Hanhalah Of Yeshivas Yavneh Writes Yeshivaworld To Set The Record Straight

(Monday, September 24th, 2007)

LAYomKippur57681.jpgThis letter is being written on behalf of Yavneh Hebrew Academy in Los Angeles. We are writing to set the record straight regarding the facts of our recent unfortunate experience at Yavneh and the subsequent response by officials from the City of Los Angeles (as reported HERE on YW).

On Friday night, Leil Kol Nidrei, 2 inspectors from a division of the Department of Building and Safety for the City of Los Angeles appeared on our premises at approximately 8:05 pm and told one of our mispalelim that since our conditional use permit only allowed us to be in our facility on Friday nights until 8 pm, and that it was now past that time, we needed to immediately disband our services and vacate the premises.

This action was clearly outrageous.  Our community has been working diligently in its outreach efforts to reconcile with all of the different elements within the neighborhood and time after time the response has been a slap on the hand.  It is sad that our neighborhood has come to this where a neighbor in our community would stoop to the low point of using City officials to desecrate and disrupt our holiest of days.

We have since discovered that somewhere along the way there was a breakdown in the communication and chain of command between the heads of Building and Safety and the lower-level inspectors who took it upon themselves to authorize this action. Furthermore, it appears that these inspectors had been responding to the numerous phone calls of one very influential private citizen in our neighborhood.

This evening – Sunday, 11 Tishrei, the day after Yom Kippur – the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, had his chief of staff convene a meeting at City Hall to have a formal apology issued by the General Manager of Building and Safety, who is himself a religious
person of a different faith. This individual profusely apologized and took full responsibility for this terrible behavior. He expressed his pain by stating that he had fled a country where he had been a victim of religious persecution and was therefore particularly embarrassed that this had taken place under his watch.

The mayor has also personally committed to perform a thorough investigation of the matter and correct the grievous behavior that was committed on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The mayor’s office also plans to issue a statement deploring what happened Kol Nidrei night.

At the meeting, Jack Weiss, city councilman from another district, and Renee Weitzer, chief of staff for Councilman LaBonge within whose council district Yavneh falls, were also present, and they too decried what happened on Leil Yom Kippur.

We are encouraged by the tremendous outcry of our leading city officials – the mayor, the city council, and the head of Building and Safety – who indicated to us their resolve that a travesty such as this will never be allowed to occur again in the City of Los Angeles.

To that end, they have assured us that they will be conducting an immediate and thorough investigation.

We hope we can work on repairing the breaches in our neighborhood, using this unfortunate incident as a springboard to reject those elements among our neighbors who instigated such a dishonorable act.

As Yom Kippur is the time of being mekadesh Shem Shamayim, we hope that this will be the ultimate result when all the dust has settled.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Moshe Dear, Headmaster of Yeshivas Yavneh
Rabbi N. Doniel Korobkin, Rosh Kehilla
David Rubin, Chairman of the Board of Yeshivas Yavneh
on behalf of the Board

17 Comments

  1. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    i know rabbi korobokin, and he is a very responsible and honest rov (even though i disagree with him on the milah issue). this is just an example of irrresponsible city bureaucrats (and meddlesome neighbors, who obviously made a foolish complaint, and, as i recall, oppose the zoning variance involved).

    there are similar issues throughout the country involving putting up a shul, eruv (even though many tyw’ers oppose eruvin), mikvaot, and other binyanei tzibur. (even “rabbis homes”). the federal law states that zoning variances must be given, but local communities (usually at the behest of other residents, often other yidden, refuse to comply with the federal law, necessitating big buck$ in lawyers fees and bad neighborly relations to get what is coming to us (and to other churches and budhist mosques, etc).

    dont forget, in tenafly, for example, the mayor (named moskowitz) testified that “we dont want THOSE jews to move here”) and their lawyer was noah feldman!

  2. Yidel says:

    Still no clarification as to what occured after they were ordered to disband. Was any attempt to arrest anyone made for persumably not disbanding?

  3. sabra says:

    did they actually leave before the end of davening?
    you should have had a cure period to make arrangements & by the been able to finish the tefilos

  4. HaKatan says:

    Did they actually disband, or were they able to continue after the interruption?

    I am really surprised that buildings dept. has any authority to actually kick someone out. I would think that they can involve the police, but not to usurp police functions and kick people out of buildings.

    As the writers said, I hope that it will be a kiddush shem shamayim, after all is said and done.

  5. frumjew says:

    I have 2 questions for MiMedinat Hayam. Firstly, unfortunately, i do not know what the abrieviation tyw’ers stands for. Could you please elaborate.

