Temple Beth Am Library Minyan  
  February  2014
 The Minyan Monthly
From the Rosh
It seems appropriate upon taking office to say a few words about my view of the job. First and foremost I hope to be a good steward of the fine traditions and practices that the Library Minyan already has in place. I know that the wise and experienced committee chairs whom we have selected will help ensure that, along with our dedicated gabbaim and other coordinators who arrange for all parts of the service to be covered each week.
There are a few areas where we are attempting some new things. You already have seen an increase in the frequency of co-sponsored kiddushim, which we hope to continue (with your help in sponsoring). Thanks to the willing response of some of our most distinguished members and leadership by the Education Committee, we will be offering a lecture series on "Big Questions" in Judaism starting February 13 (see right-hand column). And we also have plans for social action activities and a series of three special drashot after Pesach.
Some other ideas are being considered and may take more time to develop. We are exploring ways to enrich our relationship with the other minyanim of TBA, the TBA clergy and our youthful members, as well as with other minyanim in the community. We are considering possible changes to weekly Shabbat services (a replacement for Sim Shalom is nearing completion) and to holiday services. And we are developing ideas for additional educational programs starting next fall.
I offer myself as a conduit for your suggestions or concerns. I can bring these to the attention of the relevant portion of our governance structure, and see that they receive due consideration. And I will try to ensure that each part is doing its job conscientiously. I ask for your help — by recognizing the good intentions and efforts of our volunteers and framing your comments in a constructive manner. Sometimes patience will be required since we all lead busy, many-faceted lives. Ultimately the continued health of the Library Minyan is in our hands, as we each continue to contribute as our unique gifts allow. I look forward to the journey with you over the next two years on this collective endeavor.
—Carl Sunshine
Tidbits About Our Treasury
A belated Happy (secular) New Year to all members of the Library Minyan.  At this time of year, I prepare a financial report to sum up our outgoing and incoming monies. The past year has been a good one in terms of donations. We received a large anonymous grant of $2000 to use "where needed most" in 2014, in addition to generous donations from many of you. Here are the basics as of December 31, 2013: 
Beginning balance 1/1/13
  donations to co-sponsored kiddushim
  donations in honor/memory of someone
  donation from grant
2013 Income Total
Ending balance 12/31/13
Beyond that, I want especially to thank Carl Sunshine as 2013 Social & Hospitality chairperson, and our numerous donors. Due to increased donations to the co-sponsored kiddushim, we were able to offer ten such events in 2013 as compared to four in 2012. Let me also thank Abe and Annette Berman, who have generously set up an automatic monthly donation toward kiddushim. Others might want to follow their example. 
For those of you curious as to where our expenses go, most are to Temple Beth Am to cover the co-sponsorship of the kiddushim. We also provide various amounts of support to other Library Minyan events, including the Purim Seudah and the Melava Malka. Every year we buy luchot (Jewish calendars) for our gabbaim. And this year we sent a check to Temple Beth Am to help pay for the shul-wide New Members Kiddush.
Donations are always welcome. Checks can be sent to my home: Dale Bodenstein, 1121 South Spaulding Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 — there are even "ready-made" envelopes on the table outside the chapel on Shabbat. If you want to pay by credit card, go to www.tbala.org, choose "Giving" at the top right, then choose "Donate Online" on the left. When the window opens, fill out the form and be sure to check the box "I would like to designate my donation to a specific fund or department" and then check “Library Minyan Fund.” Of course, all donations are tax deductible. 
What's New with Social Action in the Library Minyan 
The Social Action sub-committee (within the Education Committee) has been exploring various projects that would be meaningful and productive for members of the minyan. We are reaching out to other congregations and institutions—including IKAR, BDJ, and JNF—to find joint projects that will offer us additional opportunities. Since we all have different interests in causes and time available for volunteer work, a selective list of volunteer opportunities will be posted on the LM website and periodically updated. For now, please save these dates:
February 17 - Presidents' Monday in the Carthay Center School Garden. Come lend a hand doing Spring planting in TBA's neighboring public school's Garden of Possibilities. Work along with the Common Vision group from Santa Cruz. From 10 am to 2 pm; come for all or part. Followed by a 2:15 workshop on Container Gardening. Contact laemmle@usc.edu to sign up or ask questions.
March 15/16 - Operation PB&J. B'nai David Judea is organizing synagogues in LA to fulfill the mitzvah of matanat l'evyonim by making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and assembling survival kits for the homeless following the reading of the Megillah on Saturday night. On Purim Sunday, the food and kits will be delivered to the homeless. Detailed information will follow.
