Chabad Hits Sunset Plaza

West Hollywood, CA — Call it a taste of Jerusalem in West Hollywood.

Two small city blocks lined with fashionable boutiques and sidewalk cafes attract LA’s most beautiful and famous. Armani, Anna Sui, Madison, Butler and Wilson, Nicole Miller, and Oliver Peoples are planted in this urban oasis for those who aspire to their fashion and price tags. This is LA, and yes, Sunset Plaza is a hot spot for those who like to watch or be watched.

But this fall, Sunset Plaza will be hosting an altogether new vibe. It’s the hottest thing out there, with a presence in thousands of cities worldwide. It’s called Chabad.

No, it’s not a bistro or fashion have. It won’t put a hole in your wallet. You don’t even have to know anyone to be there. It’s a Jewish center for the unaffiliated, uninitiated, uninterested, and under-stimulated.

The groundbreaking couple spearheading this unique project is Rabbi Mendel Simons and his wife Rachey. Rabbi Simons was born in Sydney, Australia and received his Rabbinical degree right here in LA. He completed advanced studies in Jerusalem and has a vast pedigree of outreach experience all over the world, ranging from Budapest to Cyprus to New York City. Rachey was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Chicago. She completed her schooling in Israel. They have been married for one-and-a-half years and have a six-month-old daughter, Chaya.

Beyond the High Holiday services, Chabad of Sunset Plaza will offer a broad range of Jewish education and enrichment. The philosophy of Chabad is to offer Jews opportunities for greater involvement in Jewish communal and religious life. Whether it is a class about Judaism, a Sabbath meal, or holiday celebrations, Chabad welcomes Jews from all backgrounds and walks of life with no strings attached. The vibes are warm. The food is always good, and the doors are always open.

The Simons will direct this center under the auspices of California’s Chabad headquarters, joining the Chabad family of more than 120 centers in California and over 3,500 institutions worldwide.

Rosh Hashanah services on the Sunset Plaza strip will be held Tuesday, September 30th and Wednesday, October 1st, 2008. Yom Kippur services will be held Wednesday, October 8th and Thursday, October 9th, 2008. No membership necessary. To ensure a seat, make a reservation or for more information, contact Rabbi Mendel Simons at 310-595-5490 or, or visit

About Luke Ford

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