Monday News Chum

I don’t have all my links I collected at lunch with me, but here are a few articles of interest from the LA Times:

  • From the “I Love Bookstores” Department: Some folks might remember the NEA’s Big Read, which was killed by the Bush administration. Well, the fellow who ran that program left government service… and opened up a used bookstore in Boyle Heights. What’s need about this bookstore is that not only does he sell books, but he lends them, and the rental period is based on the complexity of the book and how long it is. He also doesn’t get too upset if stuff doesn’t come back.
  • From the “Bringing Life Back to the Old” Department: Speaking of Boyle Heights… those of you familiar with Los Angeles may know that Boyle Heights is the home of the first Jewish congregation in LA, the Breed St. Shul. Alas, Breed Street is no longer an operating synagogue… but not that far away, in Highland Park, a small group has brought Temple Beth Israel back to life in a predominantly Hispanic area. TBI started in the 1930s and was never very big, and by the 1980s, there were less than 20 regular members.
  • From the “Covering the Hair” Department: Continuing our flow of subjects… now that we’re talking about Judaism, you may know that traditional Jewish women always keep their hair covered (see, it is not just a Muslim thing). In Judaism, this is not only done with scarves but with wigs, called “sheitels”. The LA Times has a nice article on a Sheitel macher, that is, someone who makes sheitels. An interesting article for those unfamiliar with the subject.