Library Minyan of Temple Beth Am
Feb-March 2020
 The Minyan Monthly
Message from the Rosh
Shalom Chaverim!
A new secular year and a new decade — and my term as Rosh Minyan is coming to a close. It has been a fulfilling two years, working with dedicated volunteers in the Library Minyan to sustain our special community and representing the Minyan to the greater TBA community.
I re-read many of my Minyan Monthly columns to gain a perspective on what happened in the past two years. We survived "joyful flexiblity" and displacement from the Dorff Nelson Chapel many Shabbatot. We celebrated the completion of the Ganzberg sanctuary, not only because it enabled us to return to the Chapel, but also because it gives the entire TBA community an inspiring spiritual space. We proudly raised funds to dedicate a Parsha Panel — what an achievement! And, led by the talented Wanda Peretz, we were creative and got to express our artistic selves with the recreation of the Polish synagogue that still enhances the Chapel.
We enjoyed social events, educational programs, B'nai and B'not Mitzvah; we celebrated holidays and graduations while also participating in social action programs. We mourned loss in our community and we grieved over the loss of life suffered by our fellow Jews in Pittsburg, Poway and Jersey City. And we showed up each and every Shabbat to pray, hear inspiring words of Torah, and eat. While it may seem ordinary, it is anything but. In 2021, the Library Minyan — a fully lay-led Shabbat observant community — will have been in existence for 50 years! It has been an honor to help lead this extraordinary community, and I will always be grateful.
Now some unfinished business. I had hoped we would see some improvements in the Dorff Nelson Chapel once the main construction was completed, but we are not there yet. TBA leadership is committed to installing the hearing loop in the Chapel, but it is complicated by potentially needing to remove the pews and carpeting. It may be possible to install the loop around the perimeter of the room and meetings will be happening in the coming weeks to determine what the best equipment is and what the timetable will be. Even though my term ends, I am committed to finishing this project.
There have been some discussions with the clergy about how the Library Minyan can celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in the Ganzberg sanctuary as a joint service with Shir Hadash. I hope to be able to share some more information at the Library Minyan Annual Meeting on Feb. 15, so stay tuned and plan to attend.
As I write this, we are days away from celebrating our beloved Abe Berman's 100th birthday. This doesn't come along very often and we are blessed to have Abe and Annette in our community, and blessed that they have chosen to share this milestone with all of us.
There are many people to thank, and I will do that at the Annual meeting. I'll see you in shul!
— Melissa Berenbaum
2019 Treasury Report
Here is the annual financial report prepared by our long-time Treasurer, Dale Bodenstein. This year about 71% of the Minyan's ordinary income was dedicated to co­ sponsored Kiddushim; and 73% of our ordinary expenses went toward Kiddushim, but some funds are expended for other purposes too, more in some years than in others. Related to that, we also donated $350 to SOVA for its food distribution services.
This year we also had an extraordinary campaign to raise money to dedicate a
Parasha Panel for the newly constructed main sanctuary upstairs.
Thanks to all of our donors, and especially to Kiddush Chair Carl Sunshine, who has arranged many Sabbath Kiddush lunches for the Minyan.
Beginning balance 1/1/2019
Donations to co-sponsored kiddushim
Special project: Parasha Panel donations
Miscellaneous donations

Donation to SOVA
Purim Seudah expenses
Kitchen help bonus
Beth Am Parasha Panel
Beth Am gala ad
BJE gala ad (honoring M & E Dorff)
Materials for ceiling art in Dorff-Nelson Chapel
Luchot and high holiday printing

Ending balance 12/31/2019
— Norm Green, Chair, Finance Committee
What is Base Berlin?
During a recent visit to Berlin, Lillian and I spent most of a weekend with the Base Berlin Jewish Community. “Base”, a project of Hillel International, is the home of a rabbinic family which serves as a home-base, a grounding point, for local Jews to build community and to develop Jewish leaders through education. Base is committed to pluralism and founded upon three core values: hospitality, learning and service. There are currently “Bases” in New York, Chicago, Ithaca, Boston and Miami. The one Base outside the U.S. is in Berlin. Base Berlin attracts a wide range of participants from post-university age and older. The community is led by its founders, the wife/husband team of Maharat (Rabbi) Rebecca Blady and Rabbi Jeremy Borovitz. We were amazed at the enthusiasm of both young and not-quite-as-young German Jews about building and maintaining a vibrant Jewish community.
As part of their mission of service, ten members of the Base Berlin community went to Halle, Germany this past Yom Kippur to support the Halle congregation in its observance of Yom Kippur. They were all in shul when an anti-Semitic terror attack was launched against the community. Nobody inside the synagogue was physically injured, although, tragically, two persons were murdered by the gunman nearby. Base Berlin is now dealing with the aftermath: psychological trauma among its members who were in Halle, and ongoing programming to further the building of community, even in the face of the attack.
Base Berlin relies almost entirely on donations for support. The community-building efforts of Rabbis Blady and Borovitz, and the active participation they have inspired among Jews in Berlin, deserve our support. If you would like to contribute to Base Berlin, you can do so in one of two ways: (1) Use the donation form at the following link: , and add a note that the funds are for Base Berlin. (2) Send a check to Hillel International, noting on the check that the funds are for “Base Berlin.” Then also send an email to mentioning your donation so that Rabbis Blady and Borovitz can follow up with Hillel to make sure the funds don’t get lost.
We also encourage you to participate in Base Berlin’s activities if you travel to Berlin. Contact Rabbi Borovitz at for a schedule of Base activities taking place during your visit.
— Steve Spronz
Help Produce an Accurate Census & Put TBA on the Map
From March through July 2020, the constitutionally required census will be taking place throughout the United States. For the first time, most people will be completing their census form online. However, some people don’t have access to a computer or aren’t comfortable filling out forms online. For their sake, Census Kiosks are being established throughout LA County at suitable sites, including religious institutions. Temple Beth Am will be such a site beginning the week of March 2 — and volunteers are still needed to act as friendly helpers to TBA members and other Angelenos. 
The TBA Census Kiosk will be open on Mondays from 4-6 pm and on Wednesdays from 5-7 pm.  A number of TBA members have already volunteered to staff the table, but we could still use a few more capable, friendly, reliable folks, especially for the Wednesday 5-7 pm slot.  
Please contact Gabe Kramer, TBA’s liason for the Census project, at Gabe is working under Tyson Roberts, TBA's Social Action Chair.
— Susan Laemmle
Upcoming Events
Feb 8
Stuart Sloame Talk after Kiddush
Feb 15 Annual Meeting & Co-sponsored Kiddush
Mar 7 DPL Havdalah & Game Night
Mar 10 Purim Seudah
Mar 14 Grinblat Bat Mitzvah
Mar 21 Torah Club in LM
Apr 4 Berrin Bat Mitzvah
Invitation from New D'var Torah Coordinators
With Rosh Hashanah 5780, we became the new D’var Torah coordinators, replacing Alisa Shudofsky who did this job with excellence, love and enthusiasm for 12 years. We want our darshanim to be as varied as the membership of the Minyan. In the last few months we have invited Library Minyan members with very diverse backgrounds to share their views, feelings, and insights about our weekly Torah portion. We hope to continue to have a variety of Library Minyan members sharing their ideas and perspectives by giving D’vrei Torah.

