Elul is upon us. The season of reflection. The harbinger of change. And so it has been in my life, both personally and as the Rosh Minyan. Personally, as I saw my first born off to college, I reflected on what I’ve done right and wrong as a parent and how those choices helped bring our daughter to this milestone. And after returning from this journey, I embarked on the journey of taking care of my ailing mother and, rather than reflecting on choices already made, started anew to make choices for my mother that I can only hope are the right ones.
So it is, in the spirit of making and reflecting on choices, that I share with the Minyan that, after literally months of respectful discussions and meetings and compromises, the Steering Committee of the Library Minyan and Temple Beth Am’s Ritual Committee have agreed to the following schedule for services for the 5777 Shalosh Regalim:
The first two days of Sukkot will be combined services held in the ballroom; Shmini Atzert and Simchat Torah morning services will be held in the Chapel; the first, seventh and eighth days of Pesach will be held in the Chapel and the second day of Pesach will be held in the Sanctuary; and finally, services for both days of Shavuot will be held in the Chapel.
To the extent possible, Library Minyan gabbaim will be responsible for services held in the Chapel, the TBA rabbinic staff will be responsible for services in the Sanctuary and gabbaim from other TBA minyanim will be responsible for running services in the ballroom. When yontif falls on Shabbat and when Yizkor is said, the services will not be combined.
This arrangement increases the number of days that the members of the Library Minyan daven in their usual sacred space as compared with recent years, assures that there is sufficient room for freilich hakafot on Sukkot, and honors the wish of our gabbaim to “work” in the space where they are most comfortable. It also honors the desire of the TBA leadership to provide a time and space for us to gather and pray as a community and to acknowledge each other’s strength and holiness.
It is my wish for all of you, as we approach the Yamim Noraim and reflect on the choices we’ve made in the past, that we find the strength and confidence to make the hard choices life requires — and that we find comfort and strength in our tradition, our remarkable community and our faith.
— Sandra Lepson
Special TBA Selichot Program on Saturday night, 9/24
Judaism teaches us that the world was born out of brokenness, light was born out of darkness, and that breaking and repairing is one of Judaism’s most holy forces of creation.
Beit T’Shuvah, the Jewish residential treatment center for addiction and full-fledged synagogue, is a community that understands more than most how facing one's brokenness and darkness is essential, and how triumph and miracles are often born out of that sacred force of breaking and repairing.
TBA and BTS will come together in solidarity for Selichot — to explore and transform the brokenness that we all, sooner or later, endure to varying degrees. We’ll have the opportunity to learn from each other’s humanity through song, prayer, storytelling, and discussion, as we all enter this deeply important time of reflection and transformation.
Please join us on Saturday, September 24th, for our joint Selichot program: Being Human: Exploring our Sacred Vulnerabilities. Havdalah & program will take place at 7pm on the rooftop. Selichot services to follow!
— Lia Mandelbaum, TBA Program Director
Social & Hospitality Committee Update
Before looking ahead to Rosh Hashanah 5777, I would like to take a moment to thank Rachel Sisk
for her tremendous work as Chair of the 5776 Diaspora Pot Luck (DPL) Committee. Rachel, together with her committee — Deborah Fletcher Blum, Rebecca Friedman, Lilia Hirschhorn and Michelle Wolf
— organized three terrific DPL events that served as meaningful opportunities to get to know those outside our normal circle in the Minyan. Rachel's work and travel commitments prevent her from continuing as DPL chair in 5777. We wish her well with her work and look forward to seeing her around the Minyan and at DPL events when she is not travelling.
I am thrilled to announce that Deborah Fletcher Blum
and Michelle Wolf
have agreed to serve as DPL co-chairs for the coming year. I know that they will continue to build on the success of the past DPL chairs, committees and events. As a matter of fact, as we hope you have already heard, they have planned the first DPL event — a pot-luck lunch on 9/17, following kiddush. The event, at the home of Rabbi Susan Laemmle and John Antignas, is being chaired by Susan. Participating in DPL activities and serving on the DPL Planning Committee is a wonderful way to get to know members of the Minyan. I encourage you to reach out to Michelle: email@example.com
or Deborah: firstname.lastname@example.org
and volunteer to help them.
I would also like to thank Batya Ordin
, chair of our Chesed Committee. Batya has done a phenomenal job ensuring that Library Minyan members in need of support during simchas (such as the birth of a baby), illness or death in the family receive meals from the community. Batya has graciously agreed to continue in that capacity. If you need assistance with meals during a simcha, illness or a death in the family, please contact Batya:email@example.com
— welcoming guests or home hospitality is an important part of the Minyan. Minyanites are waiting to host you in their home for a Shabbat or holiday meal. For more information, to offer to host, or to request an invitation, please contact our Ohel Patuach
/Open Tent chair, Essia Cartoon Fredman: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We thank Essia for so graciously taking on this important task at the Minyan.
—Miriam Prum Hess
Education Committee Update
Education is for everyone, and all are encouraged to attend learning opportunities sponsored by the Library Minyan. The Education Committee now includes the Minyan’s Social Action Wing. This structure will be reflected in the content of some future education topics.
The Minyan assists adult members wishing to learn or improve davening skills by matching an individual with a mentor. Those wishing to learn Torah or Haftarah trope, or nusach for a particular service, are invited to contact me. I will act as matchmaker between mentor and mentee.
