It’s well past 10 p.m. on a Wednesday evening, and the halls of Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) are filled with the sounds of creativity. In one room of the Encino Conservative congregation, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony winds down its rehearsal, packing up instruments as its musicians prepare, finally, to go home.
It started with a cup of coffee. About two years ago, Effie Braun and her husband, Nate, sat down with Rabbi Noah Farkas of Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) in Encino to discuss an idea — VBSnextGen.
Even a rabbi needs a little help sometimes, which is why Rabbi Harold Schulweis of Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) was inspired decades ago to promote the creation of a counseling center run by temple volunteers.
Yossi Dresner has coached teens for their b’nai mitzvah at Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) for 40 years. He has run the adult b’nai mitzvah program for 26. As ritual director, he also conducts VBS’ morning and evening minyans and coordinates holiday services.
Jewish tunes, Grateful Dead-style tie-dyed T-shirts and rows of singing, swaying, arm-in-arm Jews gave a summer camp feel to Valley Beth Shalom's (VBS) "25th Hour" event, which marked the end of the Valentine's Day Shabbat.
Nearly 400 people came to the Conservative Encino synagogue's festive but compact Feb. 14 outreach to the 90 percent of San Fernando Valley Jews not affiliated with a synagogue.
If two Jews equal three opinions, what do you get when you mix five rabbis of various denominations to answer a topic as important as the origins of the Torah?
Answer: A rather heated discussion, to say the least.