The entire West Valley should be deeply grateful to 3rd District Councilwoman Joy Picus for her heroic efforts over the past year in successfully obtaining a conditional-use permit for a Jewish day school and synagogue in Woodland Hills.
Her efforts were not based on popularity polls but on a firm commitment to education and spiritual growth in the West Valley and in her own neighborhood. Her work was boosted by Councilman Hal Bernson, whose subcommittee (consisting of Councilmen Mike Woo, John Farrell and Bernson) voted unanimously in support of the project. Mayor Tom Bradley, who has a long record of commitment to Jewish education in Los Angeles, signed the ordinance immediately so that those who attended the synagogue for Yom Kippur could be informed. The only Orthodox synagogue in Woodland Hills, West Hills or Canoga Park, Beit Hamidrash of Woodland Hills, or as it is fondly called by some "the Little House of the Prayer," has made major strides in its brief history. It boasts a day school that goes up to third grade as well as a thriving synagogue. Our congregation of dedicated, concerned people will be a major benefit to the community.
The City Council vote affirmed the importance of this institution's growth for the entire West Valley.
Solomon is executive director of West Coast Friends of Bar-Ilan University and a member of Beit Hamidrash.