Library Minyan of Temple Beth Am
January 2019
 The Minyan Monthly
Message from the Rosh
Shalom Chaverim,
Happy 2019! The entire Library Minyan, and especially our Gabbi'im, daveners, leyners, and darshanim, all deserve tremendous thanks for the great job that was done during the month of December when we had rabbinic candidates visiting Temple Beth Am. Our services were run smoothly and we worked cooperatively with TBA's clergy and lay leadership to enable the entire TBA community to come together on the three Shabbat mornings to hear the visiting rabbis. Thank you everyone for your efforts!
We are more than half way through the construction period for the new Main Sanctuary. In the coming months, approximately half of the Shabbatot will be held in the Dorff Nelson chapel, with the other half in Adelson. We will have one Shabbat morning — January 5 — when our services will be held in Pilch Hall. Thanks for your joyous flexibility!

Thank you also to our Social & Hospitality Committee — Diane Herman, Deborah Blum, Rebecca Friedman and Michelle Wolf — for December's DPL Shabbat Dinners, in which 36 Library Minyaners participated, either by hosting or being hosted. I am confident everyone enjoyed a meaningful and delicious Shabbat meal.
I'm looking forward to our Library Minyan Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 26. I hope many of you will plan to attend and hear from our Steering Committee members about their portfolios, and of course, please bring your suggestions with you.
I know I speak for the entire Minyan in wishing a hearty Mazal Tov to Abe Berman on his 99th birthday. We look forward to celebrating with Abe and Annette on January 12 and are excited to welcome Torah Club that Shabbat, too.

May 2019 be a year of health, happiness and peace for all!
— Melissa Berenbaum
Giving & Getting Back with The Giving Spirit
The former marine stood tall as Dianne Shershow and I approached him with a large black duffle bag and wool blanket. He told us he was from Florida and that he had followed a girl to L.A. with hopes for a job and a promising future. Somewhere along the way, things went awry. The girl was no longer in the picture and the streets of skid row were, for now, his home. As we gave him the duffle bag full of food, toiletries and things to keep him warm during the winter’s cold, he asked if we could pray. He held our hands and asked G-d to help those on the streets and to free the struggling from all that holds them back. He asked for healing for those struggling with drugs and mental illness and he prayed for G-d’s blessing on our families. He then asked for a hug and expressed gratitude for our caring.

