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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Boyle Heights Synagogue Given to Preservationists

March 17, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Ownership of the Breed Street Shul--once at the center of the Jewish community in the city--was turned over this week to preservationists who plan to restore the landmark building and use it as a museum and meeting hall.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to transfer ownership of the Boyle Heights synagogue--featured in the original and the remake of "The Jazz Singer" movies--for no cost to the Jewish Historical Society.

For decades, the Byzantine-style synagogue served as the spiritual center for Jews in Los Angeles, before most of the Jewish community moved to West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley during the 1950s and 1960s. The city acquired the shul several years ago to save it from vandals.

Stephen Sass, the president of the Jewish Historical Society, said the group is raising money to restore the structure.

He said he hopes the once beautiful shul will become a "bridge" to the Latino and Jewish communities in the area. The restoration project is still being planned.

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