    Secondly, I wonder what the purpose of you writing in regards to Rabbi Korobokin “even though I disagree with him on the milah issue”. I personally do not know the rabbi, and I have no idea who you are. But I know that just by reading that line, it gave me a pause and a negative feeling in how I thought about the rabbi because I now know that there is at least 1 serious halachic issue that he publicized and (probably) caused some serious debate and disagreement. Furthermore, since I have no idea who you are, such a comment does nothing to further your comment. It therefore makes me wonder if such a comment might be classified as a type of Lashon Hora. Similarly, your ‘extra’ comment about the eruvim. Are you trying to prove to us either that you are ‘superior’ to those ‘lesser’ Jews who use this eruv, whereever it is? I’m saying this not to condemn you, but to make you aware of how your comments were percieved by me (and I’m sure, a number of other) readers (since I don’t consider myself so special; I figure I’m like most of the readers).
    It is so easy for us to get caught up in assurdiker speech (I’m sure I do it quite often, too) but since we’re in a new year and we have already had a number of tzaros and korbanos, we should – all of us – try to be aware of how our statements come across and be more careful.

    Kol Tuv and a gitta kvittal to all.

    Frum Jew.

  6. bisul_treif says:

    the best thing for the jews to do , all jews leave
    america we go to israel, then all the arabs that
    are occuping our land leave go to america , plenty
    room over there then in no time america will be a
    medina of gehenom best medicine for america .look
    at france now its one big garbage dump

  7. gavra says:

    FrumJew – maybe it stands for “TheYeshivaWorld’ers”

  8. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    i agree with bisul_treif.

    as for frumjew:
    tyw= TheYeshivaWorld. many poster’s objected in the past to the establishment of eruvin in many cities/communities (a general litvishe/yeshivish objected to eruvin, i wont get into here.) my point was that there are many (non halachic; i mean conceptual, or secular) objections to eruvin in communities all over the us (and in the world) by nonjews (and unfortunately, fellow not-yet-orthodox jews, such as mayor moskowitz in tenafly, as i mentioned, and her lawyer, noah feldman).

    as for the milah issue, the rav was a popular (and only, i believe) mohel in a community i lived in a few years ago (besides being the marah d’asra). he did not bring up the particulars on the milah issue, but once it came up, he supported(improperly, in my opinion) the banning of a certain milah practice, even though the manner it was done (the “banning”) reeked of anti-semitism, in my opinion.

    neverteless, for the record, i would be proud to have rabbi korobkin as the mohel for my next son (assuming he is born in southern california, lets be practical), as the particulars do not concern me personally (and i wouldnt even think of asking him how he would do the milah; i never asked the mohel in the past, and wouldnt ask in the future). it was the excessive appearance of anti semitic banning of a respected bris practice that i object to.

  9. Shmuel99 says:

    I am terribly sorry to hear about this awful story.

    It must have been a terrible experience.

    Well, B”H this sort of thing doesn’t happen in Eretz Yisroel. Yes there are problems – plenty of them. But no cops would ever do such a thing on Yom K. in E”Y

  10. LosAngelesJew says:

    I davened at Yavneh on Yom Kippur and I’m writing this comment only to clarify what happened. The building inspectors never even made it into the beis hakneses, and davening was not forced to disband, although there was a bit of a tumult as many of the mispalelim, including the rov, left for a few minutes to investigate the situation. The police did not arrive on the scene, and no one was arrested.

  11. Imanonov says:

    Perhaps all of us who wrote letters of protests to the Mayor, now write to him to thank him for his care? That would surely create a Kiddush H’.

  12. bozo says:

    shmuel99-dont make an ayin hara!!!

  13. Milhouse says:

    the General Manager of Building and Safety, who is himself a religious person of a different faith…he had fled a country where he had been a victim of religious persecution”.

    Andrew Adelman is not Jewish?

  14. mowshe says:

    nothing like a temporary permit i hope they don’t open that file.

  15. matzahlocaol101 says:

    They (Israeli riot police) went into chareidi beis hemdresh last chol hamoed pesach, or perhaps the year before that, and beat chasidim with clubs. there is a video of it on google but YWN doesn’t allow links.

  16. matzahlocaol101 says:

    just a second thought, where in creation are you goping to find a building inspector working at 8:00 PM Friday night??? This was a set up. they were aware, well before they walked in, as to exactly what they were doing.

  17. Cherry Hill says:

    #15, that is because the zionists are the worst anti-semites.

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