Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Blog

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Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Greater Los Angeles

Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Greater Los Angeles

Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills is one of Southern California's premier Reform Jewish congregations. We are a proud synagogue serving West and Greater Los Angeles. Our temple community consists of multi-cultural, traditional, and non-traditional families; as well as single, interfaith, gay, and single-parent members.



My name is David Shapiro and I will be called to the Torah on November 19, 2016 (the day before my 13th birthday).  I am an eighth grader at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES). I am on the Middle School Culinary Arts Team, a dance team called The Rice Breakers, and also a member of the National Junior Honor Society. I enjoy writing, drawing, dancing, cooking and playing sports.


For my Mitzvah project, I am honoring my late, great Uncle Jack Share who was a psychologist who donated his time and expertise to The Soldier’s Project. The Soldier’s Project provides free mental health care for veterans and their families.  I am raising money to support this worthy and important cause.


I want to thank my mentor, Perry Oretzy for his guidance and wisdom in helping me better understand my Torah portion, Josh Goldberg and Cantor Lizzie Weiss for teaching me to chant my Torah portion and Rabbi Aaron, Rabbi Bassin and Rabbi Geller for their support in getting me ready for this special day.  I am excited to celebrate this milestone with my parents, Lisa and Leonard, my big sister Maddalena and my furry little sister Belle, who have loved and encouraged me on this journey.   


“The greatest tragedy in life is not Death, but that which dies within us while we are still alive.”


                                                                                    -Norman Cousins

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My name is Hadassah Reyes-Matzner, I am in eighth grade at Bancroft Middle School.  I have a lot of friends, and I am close to all of them.  I have many strong opinions and I’m never  afraid to speak my mind.  I LOVE  reading and writing, and my favorite subject is English. I’m 13 as of October 14th and officially Bat Mitzvah on November 12th!  Yay!  I’m really excited and would like to thank Rabbi Aaron, Cantor Lizzie Weiss, Josh Goldberg and everyone else who helped me. Thanks so much!!!


Heifer International  is an organization that works to end hunger and poverty in 125 countries. I am raising funds for “ The Gift of Joy to the World Basket” which will help multiple families become self-sustaining by providing two sheep, four goats, one heifer and two llamas.  Donations will also fund training on the animals’  feeding and care. Additionally, this gift will provide wool for blankets and clothing, milk and fertilizer.


If you would like to make a donation, please visit my fundraiser page at https://fundraise.heifer.org/fundraise?fcid=705967


“We’re all stories in the end, just make it a good one, eh?”

                                                                    -The 11th Doctor a.k.a Matt Smith

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I’m in 7th grade at Hawthorne Elementary. My parents are Ben and Robin Redston Platt. I have two siblings, Emily and Spencer, who are 7 ½  years old. I really love playing/listening to all kinds of music, from alternative, to classic rock to Broadway shows like “Hamilton”. I am the proud owner of a record player and a HUGE vinyl collection! I  spend most of my free time in record shops, or at home either playing guitar or surfing the internet. I also love making YouTube videos and sharing them with my friends.

My Mitzvah project is taking place at the Watermark in Beverly Hills, an assisted living facility.  Fridays I take part in their Shabbat service, accompanying their prayers with my guitar. On Sundays we have an hour of music therapy. Using my iPhone, I take song requests from the residents, normally music from the 1940’s and 50’s. It’s wonderful to see how a certain song triggers a memory and brightens a person’s day.  It is great to see how today’s technology helps bring back yesterday’s memories.


I would like to thank my uncle, Mark Schwartz for helping me in my Bar Mitzvah training, Rabbi Aaron for always pointing out the small details in the Torah and really making me think. I also want to thank Cantor Weiss for always helping me out with prayers and having a blast through the process.

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My name is Eli.  I am going in to 7th grade at El Rodeo.  Some of the things I like doing are playing baseball, soccer and the cello.  I love spending time in Sun Valley, Idaho, where I like to go fishing and bike riding.  I have three siblings, Sam, who is almost 10, Emily, who is 6 and Ryan who is almost 15. 

I would like to thank Rabbi Aaron and Lizzie Weiss for helping me get ready for my Bar Mitzvah. 


“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”

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