Spirit and Chocolate Top Temple Emanuel Installation

There was chocolate and music last week when Sue Brucker was installed as president of Temple Emanuel’s board of directors at Shabbat Unplugged. Amid the singing and Shabbat rituals, Brucker was applauded for her talents as a leader, and her commitment and dedication to getting any job, no matter the task, accomplished.

The services were filled with those who enjoy the upbeat Shabbat melodies of singing and celebration Temple Emanuel has become famous for. Known as a “go-to person,” Brucker is always the first to achieve any goal, take on any task and commit to any cause. Brucker, along with her mother-in-law Rita Brucker, will be honored at the Women of Sheba Achievement luncheon later this month and is the immediate past president for the Beverly Hills High School PTSA. She also received the Humanitarian of the Year from Amie Karen Cancer Society. Her husband Barry is on the Beverly Hills City Council and was the former president of the Beverly Hills School Board.

Big Fun in Big Apple

Leaving Los Angeles and spending a month at Yeshiva University (YU) in New York this summer was a fun and rewarding experience for five Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (YULA) students. The teens met and mingled with other Orthodox students in New York City, taking in the sights and enjoying the Big Apple. The five students, Michael Bank and Jesse Katz of Los Angeles, Marlon Schwarcz of Beverly Hills, Joel Shuchatowitz of Tarzana, and Netanel Zilberstein of Encino stayed in dormitories on YU’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights.

Students spent mornings studying Jewish topics, and in the afternoons chose between “The World of Finance and Investment,” a practical experience establishing and analyzing a portfolio of investments and working with traders, financial planners and entrepreneurs; “Explorations in Genetics and Molecular Biology,” a laboratory experience introducing students to the theory and techniques of molecular biology; and political science/pre-law, which exposed students to politics and law through the lens of current issues and by taking trips and hearing from speakers around New York City.

The YULA students toured the area attractions, including a Broadway show; the Museum of Natural History; Six Flags Great Adventure; a Mets game; a double-decker bus tour; a visit to the World Trade Center site; and a tour of YU’s campuses.

“It was great to have an opportunity to feel the YU experience,” said Zilberstein, the first of his siblings to go to college.

He said spending the month at YU took some of the mystery out of the college experience: “You get to feel like you are a college student, taking real college classes.”

Students also spent several days in the Washington, D.C. area, visiting the Capitol building, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Spy Museum and spending Shabbat in Silver Spring, Md.

“Many of the students are interested in YU, but want to see more than they would if they just came for a tour,” explained Aliza Stareshefsky, program director.
For more information about next year’s program, e-mail summer@yu.edu.

Rabbi on Board

The Olympia Medical Center recently added Rabbi Karen L. Fox to its board of governors. The group is comprised of 15 community leaders and business executives, and recommends and implements hospital policy, promotes patient safety and performance improvement while helping provide quality patient care.
“We are honored to have someone with Rabbi Fox’s prominence join our board of governors,” board chairman Dr. Sharam Ravan said. “I know that she will be an asset to Olympia Medical Center as we grow to meet the needs of the community.”

Fox, who has served at Wilshire Boulevard Temple for nearly 20 years, graduated from UCLA in 1973. She earned a master’s degree in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and received her ordaination there in 1978. She earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology as well as a doctorate of divinity from Pepperdine University, and is a licensed marriage and family psychotherapist. She published a user-friendly guide to Jewish holidays title “Seasons for Celebration” and has authored numerous articles about women’s experiences and Jewish thought.

Kids Raise the ‘Roof’

The Children’s Civic Light Opera (CCLO), one of the Los Angeles area’s original and longest-established performing arts programs for youth, ages 7-17, celebrated its 19th year with a stellar production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Parents and friends shepped naches as 40 talented and dedicated kids rehearsed for eight weeks to present the Broadway-style production complete, with professional sets, costumes, sound, lighting and a live orchestra. Their show was a treat for theater-goers who sat awed by the kid’s spirited performances.

