September 17, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Tensions flare on the boardwalk

The New York Times, of all places, is running a story about a flair up between the Synagogue on the Venice Beach boardwalk (The Pacific Jewish Center) and UNRULY, the bikini slinging business next to it. It seems “The Shul on the Beach” as they bill themselves is now national news worthy due to this dispute! I hope both sides can come to a resolution on this.

Corona Ad on Ocean Front Walk

From the New York Times:

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER Published: July 20, 2008

LOS ANGELES — The only synagogue on the Venice Beach boardwalk has weathered 80 years’ worth of oscillating economies, winos, shamans and aggressive panhandlers, disintegration of its own community and surf seekers on all manner of speeding wheels. It has stood as much for tolerance as faith in a community where the former is in high demand.

But for its congregants, it has been increasingly difficult to countenance the mannequins in racy underwear, creeping ever so often unto the property of their tiny, sun-bleached house of worship.

Over the last few years, the Orthodox synagogue, the Pacific Jewish Center, has been at quiet war with the owners of its next-door neighbor, Unruly, a purveyor of T-shirts, bathing suits and undergarments.

Worshipers say workers in the shop blast music on Saturday mornings, overwhelming the religious service held with the door open to the boardwalk. When the worshipers ask for the music to be lowered for an hour, they are met with hostility, they say, some of it smacking of anti-Semitism. Once in a while, the police have been called.

Further, there have been occasions when mannequins dressed in G-strings and other clothes that are decidedly not part of the customary wardrobe of Orthodox Jews have been placed on the synagogue’s property line — as a matter of provocation, some members suggest.

“We haven’t been judgmental about their merchandise,” said Judd Magilnick, a member. “It is a question of common courtesy. Even the more Bohemian, alternative-lifestyle types on the boardwalk are aware of our requests and wait until afternoon on Saturdays before they strike up the band. We have friendly cooperation from everyone else, even people you think would be accountable to no one.”

Ruly Papadopulos, whose wife owns Unruly, said that the business felt harassed by the worshipers but that the extent of the problem had been exaggerated. “The rabbi comes over and asks us to turn it down,” Mr. Papadopulos said. “We say, ‘Calm down, we will.’ ”

This episodic neighborhood schism might have remained just that, had Eric Mankin, a science writer for University of Southern California publications and a Venice resident, not wandered into Unruly this month, chasing after his dog who had gotten off its leash.

Mr. Mankin said he mentioned to the owners of Unruly, where a neon sign reading “Sexetera” hangs over the door, that the synagogue next to the shop was “something I’ve always regarded as a landmark of Venice’s inclusiveness and diversity.”

Mr. Papadopulos, Mr. Mankin said, replied that he hated Jews — something Mr. Papadopulos flatly denies having said. Mr. Mankin, who is Jewish but not religious, said he was flabbergasted.

The next day, Mr. Mankin appeared in front of the store holding a sign that read “Ask the owner of Unruly why he hates Jews.”

“If someone is going to proclaim loudly they hate Jews,” he said, “then people who are going to shop in his store have the right to know about that.”

Mr. Papadopulos was displeased by this and called the police. “He was the aggressor,” Mr. Papadopulos said in an interview in front of his store. “I never said I hate Jews. I said: ‘I hate you. I hate you!’ ”

Sgt. Stephen Showler, who is in charge of the Venice Beach detail for the Los Angeles Police Department, responded.

“It was basically a First Amendment issue,” Sergeant Showler said. Mr. Mankin “has the right to protest,” he said. “When I got there, he said, ‘I’ve been out here a couple hours. I think I’ll call it a day.’ ”

During two generations of life on the colorful boardwalk, where karma analysis takes place next to impromptu pot parties that abut bongo drummers and flip-flop barkers, conflicts among neighbors have been few, say even the synagogue’s oldest members.

In the 1920s, as Venice evolved into the “Coney Island of the West,” Jewish immigrants played a vital role on the boardwalk. There were several synagogues along the beach, and the area was dotted with kosher butchers and other Jewish merchants. Working-class Jews from Los Angeles called Venice their summer home, and many others migrated to the area, according to the book “California Jews,” by Ava F. Kahn and Marc Dollinger.

The mid-1960s saw an exodus of Jewish families, and the synagogues all but disappeared. The Pacific Jewish Center was headed for a similar fate, but in the mid-1970s, a group of young Orthodox Jews led by the author Michael Medved revived it.

