I was meeting with an upcoming bat mitzvah girl the other day and talking with her about the Torah (what else?). I pointed out all the books that surrounded us in my study and mentioned that as someone who has published five books myself, how thrilled I would be if people were still reading even one of my books 20 years from now.
Rabbi Sheryl Lewart, who served as associate rabbi at Kehillat Israel (KI) in Pacific Palisades, died Nov. 30 at the age 65 after a second battle with breast cancer.
Jewish tradition has always championed the idea that justice is a fundamental necessity. When the Torah commands us, “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” the repetition is to teach that not only we must have just ends, our means to those ends must be equally just.
When Mara Elena Arenson rolled her plastic crate of matzah, horseradish, tambourines and rhythm sticks into the preschool classroom at the Reconstructionist synagogue Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, the 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds excitedly called out her name. They knew that the lesson would be interactive: They’d be able to sing, sway and play instruments to the music of her guitar. What they didn’t know is that Arenson, a cantorial student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, uses the principles of the Suzuki rhythm method with the hope that these songs will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
I wear a piece of red string around my right wrist, a talisman for healing.