“‘Fiddler’ is a rare and beautiful gift,” CCLO’s founder and artistic director Diane Feldman Turen said. “It is an incredibly powerful piece of theater overflowing with an abundance of learning opportunities on multiple levels. Its universal themes allow us to address and examine the opposing forces that drive our lives and it’s wonderful that our ensemble can apply what they’re learning on the stage and off.”

The Circuit

Hello Rabbi!

Temple Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks will conduct a very special Shabbat service highlighted by the installation of the congregation’s new Senior Rabbi Ted Riter on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. This occasion marks the first installation of a senior rabbi at Adat Elohim in more than 20 years.

Guests for the service will include Rabbi Kenneth J. Weiss (rabbi emeritus of Temple Mount Sinai in El Paso and the current rabbi of the San Diego Hebrew Homes), Rabbi David M. Frank (senior rabbi at Temple Solel — Riter’s former congregation) and Cantor Kathy Robbins (also of Temple Solel). They will be joined on the bimah by the Adat Elohim clergy: Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe and Cantor Peter Halpern.

Riter has been involved in many Jewish and interfaith efforts to pursue social justice on the local, national and international levels. He is founding board member of Project SARAH (Stop Abusive Relationships at Home) and the San Diego program for Jewish alcoholics, chemically dependent persons and significant others. He is a former board member of the San Diego Rabbinical Association and Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside counties.

He has also been active with the United Jewish Federation and the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. He currently serves as a board member for the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis.

Temple Adat Elohim, the largest and only Reform synagogue in the Conejo Valley, welcomes the community to the event. For more information, call (805) 497-7101.

Mannon of the Year

Mannon Kaplan, an architect of the accounting firm Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co., LLP, has been bestowed as an honorary member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for his 40 years of membership and dedication to his profession.

Bank on It

Israel Discount Bank of New York (IDBBank) announced the recent opening of its new branch in Los Angeles. The new branch is in addition to the bank’s existing branch in Beverly Hills. Yoav Peled, SVP and regional manager for California, sees IDBBank’s physical presence in the booming new downtown area as a “major step toward generating additional business from existing clients and attracting new clients located in the downtown area or further east.”

IDBBank, whose total assets exceed $9 billion, is a New York state-chartered commercial bank and a member of the FDIC.

The new branch is located at 888 S. Figueroa St., Suite 550, Los Angeles. For information, call (213) 861-6440.

Bully for Barry

Barry Glassner has been appointed head of the Institute for American Jewish Life at USC. Glassner has authored nine books, including “Culture of Fear,” the book that influenced Michael Moore to make “Bowling for Columbine.”

For the Troops

The room was all smiles as young performers from the Children’s Civic Light Opera (CCLO) performed numbers from a Broadway musical for patients at the Veterans Hospital Nursing Home unit in Westwood recently.

The appearance came about due to CCLO’s new association this year with the Los Angeles Area Veterans’ Artists Alliance (LAAVAA). Keith Jeffreys, producer/chairman of LAAVAA and vice chairman of AmVets Post 116, and Cephus Daniels, AmVets District 2 and Post 116 commander, arranged the visit.

“The patients thoroughly enjoyed [the performance],” Daniels said. “They truly enjoy every activity where young people are involved … the only bad thing was that they couldn’t perform longer.”

Daniels said that he and Jeffreys hoped to make the CCLO visit to entertain the vets an annual event.

CCLO artistic directors Diane Feldman and Kelly Todd feel that community outreach such as the visit to the Veterans Hospital is an important component of the group’s mission.

“It is essential for young people to experience the rewards of serving their communities, and it is equally important for our youth to acknowledge those who have served our country,” they said. “We believe in the power of sharing creative energy, and we make certain that our students understand the tremendous ability of theater to touch people’s lives.”

CCLO is a performing arts program celebrating its 18th year of training and educating area youth ages 7-17.

For more information about CCLO, call (310) 478-5886. For more information about AmVets and LAAVAA, call (310) 559-2116 or visit www.LAAVAA.org.