About 80 people pile onto the simple benches each Saturday morning to pray against the backdrop of waves. “We invite anyone who has expressed a genuine interest and has shirt and shoes,” said Gary Dalin, a member since 1979.

Its most high-profile conflict has been with the state’s Coastal Commission, which has taken a dim view (along with many residents) of members’ desire to hang a strand of fishing line several miles long to create an eruv, or symbolic religious enclosure that would permit them to perform certain tasks, like carrying things, outside their homes on the Sabbath.

Mr. Dalin and others said that they had heard Mr. Papadopulos refer to the members as “greedy” and make other vague remarks that suggest he may not be fond of Jews but said that they were not particularly worried or interested. They just want the music turned down.

Sergeant Showler said that he had never heard claims of anti-Semitism until now but that there had been flare-ups between the store and the synagogue in the past. “It is an interesting place to have a synagogue,” he said. “Hopefully it won’t be an issue between them, and they can be good neighbors. This is my goal.”

Related Posts

Comedian Fuquan Johnson One of 1 of 3 Dead Following Suspected Overdose at Venice Party

September 7, 2021

September 7, 2021

Early Saturday morning incident remains under investigation By Sam Catanzaro Comedian Fuquan Johnson was among one of three people who...

Final Weekend of Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series With New Movies Added

August 28, 2021

August 28, 2021

WHERE: Marina del Rey Boat Launch Ramp, 13477 Fiji Way at Parking Lot #2 COST: $20 per vehicle, per movie...

Market Report: What is the Difference Between a Peach and a Nectarine?

August 25, 2021

August 25, 2021

Today at the Santa Monica farmers market Murray Farms answers all of our stone fruit questions in this video brought...

Main Street Traffic Closures Return This Weekend

August 20, 2021

August 20, 2021

Sharing an Open Main Street back for second time this summer August 21 – 22 By Sam Catanzaro  The summer’s...

Venice Restaurants Vie for Michelin Stars

August 19, 2021

August 19, 2021

Prestigious guide returning to California next month By Kerry Slater The Michelin Guide is returning to California next month after...

Venice Outdoor Venues Offer Maskless Event Experience

August 15, 2021

August 15, 2021

When mask mandates were lifted across California last month, the citizens of Los Angeles County breathed a collective sigh of...

Calico Yacht Charter Provides Luxury Water Experience For All Ages

August 6, 2021

August 6, 2021

By Toi Creel Everyone goes to the beach on the Westside. It’s part of the culture. But imagine experiencing the...

What Health Conditions can be treated with marijuana?

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Marijuana has become more popular over recent years due to continuous legalization efforts across the world. This has been majorly...

Critical Questions to Ask a Contractor Before They Remodel Your House

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Hiring a contractor can be a terrifying venture. You’ve probably heard the horror stories. Maybe you’ve heard rumors about half-done...

Choosing the Ideal Jewelry Piece

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Jewelry is a crucial element for any outfit as well as for the overall appearance. The right rings, watches, bracelets,...

Millions of Gallons of Partially Treated Sewage Continue to be Discharged From Hyperion Plant

August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant still not operating at full efficiency following July spill  By Sam Catanzaro Three weeks after a...

Update on $870M UCLA Student Housing Expansion Project

August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

UCLA is expanding student housing with 3 buildings currently in development. Video brought to you by Hillside Memorial.

Tips for Planning the Perfect Venice Beach Wedding

August 1, 2021

August 1, 2021

When it comes to destination weddings, few surpass the beauty and majesty of ceremonies set on a beautiful beach. For...

4 Foods That Will Make Your Skin Glow

August 1, 2021

August 1, 2021

There are a lot of things that can affect the health of your skin. We all desire beautiful skin that...

20-Year-Old Fresno Man Killed in Venice Shooting, Crash

July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

No arrests made in connectio to Tuesday incident By Sam Catanzaro. Officials have released the identity of a 20-year-old man...

Comments
  • Well, I was going to suggest emailing the store to express your kindly-worded disapproval of their un-neighborly attitude, but they seem to have lost claim to one of their url’s (www.sexetera.la), and their current website (http://www.unrulyfashion.com) still has user instructions on their “About” page. “Put general information about your company on this page…” So, I’m not sure they are web-savvy enough to check email.

    But why not give it a go anyway:
    unrulyfashion@yahoo.com

    I’m serious about the “kindly-worded” suggestion – rude emails don’t get the “respect our differences” message across very well.

Leave a Reply