When we ask you to give a drash on a particular parsha, don’t panic. Read over the parsha and find something that resonates with you or disturbs you. Explore why that verse or story is meaningful, important, or distressing to you. Bringing your own life experience to the drash makes a unique and important contribution to other people’s understanding and interpretation of the text.
If you have any questions, we can be reached at Also, if there is a parsha you already feel a special connection to, please do contact us so we can schedule you.
— Rachel Rubin Green & Zwi Reznik
Feb 8 Talk by New Minyan Member Stuart Sloame
The February 8 Post-Kiddush Lecture by Stuart Sloame will focus on the latest work of the American Jewish International Relations Institute. Stuart's topic will be: Combatting the UN Campaign to Delegitimize Israel.

The American Jewish International Relations Institute (AJIRI) uses a unique strategy to change anti-Israel and anti-US votes in the United Nations, thus combatting the use of the UN to delegitimize Israel. AJIRI works closely with leaders and members of the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, preparing them to alert Heads of State of UN member countries about votes and activities of the UN which are antithetical to achieving a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Stuart Sloame is a co-founder and presently Vice Chairman of the Board of AJIRI. During the Reagan Administration, Sloame served as HUD Deputy General Counsel and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. He was a Vice President and member of the Board of the American Jewish Committee’s Washington DC Chapter, where he chaired the Energy Task Force for ten years and the International Relations Committee for four years. He was also a VP of the Israel Project. 

A native New Yorker, Mr. Sloame is a graduate of Columbia University Law School. Stuart has been married for 38 years to Ellen Seeherman, who served for 30 years as an Administrative Trademark Judge in the Office of Patents & Trademarks. They joined TBA after moving from Washington DC to Los Angeles a couple of years ago. 
— AJ Happel, Education Chair
Social Action Through One LA
Temple Beth Am is a member institution of One LA. One of its primary goals is to encourage collaborative participation in the political process.
In preparation for the March 3 ballot there will be two events to educate us on the issues:
1) Look for a “voter information” event here at TBA on Wednesday, February 5th at 7:00pm. We’ll be reviewing the ballot initiatives and which races are in play in our neighborhoods. In addition we will provide information on the new voting system and the upcoming census. (2) Then on Sunday, February 23rd from 2:00pm-5:00pm there will be a One LA Accountability Session held at St. Brigid Catholic Church (5214 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90062). At this event we’ll present the issues that One LA has been working on (housing and homelessness, mental health, immigration, and human trafficking) to candidates and ask them to support efforts to address them and work with us if they are elected. So far, we have State Senator Holly Mitchell and former LA City Council Member Jan Perry confirmed who are running for District 2 of the LA County Board of Supervisors. Also confirmed is former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon running for LA County District Attorney. Other candidates in these races have been invited and may also attend.

Everyone is welcome (even encouraged) to participate in both events. For more information, contact Henry Morgen or Nancy Goldstone
— Henry Morgen
Climate Tidbit from Carl Sunshine
After washing your hands in a public restroom, instead of using a paper towel to dry them, just shake off the excess water and let them air dry. It takes only a minute or two. Over your life time you can save a lot of trees.
Please send in a short description of your Climate Tidbit for upcoming Minyan Monthlies to Small actions matter and we learn from one another.
DPL Game Night
The next DPL event is the 2nd Annual Game Night on Saturday, March 7, 7:00-9:30 pm. Note that this is a change from the original Feb. 15 date.  
An announcement has already gone out about this event, so do sign-up for this night of fun and mingling. If you’d like to host a small group at your home, please contact Rebecca Friedman at Guests will be asked to bring snacks or drinks, as well as their favorite games.
— Rebecca Friedman
Additional Contributors to Parsha Panel V'zot Habracha
Dale & Mark Bodenstein
Deborah Cohen
Joel Elkins
Rabbi Carla Howard & Scott Ben- Yashar
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