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.

Rabbi Sarah BassinRabbi Sarah Bassin was featured in the Jewish Journal on Rabbi John Roscove's blog for her work with NewGround, a Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change. Rabbi Bassin is known for her interfaith knowledge and her work with many other religious groups. You can read part of the post below, and if you would like to read it in its entirety, click here

"Sometimes light shines unexpectedly from unexpected places. Such was the case this week when I participated in a study seminar with a group of 10 American rabbis and 10 Egyptian imams.

The ten Muslim scholars are visiting the United States from Egypt’s Al Azhar University. They were brought to the United States through a grant from the American Embassy in Cairo as part of a program called“Muslims in America: Community, Democracy and Political Participation.”

Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, and Rabbi Sarah Bassin, the immediate past Executive Director of the LA-based NewGround, a Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, hosted us.

We began our two hours of learning and dialogue by coupling one rabbi with one imam, and introducing ourselves to each other by explaining the origins of our names. Then we studied in chevruta pairs the traditional story of Cain and Abel/Qabil and Habil as it appears in both the Torah (Genesis 4) and the Quran (Sura 5)."

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b2ap3_thumbnail_e38d68da-3768-4201-aeb5-c627a4c0be6e_20140618-212838_1.jpgCantor Yonah KligerRabbi Jonathan Aaron and Cantor Yonah Kliger were featured in the Moving and Shaking portion of Jewish Journal for their part in the Shabbat at the Ford concert on August 29. We hope you were there to see it! Part of the feature is below, to read the whole thing, click here.

"More than 1,000 people attended the fourth annual Shabbat at the Ford with Craig Taubman and the Pico Union Project on Aug. 29. 

Rabbis, cantors, pastors, guitarists, back-up singers, a choir and even a sign-language interpreter participated. The event kicked off at 6 p.m. with people picnicking in the theater’s courtyard.

During the evening at the Ford Amphitheatre, Taubman wore many hats — in addition to the kippah on his head of silver-gray hair. As he led the two-hour service with an acoustic guitar strapped on over his white, button-down shirt, he played host, bandleader and musician. Red, yellow and blue lights bathed the outdoor stage as liturgical songs and pop tunes appeared in the same setlist."  

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Rabbi Sarah BassinRabbi Laura Geller and Rabbi Sarah Bassin were recently mentioned in an article in the Jewish Journal about keeping young people engaged in the temple community as they leave home. We are very proud of our College Outreach program as well as our 20's and 30's group. You can read part of the article below, and if you would like to read the entire story click here

"Heading off to college is usually seen as an exciting, colorful rite of passage. But, as rabbis at several local synagogues have observed, those steps toward adult independence often come with uncertainty and a need for an additional support system beyond Mom and Dad.

That, they believe, is where they can help by keeping Jewish young adults connected with their pre-college communities. Aside from the tried-and-true methods of doing this — holiday-themed care packages, regularly distributed dvar Torah messages and programs between semesters for college-age students — the ways clergy and staffers reach out to them has evolved with the advances of technology. Some rabbis also contend that the reasons young adults should stay connected are evolving.

“I would frame [this] less about how we are as a congregation reaching out to kids who have gone away to college, and instead ask ourselves how we are preparing them to develop their own Jewish way of life,” said Rabbi Brian Schuldenfrei of the Conservative Congregation Ner Tamid of South Bay in Rancho Palos Verdes. 

“While there is merit to keeping in touch with students, what we’re really doing reflects that when kids go away to college, they are forging their own lives. We [need to] think about how we can help young adults gain the tools to forge meaningful Jewish lives during and after college.” 

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Rabbi Laura Geller's response to American Jewish Committee President David Harris' article in The Times of Israel was also featured in The Times of Israel. You can read part of the article below or you can read it in its entirety here

"Our tradition teaches that Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world, ha-yom harat olam. But the words can mean something else —Ha Yom: “today”; Harat: “is pregnant”; Olam: (the) “world”… or “forever.” Today the world is pregnant… but it doesn’t ever give birth. How do we approach this New Year — as the birthday of the world or as the day of a pregnancy that doesn’t end?  I never really paid attention to the two different interpretations until this year.   The source of the image, harat olam, is from the prophet Jeremiah bemoaning the day of his birth, wishing his mother had an eternal pregnancy instead of giving birth to him.  Jeremiah had lost hope, and at least at that moment, wished that he had never been born.  This year it is also hard for us to be hopeful, given all the hate and violence in the world.  But even when it feels so hard, our tradition chooses to see every New Year as a new beginning, for us as individuals and for our world."

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