A gunman approached a North Hollywood synagogue this morning and shot two people before fleeing, according to police, who are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
The shooting occurred at 6:20 a.m. at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic synagogue in the 12000 block of Sylvan Street.
Two men about 30 years old were each shot in the lower torso and were taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition, according to an LAPD spokesperson. The LAPD described them as Jewish.
LAPD sources told The Times that the gunman approached the victims as they were about to enter the temple for morning prayers. The sources said the gunman pulled out his weapon and fired. The gun jammed at first, then he fired again.
The shul is run by Rabbi Gabay. It is a Sephardic synagogue so that a lot of the people you will hear on the TV and radio are not going to the be Ph.d. types you might find at a YICC or Bnai David. These are salt of the earth arabic jews who make a living in the garment and jewelry district. Rabbi Gabay is a saint as he runs a day school with an annual tuition of less than $10,000. His wife is also a very nice woman, she is a real estate agent. It has been around forever in the valley, it used to be even farther north on whitsett in a building the size of your apartment, but it moved to its present location probably 20 years ago. There is a mikveh at the shul, i think.
It is in, for want of a better word, a crumby area. North of Oxnard in the valley is essentially the third world. The shul is in the middle of an area that would best be described as being in a clash of civilizations. There are fewer and fewer whites, with the rising tide of armenians and latinos mostly moving in. The Jews who do live in the area are more middle class than the upper middle class Jews who worship at Shaarey Tzedek just one mile south.
In the middle of the area are a few strip clubs that benefit from the lack of a strong home owner base that would prevent such establishments from operating. There is a general air of riff raff in the area, with lots of homeless or petty thieves around. All the banks in the area have extreme security measures, and all the nice stores have gotten the hell out. It is not a place you would want to be walking around after dusk without a sixth sense or a six shooter, and it is a testament to our latino mayor and the latino councilperson for the area that the area has only gotten worse under their control – no resources are allocated to the area at all – it is probably the only area in L.A. that offers a strip club notorious for prostitution and drug dealing and a church in the same parking lot. There is more garbage on the streets, more run down businesses, more chickens in the front yards, more massage parlors, etc. – a real source of latino pride.
Most likely the chap who figured he would cap some jews was a resident miscreant and in an intoxicated state, decided that his problems were due to Moroccan-born Jews who like to get up early to pray to God. It is a problem for synagogues in bad areas – the third-world mentality of living among garbage and therefore treating other human beings like garbage is incongruent with a Jewish holy place. Until the city of Los Angeles decides to remain in the first world, which is unlikely given our mayor and the mess of a city council, i say, in the immortal words of Rabbi Kahane "every Jew a .22".
Avi Barkay, a nephew of Rabbi Amram Gabay, the synagogue’s rabbi, identified the victims as Maor Ben-Nissan, 37, and Allen Lasry. Both men were wounded in the legs.
The victims were taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center and Valley Presbyterian Hospital, said Rabbi Yossi Malka, a chaplain with the LAPD. Ben-Nissan is currently at Holy Cross in Mission Hills, where he is recovering from surgery…
…The shooter was described as an African American male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.
Adat Yeshurun is the spritual home of 150 families from Cuba, Argentina, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Morocco, Algiers, Tunisia, Libya and Israel.
Kevin Roderick notes: "The Journal previously reported that there were twi gunmen, but revised its story to agree with other media and the LAPD that there was one suspect."
I checked out Dennis Prager’s radio show for moral guidance on this story but Dennis had taken the day off.