Library Minyan of Temple Beth Am
Fall 2019
 The Minyan Monthly
Message from the Rosh
Shalom Chaverim!
I hope this summer has brought you rest and recreation and you've enjoyed some time away from your regular routines. There is much to catch up on! First, the Parsha Panel for the Ganzberg Sanctuary. I'm thrilled to report that we have raised a little more than $7000 toward the $10,000 dedication. It would be great to get to $7500 and then the remaining contribution can come from the general treasury of the Library Minyan. So if you haven't yet remembered to make a contribution, now is a great time. You can send a check payable to the Library Minyan to Dale Bodenstein (address in the TBA Directory) or make an online donation, designating the Library Minyan. Thank you so much to the 40 Minyaners who have made donations so far!!
You've probably noticed a lower bimah in the Dorff Nelson Chapel. The top step of the riser has been removed. This creates more room and makes it easier to ascend the bimah, all without changing the line of sight. We think this will be better for those participating in the service, as well as those in the congregation. And we are expecting the hearing loop (to enable those with hearing aids to hear the service) to be installed in the coming weeks, as well as some other improvements to the sound system.
We also have some changes in our volunteer ranks. As you all know, the Library Minyan could not thrive without the commitments of Minyaners who take on important responsibilities. Sandra Braun has succeeded Sharon Grob in arranging Shabbat morning greeters. Please help Sandra out by volunteering to be in rotation to be a greeter. It is rewarding to welcome our community as they arrive on Shabbat morning. In addition, it's vital to help newcomers and visitors to Temple Beth Am. We thank Sharon for her dedication and commitment. And after the chagim, Russell Cohen will succeed Bob Malina in coordinating Haftarah readers. Feel free to reach out to Russell to let him know of your bar or bat mitzvah anniversary or any other time you want to chant the Haftarah. He'll also be reaching out to you! And we express gratitude to Bob Malina for his years of service to our community.
It is Elul already, so High Holiday preparations are underway, as Bill Seligman indicates in his message. Last year, with the sanctuary under construction, we had many new faces who davened with us. We might expect some to return, so we want to extend a welcome greeting to all of our fellow congregants. We received a lot of positive feedback on the warmth and accessibility of the Library Minyan, and I'm confident we will have the same experience with all the effort Bill is putting into our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.
The coming year will include s'machot as we celebrate several b'nai mitzvah in the Library Minyan in the weeks and months ahead. AJ Hapel has planned stimulating educational programs for our community as highlighted in this Minyan Monthly. And the Social & Hospitality Committee has some lovely events on our calendar. Thank you Diane Herman, Deborah Blum, Michelle Wolf and Rebecca Friedman.
We have so much to look forward to in 5780! See you in shul. L'shanah tovah u'metucah!

— Melissa Berenbaum
Elul? When Did it Get to be Elul?
Many of us live on a "year" that starts around Labor Day, has a bit of a lull in the middle, rises to a crescendo with summer, only to crash back to a new dose of reality as summer winds down and Labor Day approaches again.

But, as someone who lives vicariously on the academic calendar (despite having a non-academic career of my own), I used to take a certain measure of glee at watching all of the academic calendar people grumble about having to get back to "business" late each August — getting up every morning and going to work, or school, just as I had been doing all summer long. I have to confess — since, by the time you read this, it will be the season for confessing, after all — that there is nothing like organizing High Holiday services to break you from that mindset.

No, planning Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur davening does not make you a better person. But it can make you dread the onset of Elul, and the certain knowledge that Tishrei is just around the corner.

Thanks to the tremendous willingness of so many from the Library Minyan community, though, I sit here at the end of Av knowing that my list of shlichei tzibbur (prayer leaders), darshanim and leyners is ready to go for the High Holidays. Not only that, but so many of you have already stepped forward to volunteer to help with some of the little things that are needed to make services run smoothly. There will be a mix of familiar voices and new voices — both leading services and sharing words of Torah — ranging in ages from mid-20s to "a year older than last year." 

