Sinai Temple Opens Center for Judaic Studies

With a faculty of noted scholars, Sinai Temple has adapted an “adult education” program with an eclectic curriculum that is carefully designed to satisfy a wide range of interests, from serious courses in Jewish spirituality, and discussions of the Jew’s role in Society to special classes in Jewish rituals, and interactive sessions for improving synagogue skills, Hebrew reading and lessons in cantillation. Two seminars are scheduled: from October through January andFebruary through May.

Monday evening and Sunday morning classes are planned. The faculty includes: Rabbi David Wolpe and Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz of Sinai Temple, Rabbi Daniel Gordis, vice president and dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinics at the University of Judaism, Rabbi Ron Shulman of Congregation Ner Tamid in Palos Verdes, Rabbi Mordecai Finley of Congregation Ohr HaTorah in West Los Angeles, and Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, Associate Professor of Social Work at USC.

“Lunch and Learn” series and other classes are scheduled for those who prefer daytime attendance.

All classes, and lectures require pre-registration and advance payment of fees for each semester. Space is limited. A course outline is available in the Sinai Temple office at 10400 Wilshire Blvd.

For complete details on topics, times and fees, please call The Program Center at (310) 474-1518.

Reform Synagogue Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Temple Beth David, the San Gabriel Valley’s oldest Reform Jewish congregation, begins Golden Anniversary celebrations on Friday, October 17, at a Sabbath service in its sanctuary at 9677 E. Longden Ave., Temple City, at 7:30 p.m.

Speakers include Rabbi Edward Zerin of Westlake Village, the congregation’s first spiritual leader, some of the temple’s original founders and other distinguished members.

Attending dignitaries include Mayor Chuck Souder of Temple City; Phil Liff-Grieff, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys; and Rabbi Alice Dubinsky of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), who will make a presentation.

Following the service, hundreds of members, past and present, will attend a reception, where historical photos and artifacts will be displayed. Weekend events include a Saturday night dinner dance at the Brookside Country Club in Pasadena, and a commemorative planting by religious school children on Sunday.

Temple Beth David was founded in 1947, joined the UAHC in 1948, and moved to its current site in 1952. After arson destroyed the temple’s sanctuary in 1980, the San Gabriel Valley community helped congregants rebuild.

“Our community affirmed the positive values that so many people share,” said Temple Beth David’s Rabbi Alan Lachtman. “The outpouring of love helped us recover from the hateful crime.”

The Temple has launched a new long-term strategic planning initiative that includes a $275,000 facility refurbishment campaign between now and September 1998.

“Our founders demonstrated strength and vision in creating the spiritual home we cherish today,” said President Linda Speil. “Now, we are reaffirming our own commitment and creating the foundations for the next 50 years.”

Temple Beth David is a congregation of more than 200 Reform Jewish families. It has an active Sisterhood and Men’s Club, a number of “havurah” (friendship clubs), and one of the San Gabriel Valley’s fastest-growing religious schools. It has been recognized by the Union Station Foundation and the Friends In Deed Food Bank of Pasadena for its community outreach programs.

For information about the temple or anniversary events, call (626) 287-9994.