Sabbath Protest Planned For Full Service Asian Massage Parlor Beside Orthodox Shul Beth Jacob

UPDATE: A source says: “Yes I did go and it went fairly well. There were about 10 people with posters and cameras and they handed out flyers and attracted a lot of people.”

A few months ago, I wrote about the whorehouse next door to synagogue Beth Jacob.

What are the best legit massage parlors in 90035? The one next to Bais Bazalel on Pico Blvd is on the up and up I believe, just foot massage for $25, nothing above the knee, Baruch HaShem. Should shuls protest when there are whorehouses next door or should we just keep our head down?

Now I understand a protest is planned by Meryl Rizzotti outside the Everhealthy massage parlor (9016 Olympic Blvd, 90211) for Saturday, Feb. 2, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, just when shul is letting out. There should be a reporter from KCET’s So Cal Connected covering the event.

Orthodox Jews have traditional views on morality but they typically don’t get involved in public protest against prostitution and other forms of sexual sin.

Joe* emails:

First, I would not get anywhere near that protest. The whole asian sex trade in Los Angeles is armed and pays off the cops quite well. Any words of torah from the protest could be met by a nine mm.

Second, the protest should be not against the massage parlor, but the owner of the building that rents to the massage parlor. That is what Santa Monica did – they simply targeted the landlord – if there was a massage business that did not have the proper license, that had complaints on file to the Police about bad behavior, or that failed any type of inspection whatsoever, the city of Santa Monica fined the landlord. It worked and within like 90 days all the landlords profiting off this nonsense ejected these hookers. Who owns the property there?

Y. emails:


Proximity of the massage parlor protest to BJ is incidental; BJ is not involved, and I hope the whole foofarah has a happy ending. Hopefully, no one will end up blowing their top.

Ms. Rizzotti is not a member of BJ, and is not Orthodox. She lives [near] the controversial establishment, and is understandably concerned about the types of customers that might be attracted to such a place, and at what hours they might use the alley to seek parking.

As a side note, BJ is welcoming its new cantor, Arik Wolheim, this Shabbat, and if he heads that way after services, he will see a side of the neighborhood that he was not expecting. Not as well known is the recent hiring, at nearby Congregation Mogen David (Rabbi Gabe Elias’s shul), of Alex J. Katz as its new cantor. Katz has made the rounds as a volunteer cantor at various shuls in the area, including BJ and YICC, and is known for his outstanding, powerful voice and the musicality of the services that he leads. He reportedly applied for the job at BJ, but apparently a decision had already been made to seek a full-time cantor; Mr. Katz works during the week as Director of Berkeley Point Capital LLC in Santa Monica.

A SOURCE WRITES: Thanks to the California Massage Therapy Council, all power to regulate massage parlors has been taken away from City and State government. Cities can’t even limit the number of these places. This is all the work of Ahmos Netanel, the CEO of the CAMTC who makes over $300,000 and probably bribed the previous governor who vetoed an AB that would return regulatory powers to the local government. The Bill had passed 64-9. I don’t know where Joe got his information about Santa Monica because I am sure the BH City Attorney would love to know how (and if) SM did actually accomplish it. The Red Light Abatement Sanctions are not just handed out like M&Ms. It takes time and litigation. Dayan was threatened but he and his attorneys have managed to delay, delay, delay.

The congregants that walked by from BJ were not at all concerned about this place.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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