And then, as soon as the sound of the final shofar blast has faded, it will be time to start building Sukkot and focusing on what is, for me, the chag that is the best of all to celebrate in our lovely Los Angeles climate. Allan Kokin and his team of gabbaim are already planning the services for the other 344 days of 5780, both for our own Library Minyan services and, occasionally, where we invite the entire TBA community to join with us, for combined services on chag.

Several Library Minyan families are also looking ahead to seeing a child step into adult roles, as a bar or bat mitzvah; we hope you will be there for many of them.

To all those who helped make this past year another year of moving tefillot and knowledgeable drashot, let me express the thanks of the entire community. We hope to welcome you back to the bimah in 5780. And for those who have not yet found your niche to help lead, there are people in the community who would love to help you find your voice to do so. Please reach out and let me know.

Shanah Tovah to you and yours!

— Bill Seligman, Ritual Committee Chair
October 19 Post-Kiddush Talk on Israeli Village
On October 19, there will be a Shabbat post-Kiddush lecture (at 1:15 because of kiddush in the sukkah) not to be missed. Two women, one an Israeli Arab and one an Israeli Jew, both residents of Neve Shalom Wahat al-Salam, will share with us some of the challenges and joys they experience in their work and in their community. Neve Shalom Wahat al-Salam is a village where Arab and Jewish families have committed to working together and residing in the same village peacefully and cooperatively. Both women have significant experience in the areas of community building, women’s rights and children’s rights.

Samah Salaime was twice voted one of the foremost peace activists in Israel. Her talk on “Gender-Based Violence” drew an assemblage of 30,000, bringing together Israeli Jewish women and Israeli Palestinian women from the village and beyond. Ms. Salaime is the first Arab female to be voted to the Regional Council (which would be analogous to a County Board in the US) and to the Board of Hebrew University. 
Lihi Joffe directs the Nadi Program for Wahat al-Salam Neve Shalom Village Youth. She focuses her energies on strengthening young people’s pride and connection to their village and the shared ways of life their parents have chosen. Her vision includes preparing young people to become ambassadors for peace in the community, as well as opening Nadi activities to Jews and Arabs from all over Israel. Ms. Joffe was a guest speaker at the United Nations, speaking on "The Role of Women in Ending the Conflict.”
— AJ Happel, Education Committee Chair
An Abundance of Fall Opportunities to Act, Help and Serve
On September 8, there will be a Jewish World Watch rally from 1:00 - 2:30 PM to decry the human rights violations being perpetrated by the Chinese government against the more than two million Uyghurs, a Chinese ethnic minority. It will take place at the Federal Building, 11000 Wilshire Blvd.
Donate food to local families in need through SOVA during the High Holidays (and throughout the year). Please put canned or dry foods in the SOVA bins downstairs at TBA.
On Tuesday, September 17, at 7:30 PM, join the TBA One LA team meeting. One LA is a network of diverse religious and non-profit institutions across LA County committed to building relational power and exercising that power to strengthen our communities and bring about a more just society.
On Wednesday, September 18, at 7:00 PM, come to Welcome the Stranger: A Jewish Call to Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers at Beth Shir Shalom in Santa Monica. Sponsored by HIAS, Beth Shir Shalom, Temple Beth Am, Kehillat Israel, Jewish Center for Justice, IKAR, and others.
On Wednesday, October 16, TBA members and Pressman Academy families will provide a Sukkot meal for the homeless in the afternoon.
From November 1-24, please bring food items to support the Pressman/TBA Thanksgiving meal for the homeless. Details to follow.
Save the Date: One LA Delegates Assembly on Sunday afternoon, November 3.
On November 17, there will be the JWW Rally For Rohingya. Details to follow.
Address questions to Dianne Shershow at 323-314-3549 or Also check out the TBA Social Action web page (
Library Minyan Hospitality & Sociability for 5780
From the Ohel Patuch Committee

