When my mother, Shulamit E. Kustanowitz, died in May 2011, the in-person Jewish community provided all the basics — post-shivah meals, abundant hugs and three places to say Kaddish: Temple Beth Am for daily minyan, Friday nights at IKAR and Shabbat mornings at B’nai David-Judea. Although I was grateful for the support, my emotional needs during that year turned out to be more complex.
Once, on a mission to Israel, we needed a minyan for a prayer service during the airplane flight. We were a total of six men in our group, so we began to scan the plane for the remaining four for the requisite 10 men.
There was a crack and a gasp and then a murmur that traveled in a wave back through the rows of seats at Temple Beth Am’s Library Minyan on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
Located in the northern part of Santa Barbara County, but as distant from chic Santa Barbara as one can imagine, Santa Maria is a blue-collar town dotted with fast-food and barbecue joints. In recent years, its population, at least half of which is Latino, has mushroomed to 100,000, fueled by agribusiness — including vineyards and wineries — and the city’s other growing industries.
There are good things we can only achieve together -- if we can first come together. It's not clear how we do this when 10 friends, some cash and a Web site are enough to create a Jewish world unto themselves.
Dining, shopping, living, praying -- VideoJew Jay Firestone shows you how it's done Los Angeles-style.
Talmud teaches that a righteous act is its own reward. But if that's not inducement enough, a rabbi in Woodland Hills is offering $10 cash plus a Krispy Kreme doughnut to teens who attend his 7 a.m. minyan.
Almost every war has one photographic image that emerges and that remains ingrained in the public's mind -- and the media -- as the defining picture of that war.
Don't call them synagogues.
They are minyanim, or spiritual communities. They have evolved from shared and individual dreams and from serendipitous, profound and beshert connections. They are new, egalitarian, independent, warm, collaborative and vibrant.
And they are all led by female rabbis.
Sitting behind a crocheted curtain, I desperately tried to peer through the tiny holes to get a glimpse of the action on the men's side.
Finally, I gave up, and pushed the curtain aside, and saw our chazan auctioning off portions of the services.
It is a familiar sight. On each flight to Israel, in the back of the plane, a minyan gathers for services.
At first glance, Temple Beth Zion, on a busy stretch of Olympic Boulevard in the mid-city, looks stark and abandoned.
The front door is locked, the religious school has been closed for almost four decades, and the daily minyan and Friday-night serviceare gone (many of the some 135 members, most of whom are aged 75 to80, can no longer drive at night).