L.A. religious school starts classes in Russian

A Conservative synagogue in the Los Angeles area is starting a Russian-language religious school program.

Congregation Beth Meier will start the program on Sept. 9 for children ages 6 to 8 at its Studio City campus, according to the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.

The program is designed to help children build their Russian-language skills while learning about Judaism and Jewish culture, Rabbi Aaron Benson told the newspaper.

The approximately 100-family congregation has about a dozen Russian-speaking families, Benson said. He hopes the new program attracts additional Russian Jews living  nearby.

The 1997 L.A. Jewish population survey reported that there were 24,500 Jews from the former Soviet Union in the region. However, demographer Pini Herman, research coordinator for that study, told the newspaper that the number is probably lower today. — jta