“But what are you chanting for?” the woman cutting my hair wanted to know. She didn’t mean the glory of God or even my own spiritual well-being. It turned out she had once belonged to a 1970s church that chanted for things like shoes and better jobs. But when I am standing on the...
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September 3, 2013 | 11:17 am
August 22, 2012 | 4:54 pm
April 4, 2012 | 2:09 pm
“Keep the politics off the bimah.” We hear this in the synagogue whenever a rabbi speaks on a topic nearing the intersection of Jewish values and public policy. While argued most vociferously by those who disagree with the rabbi’s message, the critique itself that “politics...
December 13, 2010 | 2:18 pm
Lynne Kern knew at 13 that she wanted to be a rabbi, even though in 1970 there were no female rabbis to act as role models.
So Kern became a writer, eventually winning a Pulitzer Prize for journalism.
But she never forgot her passion, and in 2001 she completed her rabbinic studies...
May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pmWhen Lee Larsen and Bob Clarke met in the 1970s at the 8709 Bathhouse -- one of Los Angeles' best known gay social spots of the time -- they never imagined that they would one day share a very different kind of aquatic experience.
"We were so high after our mikvah," Temple Beth...
July 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm
July 9, 2006 | 8:00 pm
(From left) City Councilman Jack Weiss, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Councilman Dennis Zine join congregants at Beith David for their official move from their Reseda Boulevard synagogue to a new building on Clark Street on...
July 9, 2006 | 8:00 pm
On Sunday, in the intense heat of a mid-summer day, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, carried a Sephardic Torah for one-half mile along city streets in Tarzana to a new Persian synagogue that had been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack just two days earlier. Police are still...
May 18, 2006 | 8:00 pm
January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm
One mother thanked every one of her daughter's teachers by name and grade, beginning with preschool. A father enumerated the scores of all his son's soccer games. And another mother, with tear-filled eyes and a choked-up voice, used the occasion to present her daughter with her first...
September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm
I got a new outfit for yontif. The clothes add to the newness of this time of year, just like the first day of school. I sometimes wonder if the synagogues crank up the air conditioning on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur so we have an excuse to wear our new fall clothes.
The shul I grew...
September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm
December 4, 1997 | 7:00 pm
Note to future rabbis: If you want to make a lasting firstimpression with your congregants, nothing beats farm animals on thebimah. Just ask anyone at Temple Adat Shalom in West LosAngeles. It's been almost four months since Michael Resnick took overthere, and they're still talking...
June 5, 1997 | 8:00 pmRabbi Lawrence Kushner tells of the time he brought a nursery-school class into the synagogue sanctuary for a tour. He showed them the bimah, the ner tamid, the cantor's and rabbi's lecterns. Finally, the tiny kids stood before the huge doors of the Holy Ark.
"What do you suppose is...