Nearly $15 million allocated to restore historic Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- State and local leaders in Boyle Heights celebrated the presentation of a $14.9 million allocation that will go to restore and reopen the nearly 100-year-old shul on Breed Street, which has been closed since the late 1980s.

"I am a Jewish person and as a Latino Jewish person, I feel so much pride at the idea that we can utilize this space," said Shmuel Gonzales, a Boyle Heights resident.

The Congregation Talmud Torah, affectionately known as the Breed Street Shul, was a keystone in the Jewish community in the Boyle Heights area back in the early 1900s. It's a monument in the City of Los Angeles and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

"From 1910 to 1950, Boyle Heights was [the] largest Jewish community west of the Mississippi," said Stephen Sass, founding president of the Breed Street Shul Project nonprofit.

The nonprofit acquired the property in 2000. According to the nonprofit, it closed after the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, which left the building with seismic damage. The nonprofit's goal is to restore and reopen the property.

"By restoring and transforming the shul into a center of culture, arts, education and social services and making again a place of learning, teaching, connection and wonder for all," said Sass.

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