Congregation Mogen David Still Kicking

The shul has a building and a fat bank account but few members.

Gabe Elias, who says he is an ordained Orthodox rabbi, has been running the place since getting rid of Rabbi Jonathan Muskat in 2003.

Around 2006, about 50 members of YICC moved over to Mogen David when Rabbi Elazar Muskin cancelled YICC’s kiddish club. But they grew disillusioned with Mogen David and either moved back to YICC or went elsewhere.

The Happy Minyan moved out of Mogen David a couple of years ago.

Rabbi Gabe Elias has brought in the Sephardim to Mogen David. He’s brought them on to the shul board and he’s invited them to daven in Mogen David’s main sanctuary.

The Ashkenazim have largely moved out of Mogen David.

For a decade, Gabe Elias has outmaneuvered his critics and retained control of the shul.

About Luke Ford

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