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Synagogue shooting occurred in heart of Valley's Orthodox Jewish community

October 29, 2009 |  9:27 am
The synagogue on Sylvan Street south of Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood, where two men were shot this morning as they were going to prayer service, is in the heart of the San Fernando Valley’s Orthodox Jewish community and within walking distance of kosher markets and other synagogues.

The two men were going to the Adat Yeshurun synagogue to recite, or daven, the Shacharit prayer, which begins each morning at 6:30 and lasts about 30 minutes. The morning prayer at the Orthodox synagogue is attended by about 30 to 40 people each day.

The synagogue, which has been at the North Hollywood site for 30 years, has a good relationship with the surrounding community. Many people have moved there so they could walk to nearby synagogues for prayers held three times a day.

“It doesn’t take too much to know when people come and go,” said Zvi Brenner, a member of Hatzolah, an emergency rescue service in the Jewish community. A team of emergency medical technicians, all dressed in yarmulkes, were at the scene of the shooting this morning.

The victims were taken to different hospitals, where both are conscious and talking and listed in stable and good condition. The synagogue has closed-circuit cameras, which police are currently reviewing.

Police said they don’t know whether the suspect chose this synagogue over other locations.

“We have no understanding as to how this location was chosen,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore. “It’s a very dynamic situation.”

Police have alerted other synagogues and schools in the area.

-- Duke Helfand in North Hollywood