On May 11, Rabbi Ed Feinstein, senior rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, will be feted for his two decades of service to the synagogue. He talks in this edited version of an interview about changes in synagogue life, his theology and what he prays for.
Two Houston synagogues received bomb threats.
On a recent Saturday morning, at Congregation Mogen David’s Ashkenazic Shabbat service, a blond-haired girl in a shimmery pink sundress tugged at the fringes of a man’s tallit (prayer shawl). The tallit belonged to Alex Katz, and he tried to ignore her entreaties as he led 90 people in the social hall in the prayer for the United States.
The reconstructed roof of a 17th-century synagogue was unveiled at Warsaw’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
In 2000, an urban congregation of 1,000 families found itself at a crossroads. The synagogue had a balanced budget and a beloved rabbi who was retiring after three decades, but its building was badly in need of repairs and the congregation was aging. To survive, the leadership felt they had to upgrade, so they took four steps: They hired a big-name rabbi, renovated the building, and put together an ambitious schedule of lectures and other programs to attract new faces. They also borrowed $1 million to pay for it all.
A synagogue in Siberia was lightly damaged by a meteorite that fell nearby.
About 200 people reportedly celebrated the completion of the restoration of a synagogue in the city of Fes in Morocco.
The National Council of Young Israel voted to eliminate a rule barring member synagogues from withdrawing from the franchise.
The president of the 1.5 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, appears at Temple Isaiah, a Reform congregation committed to community organizing efforts in Westside schools. Weingarten, an advocate for education reform and innovation, will discuss the current and future state of public education, the role of labor unions and the politics of change. Jewish public school teachers; member congregations of OneLA, a broad-based organizing coalition; and the general public are invited. Fri. 6:15 p.m. (Shabbat service), 7:45 p.m. (Weingarten speaks). Free.
Long Beach police are searching for a male suspect who threw a brick at the window of Temple Israel of Long Beach on Jan. 7. This was the second incident of vandalism at the Reform congregation, located at 269 Loma Ave., since the building reopened in October following a major renovation project.
A naturalized citizen from South Korea was arraigned today on charges related to the numerous bomb threats made Dec. 18 against Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) in Koreatown and a police squad car parked adjacent to its campus, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
LAPD units on the scene at Wilshire Blvd. Temple‘s Koreatown synagogue are deploying bomb disposal units and robotic devices “to assess the situation” following a series of three bomb threats.
The leaders of a prominent New York City synagogue sent out an email to congregants praising the U.N. vote that elevated the Palestinians to non-member state status.
A temple in an upscale neighborhood of Long Beach, Calif., was vandalized. Two-foot tall swastikas and the words "Nazi" were painted in red spray-paint on the front of the Temple Israel building on Monday night. Temple Israel is the oldest Reform synagogue between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Long Beach Post reported.
When Rabbi Avremel Okonov arrived Tuesday morning at the school he co-founded 10 years ago in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, the water in the basement had already receded from the high water mark. It only came up to his knees.
A historic synagogue in Connecticut was seriously damaged by a fire. Flames gutted the sanctuary at the Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont in Milford, Conn., on Sunday morning. Its two Torah scrolls were damaged, but Rabbi Schneur Wilhelm, spiritual leader of the congregation, told the Hartford Courant that he believes they are salvageable.
Some 1 million American Jews -- or one in 6 -- are actively seeking Jewish expression and engagement outside of synagogue life, according to a new study.
Blank bullets were fired outside a synagogue near Paris.
Jewish liturgy and ritual frequently remind us that the Israelites were scattered to the “four corners of the earth,” as symbolized by the four fringes of the tallit, or prayer shawl. The extent of the geographic dispersion of the Jews over millennia has been vast, ranging from Baghdad to Burma, Marrakesh to Melbourne, Jerusalem to Los Angeles.
A San Francisco synagogue will hold a memorial service for the 1,558 known suicide victims who have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge.
A synagogue in Boca Raton, Fla., was evacuated after a duffel bag was left at its door.
Archaeologists digging just a few kilometers from the fishing village where Jesus is believed to have preached, have uncovered a monumental Roman-era synagogue with an exquisite, colorful mosaic floor with fine female faces.
