Gross Generalizations About Los Angeles Jews

* If you’re dealing with non-Orthodox Jewish schools, they’re ethical and organized and you get paid on time. When you deal with Orthodox Jewish day schools, payment and everything else is haphazard. Which Orthodox day school is most likely to pay its bills on time? None.

The number of Orthodox day schools run as efficiently, ethically and by the book as non-Orthodox day schools: Zero.

* The percentage of Los Angeles Orthodox Jews who want more Muslims in America — One.

* The percentage of Los Angeles Orthodox Jews who would mourn if all the feminists, the trannies and the gay rights activists left America: Five.

* The percentage of Los Angeles Orthodox Jews who would miss a meal because they were so upset that the ADL, SPLC, SWC, shut down: Five.

* Young Israel of Century City is the most accomplished shul. Its members are highly educated, intelligent and accomplished in both the religious and secular spheres. They’re not brainwashed. It seems like 80% plus have known each other since childhood in New York at Modern Orthodox day schools. Because of its high standards, it is impossible for a shlepper to fit in there. The shul is a hard nut to crack, but if you can crack it, it will fill you up. Two hundred members might show up Shabbos morning, and 50 might show up for a morning minyan on a Wednesday. It’s the most devoted of any Modern Orthodox shul in LA. It’s the shul least likely to have a shanda.

When God wants to create a great Modern Orthodox shul rabbi, he looks at R. Elazar Muskin as the template. If God thought He could get away with cloning 100 Elazar Muskins, He would. With 100 Elazar Muskin clones, God would get half as much tsures from Yidden.

* Aish Ha Torah makes outsiders think of a Jewish version of Scientology. Aish devotees, from an outside perspective, seem to have a glaze reminiscent of Scientologists. They seem brainwashed. They generally lack a sense of humor. They have these fake upstanding outside presentations of themselves and the skeptical outsider wonders if they have the most dark inside world of any Orthodox shul.

* Bnai David-Judea shares the high ethical standards of YICC, has highly intelligent and accomplished members, a high average IQ, but the shul is not cliquish and competitive like YICC. It’s the most tolerant Orthodox shul in Los Angeles. It sings kumbaya so to speak. It cares about the homeless, black people, Muslims and other minority goyim.

The ethical standards of Bnai David and of YICC are equal to WASP elites.

* Beth Jacob is like a Modern Orthodox version of America. It’s a big tent composed of many strands. Non-religious people feel comfortable there. The standards of modesty vary widely. Sometimes they’re akin to a Conservative shul. It’s the biggest Orthodox shul in Los Angeles. It used to be more fractious.

The old joke was that Beth Jacob would get 500 people on a Shabbos morning but struggle to get a minyan during the week while YICC would get 200 members on a Shabbos morning and 50 for Shacharit on a Tuesday. The old joke was that Beth Jacob’s presidents weren’t religious, and they would drive on Shabbos if it rained, but this is no longer true.

The toughest shul to run is Beth Jacob. It has a long history of challenging its rabbis (different factions going to war against each other, etc). By contrast, Bnai David and YICC line up behind their rabbis.

* The shul with the highest average IQ: YICC.

* Los Angeles Orthodox Jews didn’t care about rioting shvartzes until they came to La Cienega Blvd during the 1991 Riots, then the Orthodox paid attention. By nature, Los Angeles Orthodox Jews could give a stuff about shvartzes and Muslims so long as they stayed away, but now Muslims are increasingly walking the streets of Pico and going into Orthodox enclaves in full Muslim regalia so Orthodox Jews are concerned and not nearly as multi-cultural as the OU, Agudas Yisrael, the ADL, SPLC, SWC, etc.

* The RCC would prefer to do zero conversions a year, just so long as no other Orthodox rabbis in Los Angeles did any conversions. The RCC wants to run things in LA and no tactic has been too hardball for them to employ. It’s such a shame they’ve been so humiliated and now it seems like everyone scoffs at them and enjoys their downfall. I’ve yet to meet a regular Los Angeles Orthodox Jew who has not enjoyed the RCC’s downfall.

* The percentage of converts to Orthodox Judaism who give it all up after a year or five years or 25 years because “I no longer believe in it”: Forty.

* The percentage of Orthodox Jews who would miss a meal because they were so upset that the rabbis decided there should be no more converts: One.

* The percentage of Orthodox Jews who would miss a meal because they were so upset that Donald Trump was elected president: Ten.

* Non-Lubavitch Orthodox Jews tend to view Chabad as a different religion. In the struggle between Chabad and the Modern Orthodox in Los Angeles, Chabad gets stronger every day.

* At least half of Los Angeles Orthodox Jews agree with R. Meir Kahane that Israel should expel all Arabs from Israel.

* The percentage of Los Angeles Orthodox Jews who would risk their lives to hide blacks and Muslims from a genocide: Zero.

* If I were to build a Museum of Righteous Jews who risked their lives (and the lives of their family) without pay to save goyim from genocide by an efficient totalitarian regime like the Nazis, I wouldn’t need a large property.

* If you dropped your wallet with $1000 cash in it in any LA shul, the one most likely to return it unmolested is YICC.

* The shul that most wants to daven with black people is Bnai David.

* The shul most likely to get positive coverage in the Los Angeles Times or the Jewish Journal is Bnai David.

* Friend: “My mind may not be a less corrupt or vulgar than yours. But, my FFB [Orthodox from birth] upbringing gave me the filters and forethought not to share what’s not acceptable with the wrong people, whereas your deep honesty makes you share EVERYTHING that goes on in your rebellious head, and separates us as people.”

* The shul most likely to get you spiritually high is the Happy Minyan.

* Shul where you are least likely to get a Shabbos meal invite — Beth Jacob.

* Shul least likely to ask you your name — YICC.

* Shul least likely to judge you — Bnai David or Chabad.

* The shul most eager to teach you how to practice Orthodox Judaism — Aish Ha Torah.

* The shul most willing to invest in you — Aish Ha Torah.

* Best shul for singles — Bnai David, Happy Minyan.

* Best shul for finding a guy who knows a guy who can get you a machine gun and a rocket launcher — Chabad.

* The shul most likely to talk to you about returning America to the gold standard — Chabad.

* The shul where you are most likely to get punched — Chabad.

* The shul with the hottest wives is Chabad. Hotness is proportionate to the men’s Hasidus learning.

* The shul where the Yidden are most likely to give you the shirt off the back is Chabad (this quality of generosity is inversely proportionate to secular learning).

* The richer the shul, the colder.

* Walking down Pico Blvd near La Cienega Blvd last night heading for Burger Bar, my Orthodox friend ran into three Muslim women in full hijab going to the Indian food place. He said to himself, “Baruch HaShem for diversity, I sure hope they bring all their relatives to this country.”

* My friend claims that Jews who go to minyan are more ethical than other Jews. Those are some pretty lofty moral standards to reach. I suppose it is good to aim for the stars or what’s a heaven for?

* “There are lots of minyanim in the Otisville federal penitentiary for white collar criminals.” (Daniel Sayani)

* From a Jewish perspective, Christianity is pure idolatry. From a Christian perspective, Jews crucify Jesus anew each day with their unbelief. From a Muslim perspective, both groups are unbelieving kafir slags.

* Friend: “She claims she knows a bunch of people who converted with the RCC just this past year. She also said that the LA Beit Din’s program seems a lot more rigorous.”

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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