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Unorthodox Neighbors: Tensions Flare Between Pacific Jewish Center and Unruly Boutique

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Photo via NYT

Orthodox synagogue Pacific Jewish Center (PJC) is the only remaining synagogue along Venice Boardwalk, and it just so happens to be right next to Unruly boutique, which sells T-shirts, swimwear and underwear. The NYT reports the primary contention from the PJC is the loud music: "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."

There have also been other problems, for instance, G-strings and other racier clothing being "placed on the synagogue’s property line—as a matter of provocation, some members suggest," and most recently, a run-in experienced by science writer Eric Mankin (who's "Jewish but not religious") at the shop, who says Unruly owner Ruly Papadopulos said "he hated Jews, " in response to Mankin commenting that the PJC was “something I’ve always regarded as a landmark of Venice’s inclusiveness and diversity.” Papadopulos tells the paper: “I never said I hate Jews. I said: ‘I hate you. I hate you!’ ” Mankin responded by showing up in front of the store the next day with a sign that read "Ask the owner of Unruly why he hates Jews.”

Congregate Gary Dalin and others told the paper "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."
· At the Intersection of Synagogue and Boardwalk, a Feud [NYT]