Gunter Grass, the Nobel Prize-winning poet banned from entering Israel, is being asked not to visit the Gdansk synagogue.
For a congregation that faced millions in debt and a dwindling membership 10 years ago, hosting a “Burn the Mortgage” event was a particularly sweet moment for Shomrei Torah Synagogue. More than 500 people turned out on June 16 to celebrate the Conservative congregation’s final payment on its West Hills complex.
A synagogue in central Israel was defaced with Arabic graffiti.
The Italian Jewish community launched a campaign to raise money for synagogues and other Jewish properties that were damaged in earthquakes that struck northern Italy last month.
Officials at a Philadelphia synagogue are calling a BB gun attack on the synagogue a hate crime.
Seven historic synagogues in Krakow that are closed for most of the year will open for one night.
Linda Ban is a rebbetzin, but with a mass of curly hair and chunky rings on the fingers of both hands, she hardly fits the stereotype of a Central European rabbi’s wife.
On a recent Sunday, Ayla Watson celebrated her bat mitzvah. Ayla, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other behavioral difficulties, ascended the bimah and recited the Torah reading for Rosh Chodesh, the new month.
A synagogue in a Baltimore suburb with a large Orthodox Jewish population has offered to share its parking lot with a mosque.
Basel, a city with a Jewish population of some 2,000, saw the opening of its fifth synagogue.
A few months back I saw "Moneyball," a film about a creative reimagination of Major League baseball. In my favorite scene, Billy Beane, the legendary general manager of the Oakland Athletics, challenges his scouts to think differently about the game if they are to have any chance at success. Beane declares, “Adapt or die.” These words haven’t stopped echoing in my head.
Police in northern Italy have arrested a Morocco-born man suspected of planning terrorist attacks on the Milan synagogue and other targets.
A California synagogue asked movie star Mel Gibson for a donation, suggesting it would remedy his reputation regarding Jews. The president of Congregation Beth Shalom in Corona sent the filmmaker and actor a letter asking for help to prevent the synagogue from losing its building, the Hollywood gossip site TMZ reported last Friday.
A Conservative synagogue in Hackensack, N.J. was defaced by anti-Semitic vandals.
A synagogue in Mumbai, India, celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Gusts that peaked at 97 miles per hour whipped through the Los Angeles area Wednesday night, downing trees and power lines and leaving some synagogues and Jewish schools with minor damage and no power.
A synagogue in eastern Belarus was vandalized for the second time.
My friend and I go to the same synagogue but almost never run into each other. “How come?” I was musing the other day.
The trouble at Shaarei Tefila, one of Los Angeles’ oldest Modern Orthodox synagogues, began in 2008 with a disagreement over whether one member’s brother should be allowed to be called up to the Torah. Over the last three years, however, that dispute led to a competition between two groups of members for control over the struggling 77-year-old Beverly Boulevard congregation.
A little more than a month ago, I became a Bat Mitzvah. In Judaism, that means I am now an adult and have pledged to keep the traditions of my faith. And yet it was for those very reasons that I decided to spend Yom Kippur - the holiest day of the Jewish year - joining the protesters of Occupy L.A. instead of going to synagogue.
Libyan Jewish exile David Gerbi began digging out Tripoli's main synagogue in an attempt to restore the building.
On Aug. 30, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) held its annual security meeting at its Los Angeles headquarters to advise local Jewish leaders on possible threats facing the community in advance of the High Holy Days.
Cantor Ruth Berman Harris has been earning paychecks for leading services since she was 15, years before a cantorial school even existed in her native Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Aish brings together rhythem, beats and davening for their 'Rosh Hashanah in the house tonight' dancing spectacle.
The last of four men convicted last year in a bombing plot that included two New York synagogues received the minimum mandatory prison sentence, 25 years.
Former President George W. Bush will speak at Beth El Synagogue on Sept. 21, the Minnesota synagogue said.
We live in an unpredictable world. As Americans, we do our best to cope with threats of terrorism on a daily basis, and we put our faith into the intelligence community, trusting that those who are tasked with keeping us safe are vigilant in their quest.
A synagogue in Moscow was attacked with firebombs.
A fire has badly damaged one of New York City’s most prominent synagogues.