Name Those Who Study Torah In Pico-Robertson

I’m talking about people who study it every day in the original.

And I am not talking about rabbis or anybody who gets paid to study Torah.

There are three at Bnai David-Judea (about 430 member families) — Shep Rosenman, Jordan Lurie, and….

There are about ten at YICC (about 300 member families, I’m not talking the daf yomi crowd, even I did daf yomi, that’s just listening, I’m talking about Torah study in Hebrew and Aramaic).

I don’t know if there are any at Aish HaTorah (about 300 member families). They’re almost all baalei teshuva (returnees to Judaism who rarely develop text skills).

Beth Jacob (about 950 member families) has about 30, maybe 50.

Anshe Emet (100 member families) is mainly baalei teshuva. I suspect maybe half a dozen study Torah daily.

Chabad Bais Bazelel (on Pico Blvd near Robertson) has a serious cadre of daily learners who are frum-from-birth. The messianic Israeli Chabad on Robertson and Pickford is mainly baalei teshuva and few of them learn.

There are a lot of Persians in Pico-Robertson but I don’t think any of them study Torah daily. There hasn’t been a Persian gadol in a thousand years, says Marc Shapiro.

Persian Jewry imported most of their great rabbis from Iraq. Persian Jews have traditionally been illiterate in Hebrew and they carry on that tradition in America.

About one percent of Orthodox congregants in Pico-Robertson study Torah daily in the original languages of their people.

I encourage you to turn in the names of anyone who studies Torah so I can reveal them to the higher authorities and they can be taken care of in the proper fashion.

The biggest informer gets to take me to dinner at Pats.

Shuls in the Fairfax-La Brea part of Los Angeles have a far higher percentage of learners, maybe 10%. Shuls such as Rabbi Mordecai Willig‘s in New York would be 50% composed of learners while the percentage of daily Torah learners in Rabbi Avi Weiss‘s Riverdale shul would be around 10%.

Because there is so little learning among the Modern Orthodox in Los Angeles, they tend to be subservient to the traditionalists. YULA is moving steadily to the right as more of its teachers become haredi.

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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