On the heels of the successful efforts of the previous Education Committee, the current Education Committee decided to schedule three post-kiddush lectures before the High Holidays. No lectures are scheduled during the holiday period. Post-kiddush lectures will resume thereafter. Questions are encouraged.
On June 25th
, congregants had the opportunity to listen and ask questions of our first speaker, Lt. Shachar, the first openly transgender officer in the IDF. A former kibbutz kid who apparently missed a close-knit community, Lt. Shachar admired how we at TBA gathered on a Shabbat afternoon for communal activities like listening to him. (If you weren’t able to attend, see the article in the 27 June Jewish Journal
. To compare this with U.S. policy, just revised in July, see the article in the Sept.-Oct. Rand Review
On August 20th
, Mazon President and CEO, Abby Leibman, enlighted us about the functions and recent activities of Mazon. Her information surprised many, and gave us all a better understanding of situations leading to hunger and the threat of hunger in our country. (For more on this topic, see the article in the 31 August Jewish Journal
On September 10th
, Ernesto Cortes, National Co-Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation and presently Lead Organizer of OneLA, provided a status report on OneLA’s recent activities in Los Angeles. OneLA is a community-building association of constituent institutions, and TBA is a dues-paying member. (For more on OneLA, visit their website www.onela-iaf.org
.) The value of membership is involvement. In addition to working for changes that benefit the larger LA community, we can form alliances targeting improvements that specifically benefit TBA.
The Education Committee wants to know what topics you consider important and interesting. Please relate your ideas to the Education Committee, which will try to arrange significant presentations on these topics over the coming year. Questions? Come to the lectures.
— Anita Happel
Planning for the High Holy Days
Even though the High Holidays seem to be very late this year, planning for the Library Minyan t’filot has been underway since early summer. While most positions are assigned, please feel free to contact Mayer Brenner, Sandra Lepson, Paul Miller, Jennifer Low or Bob Braun if you are interested in participating.
We had tremendous feedback regarding last year's layning by Torah Club members, and we will again have them learning the special trope for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Torah readings.
Michelle Stone will lead us in Kol Nidre; Rabbi Hillary Chorny will join us for Pzukeh d’zimrah on the second day of Rosh Hashana; and Lida Baker will guide us through Yizkor. Many others (some veterans and some new) will be davening and sharing wisdom as our darshanim.
Finally, we are again honored that Rabbi Miriyam Glazer has agreed to create a Supplement for use during the Hagim.
— Jennifer Low
Take Social Action in 5777
Sunday, September 18, 3:00 - 4:30 PM at Temple Beth Am, OneLA: IAF Delegates Assembly. One LA member institutions will assemble to discuss action issues that include education, housing, health-care, transportation, and community safety. In addition, local organizing strategies and a county-wide Get Out the Vote Campaign will be presented.
Sunday, October 30
, 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM in Montebello. Habitat for Humanity Jewish Coalition will be gathering together for a Group Build Day. A range of jobs will be available. Must be 16 years of age to participate. RSVP to Jordan Markovic 424/246-3652, firstname.lastname@example.org
. or Dianne Shershow, email@example.com
as soon as possible.
Week of December 4. The Giving Spirit will sponsor various events for preparation, assembling, and delivery of survival kits for the homeless.
March 11. Operation PB&J. Following the Megillah reading, survival kits will be assembled, and the following day delivered to the homeless.
April 30. Jewish World Watch Walk to End Genocide.
Month of May. Big Sunday projects.
Please contact Dianne Shershow,323/314-3549, firstname.lastname@example.org
, if you have suggestions for additional projects and/or if you would like to play a role in planning and assisting.
Rabbi Silverstein who will be celebrating his 90th birthday with the Library Minyan on Shabbat, September 17th.
Ohel Patuach/ Open Tent program of the Library Minyan
"There is no festive celebration without eating and drinking.”
“When Jews gather together, we eat — and what we eat are often the traditional foods, because each food has its own story. The flavor of remembrance seasons all our meals as we recall where we have wandered and who we met along the way, the meals we shared and the ingredients that filled our pots along each mile, in every place. . . . A meal enjoyed with family, friends and community means ‘we are alive,’ and we are grateful.” (Jewish Cooking, by Marlena Spieler)
If you are looking for a Shabbat meal, a seat in a joyful Sukkah or a Yom Tov meal, the Ohel Patuach program is ready to welcome you and your family. Based on the “open tent” idea established by our forebears Abraham and Sarah, this is a great way for us to welcome new and old members into our homes. Having often hosted newcomers for Shabbat meals, I can honestly say that I’ve met some great people and families. Please call or email me. I will make every effort to secure an invitation for a meal for Shabbat and/or the Yom Tovim.
I can be contacted via email: email@example.com
or phone: 310-859-2775. The more notice I have the better. (Please don’t wait until the last minute, as it’s difficult to get someone invited for a Friday night when you call/write me on Thursday.) Looking forward to welcoming you into our homes.
— Essia Cartoon Fredman, Ohel Patuach Coordinator
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Mishna study 9:20
Tefillot begin 9:45
Temple Beth Am
1039 S. La Cienega Blvd, 90035