Posted by Dikla Kadosh
Perhaps the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco hosts its annual celebration of Israel’s Independence Day a month after everyone else because they hope by June, the sun might decide to poke its head out of the clouds. Well, it didn’t. Sunday, June 3rd was cloudy, windy and frigid in downtown San Francisco, but no one seemed to mind except me. I was wearing flip flops and a short sleeved t-shirt and I was not happy about it.
Besides the weather, the SF festival was rather nice. It felt more organized, more civilized than the sprawling, crawling mass of people that flood Woodley Park every year. Maybe it was the absence of Israelis. The multi-terraced beautifully landscaped Yerba Buena Gardens are surrounded by high rise buildings and have a very Upper Eastside New York feel to them. The people seemed more pleasant too. They were polite, they didn’t haggle over prices, they smiled and waited patiently to be helped.
Other noteworthy bits about Israel in the Gardens 2007: Rita performed. Police patrolled. “Green” was the theme. They ran out of falafel at 3 p.m.
8.18.08 at 2:26 pm | Hollywood producer/talent manager Joan Hyler. . .
8.15.08 at 7:21 pm | Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be. . .
8.14.08 at 6:37 pm | In town to promote her new book, House Speaker. . .
7.18.08 at 3:03 pm | The new Contemporary Jewish Museum in San. . .
6.25.08 at 10:36 am | Jina, our Calendar intern, is heading to an. . .
6.24.08 at 11:18 am | A clandestine love affair at a girls seminary. . .
June 5, 2007 | 10:10 am
Posted by Danielle Berrin
Set inside the barn-like atmosphere of Westwood Hills Church, an unlikely venue for a Sabbath celebration, a 12-part band is flanked by an understated but engaging leader and a spiritually hungry crowd packs the wooden pews. This is how Nashuva celebrates Shabbat. By any standard this is an unusual circumstance for a holy Jewish observance, but the ostensibly diverse crowd, from a mixed-age congregation to a multi-ethnic band, signals an openness to revelation and an awareness of purpose that infuses every prayer and inspires every song.
Throughout the service, all eyes are on Rabbi Naomi Levy, standing center stage and singing from the soul, her pure voice accompanied by the rocking beats of an eclectic entourage. With ingenuity, she introduces her sermon on the week’s Torah portion by asking the audience their thoughts, âWhat if Gd made all your decisions for you â how would you feel?â And in their earnestness the crowd offers their answers, ârelieved,â calls a woman from the back, ârebellious,â cries a pimple-faced teen to my left, âangry,â shouts a bald man in a white sweater. âYes! We feel all of those things, but why?â interjects the Rabbi, before telling the tale of the Jews wandering through the desert, their souls parched, much like the Jews of Los Angeles searching for meaning in their busy lives.
As generously as Gd sent manna from the heavens to encapsulate any incarnation of appetite, Rabbi Naomi and her band invite the community “to return” (as the Hebrew word “Nashuva” implies); to nourish their souls in release, to stand and sing away the chaos of life and welcome the blessing of Shabbat â a day for rest and reflection, for pleasures, for renewal and repair; the kind of Sabbath we imagine coming home to, where intimacy, warmth and acceptance mean we are always welcome, to return.
Greet the Sabbath bride with Nashuva the 1st Friday of each month. 6:45pm. Westwood Hills Congregational Church, 1989 Westwood Blvd., Westwood.
June 4, 2007 | 1:29 pm
Posted by Dikla Kadosh
Welcome and Bruchim Habayim to the Jewish Journal’s “Calendar Girls” blog!
We are going to be your indispensable guide to the vivacious L.A. Jewish scene, scouting hip concerts, provocative film and art exhibits, cultural festivals and the latest to hit the lecture circuit. We’ll be there to tell you what’s alive and kickin’ and what’s struggling for air.
Every week, we’ll venture into the community to scope out an event (or two) that we listed in The Jewish Journal print calendar and then report back to you with commentary, photos and videos.
We want you to join us as well! Look under “Previews” to see where The Calendar Girls will be next - and come along…
Looking forward to meeting you all!
The Calendar Girls