Hancock Park vs. a Hebrew academyRe "Change drives tension in staid Hancock Park," Oct. 1

The increased tension in Hancock Park isn't the result of change but the violation of codes and covenants. The Hancock Park Homeowners Assn. supported the conditional use permit that allowed Yavneh Hebrew Academy to open in 1998. Under its terms, Yavneh was entitled to operate as a Jewish elementary school in an otherwise residential zone, but it was specifically precluded from operating as a community synagogue or adult education center, and from staying open after 8 p.m. Rabbi Daniel Korobkin suggests that "we should figure out a way to get along." But it is the rabbi who, in violation of the permit and with disregard for the adjacent homeowners, established a community synagogue and an adult education program and advertised these in the Jewish Journal and on the Internet.

City inspectors went to Yavneh because it had repeatedly failed to conform to the legally prescribed hours of operation. It's unfortunate that the inspectors choose to visit on Erev Yom Kippur, but code enforcement is not anti-Semitic, and the effort to portray it as such is incendiary.

Leonard Hill

Hancock Park

To Hancock Park residents who so vehemently oppose Jewish prayer being conducted quietly, behind closed doors, without external noise or traffic, and claim that their motivation is guided by a passion for "land-use law" and not bigotry: "Thou doth protest too much."

Warren M. Lent

Los Angeles

The article on Yavneh Hebrew Academy mentioned a letter from the attorneys who are suing the city to prevent our students, families and friends from praying at our religious school. The letter claims that our school had "frequent and substantial noncompliance" with our permit. That is untrue.

The city held three public hearings, during which it took many hours of testimony, including from the people who are now suing the city and our school. Based on the facts, the city made formal written findings that our school follows the rules, and specifically found that the larger community considers our school to be a "good neighbor." The city also formally found that our school is in "substantial compliance" with our permit.

Our school has public hearings every year that subject us to more scrutiny than perhaps any other school in the city, yet year in and year out, our school is found to be in compliance with our permit. It is disappointing that the small group suing the city ignored those findings when they cast unfair aspersions on us.

Rabbi Yossi Mentz

Executive director

Yavneh Hebrew Academy

Hancock Park

Clarence Thomas as an angry manRe "Step by step on a path toward conservatism," Oct. 2

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wants to have his cake, eat it and now sell it to us. Let him promote his book simply by claiming he comes from poverty and had a strict grandfather, which is, apparently, the core of his conservative philosophy.

Thomas bemoans liberal approaches to social justice. Conservatives -- even those as callous as Thomas -- do have solutions to social problems. The difficulty is that those solutions cannot work for more than the lucky handful who beat everyone else to the top like Thomas did. I guess once some people get what they need to live well, it erases the part of their memory where their struggling childhood lived. It should give us pause that we never seem to hear nor see any truly impoverished conservatives.

Gerald Jones