Wednesday, October 28, 2020



The Pandemic’s First High Holy Days Season Has Synagogues Wondering: Will People Pay Dues?

Across the country, synagogues are bracing for a significant reduction in revenues.

There are 49 Jews Left on the British Island of Jersey. The Pandemic has Pushed their One Synagogue to the Brink

The community, with a formal membership of only 49 and an average age of over 70, has had to negotiate the coronavirus crisis as its membership continues to shrink.

JewItAtHome: Creating Community during COVID19

Thank you to Rabbi Adam Lutz whose leadership has created "JewItAtHome" through his synagogue, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. He knew that...

There’s no business like shul business

The retirement of Rabbi Moshe Rothblum after 35 years on the bimah at Adat Ari El.

Grupo Hispano celebrates a buen 5767

Beth Shalom has become the spiritual home of a growing group of Hispanics who have recently converted, or are in the process of doing so.

Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar to visit Los Angeles

Israel\'s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar to visit Los Angeles; Ask A (Different) Rabbi; Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

American Jews are learned in everything — except Jewish texts

The American Jewish community is one of the most learned and sophisticated communities in Jewish history - in everything except Jewish texts. As Jews, we are illiterate.

Rabbinical marriage counseling works — up to a point

Although rabbis can play a positive role in brokering a reconciliation in couples with relatively minor problems, they are generally ill-equipped, both educationally and often temperamentally, to grapple with spousal abuse, depression, bullying and other serious issues that can destroy marriages and souls.

Water and pumpkins mark eco-friendly Sukkot

True Joy Through Water, a new outreach program created by Canfei Nesharim (\"the wings of eagles\"), an Orthodox environmental organization, it\'s designed to educate about the importance of water, its imperiled state and ways to conserve it.

USC Trojans march for restored Torah; Backyard tashlich in Fairfax

USC Trojans march for restored Torah; backyard tashlich in Fairfax.

Live in the ‘hood: words of awe

All sermons, whether Reform, Conservative or Orthodox, are there to promote something \"good.\" But how do they get there?

A congregation grows in Whittier — Hispanic outreach blooms

As the jewish population in the area east of Los Angeles has dwindled -- and as the Conservative congregation has aged -- Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak has reached out to the Spanish-speaking community in the area.

Jewish bond doesn’t draw all to Holiday observances

Statistically, 39 percent of all American Jews, and 44 percent of all Jewish college students, do not attend religious services, according to the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey.



The Genesis of a Holiday Sermon, And Other Stories

How Do Rabbis Choose Their Topics For High Holiday Sermons?\nWhat they don\'t do is gather together and get a list of topics from on high. But about a month or so before the major holidays -- like Passover and Rosh Hashanah -- the Board of Rabbis of Southern California sponsors a pre-holiday conference for rabbis to come together to study as well as become inspired and motivated.\n

How to Be Jewish 101

There are more than 3,000 synagogues in America. Why do some of them struggle week after week to make a minyan, while others are bustling with energy, song and laughter?

Tranforming the Synagogue — A Scorecard

Synagogue transformation programs exude good intentions, but do they actually work?

I Ate the Whole Thing!

Circuit News.

Rebuilding New Orleans — With A Little Help From Each Other

One year after \"the storm,\" as New Orleanians refer to Hurricane Katrina, Jewish communal leaders describe the health of the community with certain expected terms -- loss, trauma, devastation and challenge.

Congregation Beith David Celebrates New Sanctuary

Ceremony goes ahead for Beith David.

Mayor Carries Torah to <br>Vandalized Tarzana Synagogue

On Sunday, in the intense heat of a mid-summer day, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, carried a Sephardic Torah for one-half mile along city streets in Tarzana to a new Persian synagogue that had been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack just two days earlier. Police are still investigating the arson attempt, which burned a rear door of Beith David Education Center on Clark Street, as well as anti-Jewish graffiti left at the scene, as a hate crime.

Them and Us

At 81, frail of body but sharp-tongued and wise, Rabbi Schulweis has made it his mission to preach the gospel of conversion to the Jews. That is we, as individuals and as a people, must seek and embrace converts. Doing so will not only improve Jewish life but improve our own lives as Jews.

This Week – In and Out

Last Friday, when the sun went down in Los Angeles, the Jewish community came alive.

Jewish Studies Bug Bites Parents, Too

Eighteen months ago, when Lenard Cohen\'s 4-year-old daughter was enrolled in the family\'s congregational preschool, the Philadelphia-area father of three decided to go back to school himself.

New JTS Head Faces Trouble, Opportunity

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) announced this month that Eisen, 54, the chair of Stanford University\'s religious studies program, would become just the second nonrabbi to serve as the New York City seminary\'s chancellor and the first since 1940. He succeeds Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, who held the post for two decades.

Celebrating a Shpiel-Good Holiday

Reading the Megillah in esoteric tongues is part of the Purim fun at this Los Angeles synagogue, and congregant Maggie Anton Parkhurst has chosen this infinitely tongue-tying imaginary language of the Trekkies to make her bid at hilarity.

Car Crash Claims Beloved Northridge Rabbi

The beloved rabbi of a Northridge synagogue apparently committed suicide in the wake of personal disclosures that jeopardized his job. These disclosures had to do with allegedly \"inappropriate\" actions by the rabbi, but nothing that was criminal or illegal, said officials of Temple Ramat Zion.

Groups, Shuls Fundraise for Tsunami Aid

  Cantor Alison Wissot of Temple Judea felt the pull of the Asian tsunami at a Friday morning meeting of the women's group at her...

Is There Room For Politics in Shul?

Eight years ago, when President Bill Clinton was running for a second term, he sent out letters to L.A. synagogues wishing them a happy Rosh Hashanah with a spiritual message for Yom Kippur. \"I liked what the letter had to say for Yom Kippur, so I read it at the opening to a sermon that I gave,\" said Rabbi Daniel Bouskila of Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel. \"At the end of the night one of the members came up and said, \'Why\'d you read a letter from a Democrat? I\'m a Republican.\'\"

New Articles

Former IDF Chief Medical Officer To Lead Israel’s COVID-19 Fight

One of Israel’s top public health experts is praising the decision to name Prof. Nachman Ash to lead the country’s coronavirus efforts following Prof....

France is Cracking Down on Radical Islam – With the Blessing of its Jewish Minority

(JTA) — As the French government rolls out a controversial plan that amounts to its most robust crackdown on religious activity in decades, it...

US to Extend Bilateral Agreements with Israel into Judea and Samaria, Golan

The United States and Israel will eliminate territorial restrictions for bilateral agreements in a ceremony on Wednesday. The move will build upon a policy shift...

The Jewish Faucis: Orthodox Doctors Battle COVID — and Disinformation — in Orthodox Communities

Orthodox doctors living in Orthodox communities have served in a number of new roles over the course of the past six months — providing medical guidance to COVID patients far beyond the confines of their day jobs, advising on quarantine procedures and shaping policies for camps and schools to reopen.

Jewish Groups React to Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation to US Supreme Court

Jewish groups reacted immediately following the U.S. Senate confirmation on Monday of Amy Coney Barrett as the 115th U.S. Supreme Court justice a week...

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