5711 Monte Vista Street

In 1923 a group of a dozen or so eastern European Jewish immigrants had the desire to create a religious center to serve the Highland Park and Eagle Rock communities. For seven years the women rallied together by raising funds, holding services and classes in various locations, and even purchasing a lot on Monte Vista Street in the hopes of realizing their dream. However, by 1930, and the start of the Great Depression, these women were beginning to think all their hard work was for naught. But through determination, encouragement and just plain will power, construction of Temple Beth Israel began in August 1930 and was officially opened in December of that year. Gerson C. Cohen, a third year architectural student at USC, designed the original building. This temple added to the large number of churches that Highland Park had and still does to this day. The simple modern structure is symmetrical and exhibits two pilasters on either side of the front door. The Temple has been a mainstay on Monte vista for over 80 years and its continued care is to be commended. The 90 years of service to its Jewish congregation and the community as a whole is also to be applauded and is truly deserving of the 2014 award.