I am writing this message after Shabbat has concluded on the day that 11 of our fellow Jews in Pittsburgh lost their lives doing what we do each Shabbat, showing up at shul and participating in Shabbat services. We are horrified and deeply saddened at this loss of vibrant life. In the face of our grief, we embrace Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha Synagogue and we can attempt to answer the hate with G’melut Hasadim, acts of loving-kindness. The perpetrator of this heinous hate crime spewed his vitriol against our work of welcoming strangers, so we can continue to help refugees as they settle in Los Angeles, and, as Rabbi Kligfeld suggested, donate to the preeminent non-profit organization, HIAS, that helped our grandparents and great grandparents and now assists refugees from all backgrounds. We can express our gratitude to the law enforcement officers who rushed into harm's way to prevent even more loss of life. And we can continue to do what we do so well in our community — care for and support each other and appreciate those who care for our safety, including our kind staff at Temple Beth Am.
Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot 5779 are in the rear-view mirror, but I would be remiss in not thanking all of those who planned and participated in our services. We had big crowds and we welcomed a number of regular TBA members who shared some part of the Yamim Nora’im with us in the Library Minyan for the first time. Our services were meaningful and uplifting. Thank you to Bill Seligman, who planned and executed our services, with an assist from Mayer Brenner, and Bill for serving as Gabbai throughout Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The renovation of the Main Sanctuary continues and for the next several months, the Library Minyan will float between the Dorff Nelson Chapel and Adelson Hall. We appreciate everyone’s patience!
This Minyan Monthly is filled with upcoming programs organized by the DPL, so mark your calendars and plan to join us. We also have two upcoming education events: this Shabbat (Nov. 3), Michael Berenbaum will give a post-Kiddush talk, “Anti-Semitism Today: Paris, Pittsburgh and Beyond.” And next Shabbat (Nov. 10), Temple Beth Am will welcome Rabbi Uri Regev, CEO, Hiddush - Freedom of Religion for Israel for a post-Kiddush talk about religious pluralism in Israel.
And the Library Minyan Steering Committee has set the date for the Library Minyan Annual Meeting: Saturday January 26, 2019.
See you in shul,
— Melissa Berenbaum
From the Social & Hospitality Committee
I encourage all of you to check out the activities planned by the DPL coordinators, as explained below. They have planned some familiar activities but also some new ones that should be a lot of fun. Please watch for the forthcoming special email about the Winter Welcome Shabbat dinners and volunteer to host or be hosted.
I would especially like to encourage new members to contact Essia Cartoon-Fredman, the coordinator of Ohel Patuach, which arranges home hospitality for newcomers and others. If you’d like to share a Shabbat or Chanukah meal in the home of Library Minyan members, please contact Essia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also within the arena of Social & Hospitality, Batya Ordin is the Chesed Coordinator for the Library Minyan. Contact her at email@example.com
if you need assistance with meals following the birth or adoption of a child, illness or death in the family.
— Diane Herman
Diaspora Potluck Committee Plans 12/21 Winter Welcome Shabbat Dinners Plus New 2019 Programs
The DPL Committee met recently and mapped out a fun series of the programs from now through Shavout. Our first event will be a classic: Winter Welcome Shabbat Dinners on Friday night, December 21. We need hosts both close and further away from Beth Am so as to accommodate both walkers and drivers (or Lyfters as the case may be). Please be on the lookout for the email to sign up to be either a host or a guest. In the meantime, if you want to host, please let event coordinator Rebecca Friedman know at Rebecca.Friedman@xerox.com.
2019 DPL programs will be:
Havdallah Game Night on Feb 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 can start/end earlier.
Friday Night Fun Oneg Night March 8th during Adar at 2-3 larger homes from 8-9:30 pm where 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
As I write this, we are safely in the middle of Cheshvan. Rabbis love it for the holiday-free schedule — and, in a lay-led community such as the Library Minyan, Cheshvan is equally beloved by the gabbaim and the Ritual Chair as a chance to get caught up on all of our outside commitments (such as life, the universe and everything else...).
But I am not far enough past the hustle and bustle of Tishrei to have forgotten the most important part: one final opportunity to thank, on behalf of the entire community, all those who answered the call to step up and help make our davening at the Yamim Nora'im so skilled and powerful. My spreadsheet lists dozens of people who led one or more parts of the High Holiday services and (despite my fear of having forgotten someone — thus giving me a head start on next year's Al Chet) I want to recognize them one more time: our Sh'lichei Tzibbur were Paul Miller, Mayer Brenner, Cantor Michelle Stone, Alec Snyder, Rabbi Gail Labovitz, Steve Spronz, Aron Wolf and Norm Saiger; Cantor Stone was joined on the bima by Jenni Asher, Margy Horowitz, Rona Karp, Dahlia Karr, Noa Kligfeld and Michaly Lahat; our Torah and Haftorah chanters were Rabbi Rachel Adler, Daniel Schrager, Hannah Seligman, Jennifer Low, Adam Weissman, Yakov Ben Tsvi, Alan Broidy and Mayer Brenner; our darshanim were Rabbi Gordon Bernat-Kunin, Joel Grossman, Bob Braun and Rabbi Michael Berenbaum, along with other contributions from Rabbi Joel Rembaum, Baruch Link, Rabbi Susan Laemmle and Carl Sunshine; and Shofar was sounded by Steve Stiglitz and Henry Morgen.