Rosh Hashanah is a time to celebrate with family and friends, both old and new. If you or someone you know would like home hospitality for Rosh Hashanah, please contact: Essia Cartoon Fredman at:
or Diane Herman at:
From the DPL Committee

Get ready to mark your calendars for the New Year! The DPL Committee has been hard at work planning activities for 5780. We hope you’ll find them to your liking and that you’ll eagerly participate. Here they are.
October 14, the First Day of Succot: Using the idea of a Sukkah Walk we plan (after having Kiddush together at the shul) to go to 4 or 5 different, walkable home succahs for a potluck lunch — and then have everyone proceed to one home to enjoy the dessert course all together. If you can volunteer to host, please contact a member of the DPL Committee: Michelle Wolf, Deborah Blum or Rebecca Friedman:,,
November 15: Friday night potluck Shabbat dinners at members’ homes. Look for an email later in the year to arrange to host or be hosted.
February 15: Following the success of last year’s Havdalah and Game Night, we plan to reprise it on Saturday night, February 15.

May 20: Finally, our annual Shavuot picnic will be the second day of Shavout. (This year it falls on Shabbat so we expect a big crowd.)
— Diane Herman, Social & Hospitality Committee Chair
Learn from the Greens on 9/15
As many of you know, Norm and I participated in the Kindertransport Association 80th Anniversary Commemorative Tour this summer in Europe. 

My mother escaped Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport from Germany to England in May 1939. She was later reunited with her family and they immigrated to the USA together. I became active in the Kindertransport Association as a way of keeping my mother’s story alive and learning similar stories.

Norm’s mother escaped from Vienna, Austria, with her family in Fall, 1938. For Norm to accompany me on this tour enabled him to learn much more about his Viennese family history. 

The Commemorative Tour attempted to follow the routes of the Kindertransports as closely as possible, starting in Vienna and ending in London. We took trains between cities and the ferry across the North Sea to England. Four Kindertransport survivors, descendants (like me) and spouses (like Norm) comprised the group. 

On Sunday, September 15, at 11 am at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in Pan Pacific Park, Norm and I will share experiences, observations, pictures, emotions, and insights from participating in this unique opportunity. This presentation is free and open to the public. We hope to see many of you there.

— Rachel Green
A Call-Out for Shabbat Morning Greeters
I heard that you don’t read Torah or lead services, and you're looking for a way to participate in our lay-led community? Consider being a Shabbat morning greeter.
Greeting is an easy and fun way to be active in our participatory community, and the only skill required is the ability to smile and say “Shabbat shalom”! Please say “yes” to Shabbat morning greeting by picking a date on the calendar to volunteer. 
— Sandra Braun, Greeting Coordinator

Healthcare Post-Kiddush Program
on September 14
On September 14, we'll learn about Difficult Healthcare Decisions with Dr. Linda Cowan (OB-GYN), Diane Roosth, LCSW (Social Worker), Janet Morris, Esq., (Attorney) and Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Ph.D. (Ethicist). Their panel discussion will focus on the moral, medical, legal and financial obligations of making difficult healthcare decisions, and their repercussions personally and societally. The panel will be followed by a question and answer session
This panel is likely to include the following topics:
  • Beginning of Life: difficult pregnancies, premature births, reproductive therapy, abortion, gene patents
  • End of Life: self-determination, liability, funding
  • Unequal Access to Healthcare
  • Options Available (with handouts provided by Diane Roosth)
— AJ Happel, Education Committee Chair
Upcoming Events
Sept 7
Co-sponsored Kiddush
Sept 14 Health Care Panel & Co-sponsored Kiddush
Sept 15 Kindertransport program (see above)
Sept 28 Goldie Ben Tzvi's Bat Mitzvah
Oct 19 Israel Program & Co-sponsored Kiddush
Nov 16 Noami Weissman's Bat Mitzvah
Look across this page for Sept-Nov Social Action programs.
The next Minyan Monthly will appear in early December.
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