April 27 - Jewish World Watch Walk to End Genocide on Sunday morning in Pan Pacific Park. The money raised supports projects for the genocide survivors, such as pre-school education, animal husbandry training, and solar cookers. Registration is open for Team Temple Beth Am by going to WalkToEndGenocide.org.
May 18 - Big Sunday. This city wide mitzvah weekend will offer extensive opportunities. Go to www.bigsunday.org to get a preview.
I want to thank the following LM members for ideas and support: Sandra Lepson, Rachel Rubin Green, Fran Grossman, Vered Hopenstand, Susan Laemmle, and Michelle Wolf. Suggestions, questions, and comments are welcome. Please contact me at dfshersh@aol.com or (323) 951-4910.
— Dianne Shershow
Gabbaim (& Coordinators) Make the Minyan Go Around  
This past December, I was honored to be re-elected to another term as chair of the Gabbai and Coordinators Committee.
As the chair of this committee it is my task to recruit volunteers to fill the positions of Gabbai, Torah Coordinator, Haftarah Coordinator, and Drashot Coordinator. I also set the Gabbai Schedule for the year and help train the new gabbaim. You can find that schedule at: libraryminyan.org/GabbaiSchedule.html#current.
The job of gabbai can be fun. It starts a few weeks before your assigned Shabbat as you read through the luach to see what is going on on that date. You then email and call volunteers, recruiting them to daven Psuukie D'zimrah, Shacharit, Torah Service and Musaf. You also contact people to volunteer to act as Torah gabbaim.
You then contact the the various coordinators to find out who is greeting, who is leading Mishnah Study, who is reading Torah and Haftarah and giving the drash.
On your Shabbat, you get to shul a little early to check the Torah to make sure it’s set to the right location. You also go through the aliyah cards to make sure they’re in order.
During services, you ask people to accept the honor of taking aliyot and opening the ark.
Our main goal this year is inviting many more people to daven. We continually look to those with wonderful voices and years of experience, but we also want to encourage new people to step forward. If you would lead a part of the service, please email me at JKrautman@sbcglobal.net and we’ll make sure that your participation is enjoyable.
I want to take a moment to thank our gabbaim Lida Baker, Howard Fredman, Myron Hecht, Teri Cohan Link, Alan Kokin, Paul Miller, and Scott Taryle, as well as Greeting Coordinator Sharon Grob, Torah Coordinator Aron Wolf, Haftarah Coordinator Annette Berman, and Drashot Coordinators Alisa Shudufsky and David Cohen. Also a big thank you to Sandra Lepson for the great job she does as Children's Gabbai.
And most of all, thanks to all of you who say Yes when we email or call. Together we make the Library Minyan a very special place. Here’s the Gabbai Schedule for February:
February 1st: Paul Miller
February 8th: Howard Fredman
February 15th: Myron Hecht
February 22: Allan Kolkin
— Jerry Krautman
“Big Questions” Lecture Series Starts February 13
Join us for six presentations by distinguished members of our community as they address some of the big questions that we rarely tackle. Guaranteed to stimulate further discussion. The first lecture will be at 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 13 by Joel Grossman, on "Why do we praise God so much?" Second, Rabbi Ilana Grinblatt will speak after kiddush on February 22 "Reward for Virtue and Vice.” Further lectures on March 5, 13, 20 & 29. The series is jointly sponsored with TBA's Rembaum Institute.
Mishna study 9:20
Tefillot begin 9:45
Temple Beth Am
Dorff-Nelson Chapel
1039 S. La Cienega Blvd, 90035
Diaspora Potluck News
The erev Shabbat Dinners in Geographically Dispersed Homes (SDIGDH) on January 31 were sensational. Along with the opportunity to get to know members of the minyan in new settings, "minyanaires" shared delicious food, thoughtful discussions, and much laughter. A big "thank you" to all the hosts who, on Shabbat Trumah, contributed (pun intended!) much to the event and opened their homes to others:
• Barbara Breger
• Orley & Ed Garber
• Val & Stan Goldstein
• Fran & Joel Grossman
• Sara & Myron Hecht
• Miriam Prum Hess & Mark Hess
• John Antignas & Susan Laemmle
• Cathie Lippman & Jules Kamin
• Sharon & Jon Swerdlow
A special thanks and yasher koach to Miriam Prum Hess, who found the hosts and organized the evening. If you were not able to attend a dinner, do not despair! The next DPL event—a Shabbat lunch—will take place on March 15th at the home of Abby and Larry Harris. Hope to see you there.
— Val Goldstein
The Library Minyan of Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd 90035  www.libraryminyan.org