That's a huge list — and it doesn't even count all the people who were greeters, who did ark openings, who accepted the honors of hagbah and gelilah, who held and carried Sifrei Torah, or who just took a moment out of their own davening to help with something when asked. And, last but not least, to all of the gabbaim and others for their efforts on the Shabbatot before, during and after the Aseret Yamei Teshuva, and during Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, all of which are demanding davenning in and of themselves, made more so while so many of the HHD leaders were unavailable or overworked. Plus, I need one more chance to say thank you to Mayer Brenner, for organizing me and stepping up to so many last-second roles throughout the 10 days of Tishrei and for months before it.
The steering committee and I welcome feedback from the Library Minyan community on the High Holiday services, so that we can plan for 5780. (Well, we welcome feedback on everything except the chairs. And the lighting. And the air conditioning or lack thereof. And why the holidays are so late next year. And whether we can have TBA show next year's baseball playoffs on the lobby TV screen during Yom Kippur.) Please send an email with your constructive suggestions to Ritual@LibraryMinyan.org
. (Please do NOT speak to me about this on Shabbat — it's my day off!)
Brush up on your Al HaNisim — Chanukah's coming!!
— Bill Seligman, Ritual Chair
Thanks For & To the Library Minyan
Let’s take a minute to be thankful for the Library Minyan.
When I first attended a service here 30-plus years ago (which makes me a newcomer to some), a Rembaum child was celebrating his bar mitzvah. The old chapel was packed; the bar mitzvah boy led the service; his friends were gabbais; and it seemed like everyone in attendance (young and older alike) knew the liturgy and joined in festive, full-throated singing.
Now, that may have been your Shabbat-service experience growing up, but it certainly wasn’t mine. The traditional Conservative shul of my youth featured a rabbi-hazzan led service, with minimal congregational participation. B’nei-mitzvah featured adults, with the YOUNG celebrants chanting Haftarah and little else, except maybe a brief d’var torah.
Flash forward to the Library Minyan. Our Minyan features a lay-led, participatory, egalitarian service. We all know that. But think about what BEING LAY-LED means for just a minute. Every week, a volunteer gabbai organizes the service leaders from among a cohort of Minyan participants. Every Shabbat and most chaggim, minyanaires read from the Torah, chant the Haftarah and give a drash. Whichever they do isn’t their “day job.” (OK, maybe in some instances it is, but mostly not.) Those minyanaires who give so willingly of their time do this in addition to their daily work and personal life responsibilities.
Wouldn’t you think that, after all this time, enough people would have said, “You know, I’m tired of leading the service/chanting Torah/etc.” And maybe found a full-service shul, where they/we could go and merely be participants? Isn’t that how we’re internally wired? As we get older, don’t we want life to be a little easier? Yet, week after week, Shabbat after Shabbat, chag after chag, Yamim Noraim after Yamim Noraim, minyanaires volunteer to organize and take active roles in leading our services.
Without all these wonderful minyanaires, maybe I’d be back attending a service similar to that of my youth. But frankly, that led me away from shul. So to everyone who has made, and continues to make, the Library Minyan such a wonderful place to daven, thank you. May you continue to have the strength and interest for many years to come.
— Debbie Rich
|Education Committee Creates Docent Program in 2019
Join our own Library Minyan Docents as they share their knowledge of local LA sites. On select Sunday mornings (not too early), small groups (10 or less) can sign up and gather at sites of interest for docent-led tours (and brunch of course).
In late January, Library Docent Hannah Kramer will lead us on a tour of the City of Los Angeles Main Library building.
In early April, Zvi Reznik will take us on a custom tour of the La Brea Tar Pits.
After Passover, you are invited to commemorate Yom HaShoah with Docent Rachel Green of the Holocaust Museum at Pan-Pacific Park.
More details and online signup will be provided closer to the dates. Watch this space in the next Minyan Monthly.
— AJ Happel, Education Chair
Nov 3 Post-Kiddush Talk: Dr. Michael Berenbaum "Anti-Semitism Today: Paris, Pittsburgh & Beyond"
Nov 10 Rabbi Uri Regev speaking after Kiddush
Dec 1 Torah Club & co-sponsored Kiddush
Dec 21 DPL Winter Welcome Shabbat Dinners
Jan 12 Bermans sponsor Kiddush for Abe's birthday
Library Minyan Annual Meeting