet – Canfield Elementary is loaded with Jewish children whose souls could be saved. Why not spare some of Rabbi Kanefsky’s dynamism to outreach to the parents there (and to the other local private schools loaded with Jewish younglings) rather than serving some mental defective some stew.
I know the PR value is that here is a synagogue caring for others – with the goal of said PR showing how good a citizen the shul is so that the shul gains political power. Such political power is necessary if the shul needs to expand, close the street down for a torah dedication, get relaxed parking restrictions, or, in a worst case scenario, as an argument against putting Jews on trains (which was all the rage last century).
My answer to this dilemma is to save Jewish souls and let the homeless collect bottles.
As Darth Vader said in Star Wars, "the ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force." All the PR in Los Angeles is insignificant next to the power of the Torah.
Look at the Jews of Germany, they outreached like crazy to their aryan fellows and in return, they got free train rides and Zyklon B in costco quantities.
Observant Judaism in Germany for the last few centuries or so has left almost no impact – save for Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and maybe Rabbi Hildesheimer (I do not count the Rav’s sojourn in Berlin for his doctorate as in Germany’s column). So, the Jews of Germany got their PR and if you attend a yeshiva now, their PR did not result in a single significant book on the shelf of religious works. The true contribution of German Judaism to the world is one Albert Einstein, whose theories of relativity and nuclear fission guaranteed the supremacy of western civilization from 1945 until the forfeiture thereof by Barack Obama.
Now turn to Eastern Europe, where the Jews only cared about how much torah knowledge could be amassed under the most austere of circumstances. They did not participate in society, they participated in the pilpul of the Talmud. They got the same gift gas from their gentile hosts. BUT – go to a yeshiva now and the names bandied about for the nearly inscrutable ability to scrutinize the Talmud are the names of Rabbis from Mir, Brisk, Vilna, Slobodka, Satu Mare (Satmar), etc. These are the Shaagas Aryeh, the Chafetz Chaim, the Brisker Rov and the Vilna Gaon. These, as Ronald Reagan would say, are the boys of Puenet Du Hoc.
This is the Judaism of the eternal, the kind they do not report on in the Jewish Journal.
A FRIEND CALLS: "I’m enjoying all the Bnai David bashing. I went to school with these guys. I hated them."
Luke: "They’re nice people. The opposite of catty and judgmental."
FRIEND: "The website looks like it is trying to sell a product. I don’t buy Modern Orthodoxy. Count yourself fortunate that you were thrown out of there. Now you have unlimited license to **** with their minds. It’s true. That’s why they never killed Arafat. It would make him more powerful."