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$120,000 Sought to Keep Jewish Center Open


Trying to keep Sherman Oaks' Jewish community center open, 150 people who attended an emergency fund-raising rally Wednesday were urged to collect $120,000.

The center's advisory board hopes that raising the money will prompt the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles to keep the Valley Cities Jewish Community Center open at least a year after the slated June closure. The umbrella group announced in December that it would close five of seven facilities, including the Sherman Oaks site.

"We cannot sit back and wait for some angel to do it for us," said Michael Brezner, an advisory committee member at the center. Those attending the meeting received donation envelopes.

The centers, which have operated for more than 40 years, have provided adult education and teenage programs for hundreds of families.

The West Valley center in West Hills will remain open, as will the Westside facility on Olympic Boulevard, where officials have promised an $8-million renovation.

Financial woes and a 30% membership drop have cut available funding, prompting the federation to use the other centers' deeds as collateral for its $3-million loan to their program.

The Sherman Oaks center's committee hopes to sign contracts to run the after-school and some educational programs and raise another $120,000 throughout this year.

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