Daniel & SandraThis is what it is to volunteer with The Giving Spirit, an organization that provides survival kits to the estimated 40,000 people living without shelter in Los Angeles. Temple Beth Am, Pressman Academy and Congregation Bnei-David Judea have been partnering with The Giving Spirit during the organization’s winter outreach project for at least nine years. This year, TBAers helped TGS assemble and distribute 2,680 survival kits to people on the streets in some of L.A.’s most blighted neighborhoods as well as our own. While the kits provide essentials for living, among the most important things provided is the human connection. A core mission of The Giving Spirit is to reverse, at least for a bit, the dehumanization of the most vulnerable among us. To accomplish this, volunteers are instructed to engage with the people they meet, share their names and hear their stories. We meet families escaping domestic violence, people who lost their homes after an illness and people like the grateful marine who served and protected his country but whose country has not figured out how to house and protect him.
Kudos to Dianne Shershow for instituting and overseeing TBA’s participation in The Giving Spirit programs. The Giving Spirit’s summer outreach is scheduled for June 1-3, 2018. Hope to see you there!
For more information about volunteering with or donating to The Giving Spirit, contact Dianne Shershow or visit
— Sandra Lepson
 From 2018 to 2019 with DPL
Winter Welcome Shabbat potluck dinners were held on Dec. 21, when newcomers and long-time members enjoyed great food and stimulating conversation. Hearty thanks to Rebecca Friedman for coordinating this event for the Diaspora Potluck Committee.
And thank you to our gracious hosts: Melissa & Michael Berenbaum, Dale & Mark Bodenstein, Kathy & Barry Rosenblatt, Judy Weintraub & Joel Warren, and Jackie Weiss & Jerry Krautman.
Deborah Blum, one of the chairs of the DPL Committee, writes: “Our DPL dinner was very pleasant and nourishing. As we sat around a full table with wonderful food and fresh baked challah, I remarked how lucky we are to be able to share Shabbat dinner to so many other interesting and inspiring Jews. It’s not everyone who has that possibility, and we are truly lucky to live in so rich and vibrant a Jewish community.”
The DPL Committee is just one of the many incredible, helpful and sustaining committees at Temple Beth Am. Please get involved in 2019, if you are not already. Join a committee. Participate in the Library Minyan Service. Or just come to shul and sing!
If you missed this DPL dinners, there are other fun events coming up in 2019. Here they are, ready to put into your calendars:
Havdallah Game Night on February 2 from 7:30-10 pm at 2-4 homes, with potluck desserts/savory snacks and many board game options, letting people participate in multiple games. One home will be designated for families with younger children, and its program will start & end earlier.
Friday Night Fun Oneg Night on March 8th during Adar at 2-3 larger homes from 8-9:30 pm, when people can gather for dessert/savory snacks and then participate in Jewish charades, improv games or Jewish trivia.
Annual 2nd Day of Shavout picnic in La Cienega park on June 10.
We look forward to seeing you at these events.
— Michelle Wolf & Deborah Blum, DPL Co-Chairs
A Special Opportunity: Docent-led Tour of LA Public Library on 1/13
With Docent (and TBA member) Hannah Kramer
Sponsored by the Library Minyan’s Education Committee, AJ Happel, chair
On Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 2PM
Discover the secrets of the Los Angeles Main Library, a historic and architectural landmark with sculpture and iconography inside and outside. Learn about the marble Sphinxes, touch the Light of Learning torch, enjoy the beautiful children’s room, and marvel at the murals and ceilings.
This tour is open to the entire congregation. Meet at the Library gift shop entrance in the lobby to begin the tour.  You may want to bring a snack to eat in the garden since no nearby eateries are open Sundays.
It would be a good idea to carpool or take mass transit. Parking is $1 with a City of Los Angeles library card. Just bring the parking receipt to the library information desk and show your library card. The parking lot closes at 5:00 PM.
Look for an email announcing sign-ups for the tour so you can join TBA friends for a lovely, informative afternoon. Advance sign-up is required! Even before that, put this date into your calendar — and look forward.
— Hannah Kramer
Machloketh Matters: Disagreeing Constructively 
The 9th day of Adar marks the day 2000 years ago when the mutual respect between the Houses of Hillel and Shammai broke down and disagreements "for the sake of Heaven" became destructive. That date serves as a powerful reminder of the need to practice and maintain skills of constructive disagreement. Towards this end, the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem has developed the 9Adar Project to cultivate productive discussions that build bridges across personal, political, religious and cultural divides.
In 2019, the 9Adar Project’s Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict will be observed February 8–14 (Adar Aleph 3-9 5779).
This year, for the first time, our congregation will participate in text learning and discussion on advocating for one’s needs and opinions while taking into consideration the opposing needs and opinions of others. Conflicts turn destructive when one side attempts to advance their needs or opinions without acknowledging opposing needs and opinions. Our program will be facilitated by Rabbi Matt Shapiro.
In Jewish tradition, constructive conflict is known as mahloketh l’shem shamayim (disagreements for the sake of Heaven). It includes arguing the issues while respecting and maintaining good relationships with the other side, making sure that one’s personal motivation is to arrive at the best solution and not just to “win,” at times admitting to being wrong, and acknowledging that sometimes both sides might be right.
Topics may include:
  • Meet or Refuse to Meet? From Korah and Moses to Political Adversaries Today
  • Fear War or Trust Peace? From Jacob and Esau through Chamberlain and Menachem Begin to Today
  • Xenophobia or National Security? From Pharaoh and the Israelites through Japanese Internment to Today
  • Coexist or Separate? From Isaac and Ishmael to Israelis and Palestinians Today
  • “Fake News” or Uncovering the Truth? From Joseph and his brothers through Jefferson and Hamilton to Today
For more information or to get involved, contact Rabbi Matt Shapiro,, or Norm Green,
—Norm Green
Upcoming Events
Jan 5     Co-sponsored Kiddush to Celebrate Recent Grandchildren and Mishnah Study
Jan 12   Torah Club & Bermans sponsor Kiddush for Abe's birthday
Jan 13   Docent-led Tour of LA Public Library
Jan 26   Library Minyan Annual Meeting
Feb 2    DPL Havdallah Game Night
Mishna study 9:20
Tefillot begin 9:45
Temple Beth Am
Dorff-Nelson Chapel
1039 S. La Cienega Blvd, 90035
The Library Minyan of Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd 90035