(310) 592-0321
May 5, 2017 Edition

It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that Arielle will be leaving ChaiVillageLA on May 12 to begin a new job in her chosen field of Geographic Information Systems. In her brief time here, Arielle, working with Lorna Belman and Allen Kwawer, transformed our weekly e-newsletter. Working with Alex Kojfman and Tara Berger, she also ensured that we have regular coverage in our temple partners’ publications. Arielle has had her hand in much more though --- advising Interest Groups, making promotional calls to our members, coordinating training sessions and special events, entering member service requests, researching apps and other technical tools, etc… 

Arielle has been a delight to work with, demonstrated her dedication to our mission, and connected so naturally to our members with a refreshing lightness. 

Arielle, we wish you well on your exciting new chapter. Please know that you have made an indelible mark on our ChaiVillageLA community and we will really miss you! 

On another note, we are excited to announce that Susan and Ilan Tamir are Co-Coordinators for our Health Programs. We are collaborating with the Partners in Care Foundation that provides evidenced-based workshops relevant to growing older well. We are already starting a waiting list for our first offering, UCLA Memory Training! Call Devorah to be placed on the list: (310) 592-0321. 


“Nora’s Will” Film Review

Lora and Jaime Jerugim 

The Film Interest group came together to view a very appealing Spanish language film from Mexico entitled “Nora’s Will.” The film led us through Nora’s ex-husband, Jose’s discovery that she had finally succeeded in committing suicide after many prior attempts. Nora’s “will” did not refer to her Last Will and Testament, but rather to the way that Nora not only planned her suicide, but also sought to completely control and manipulate her ex-husband and family in timing her death to coincide with Passover. According to Jewish ritual, her burial needed to be delayed, and Nora had laid out the Passover table and left the food in her refrigerator with instructions for her maid for its preparation. Her ex-husband was non-observant and was resentful of, and resistant to, fulfilling Nora’s wishes from the grave. In the end, his feelings softened, and the family did come together to share the Passover meal that Nora had prepared. 

In addition to spotlighting the dark underlying issues of untreated mental illness, suicide, grief, and loss, the film reflected on family, love, and religious traditions, not only with pathos, but with warmth and humor as well. 

My husband, Jaime, was raised in Buenos Aires in a Spanish speaking Jewish community, so the movie resonated for him in some very personal ways. He identified with the complex contradiction of his cultural Jewish upbringing with its expected sense of obligation to ritual traditions, and his own limited belief in these rituals. The conflict between Jose (the ex-husband) and the Orthodox hierarchies reminded him of the obstacles that were put before us by the Orthodox in Jerusalem when we wanted to get married there. Ultimately, we decided to relocate our wedding and work instead with the Rabbinate in Tel Aviv whose rules and rituals were not as stringent. Jaime has said that the rigidity we encountered at that special moment in our lives was likely one of the root causes of his decision to leave the Holy Land and to ultimately affiliate with Reform Judaism.

  Art Gallery Exploration

By Dean Schenker

The Art and Museum Tours Interest Groups explored the varied art galleries of south La Cienega between Washington and Venice Boulevards last week. We spent just under two hours exploring, moving from gallery to gallery. The people in the galleries were responsive and helpful, answering questions and taking us into back rooms and closed areas. There were about seven of us in total and we enjoyed our time there. We plan to return in a couple of months to see other shows available on south La Cienega and would love to have you join us!

By Sue Rosenblum

On April 27th, I joined fellow ChaiVillagers for the La Cienega Art Gallery Walk. Led by member and art aficionado Dean Schenker, our group toured a dozen art galleries tucked away on a small stretch of La Cienega Boulevard between Washington and Venice Boulevards. Thanks to Dean for guiding our group — most of us had no idea so many interesting art galleries were in this part of LA.

  Village Members Take a Tour through Jewish LA  
“The tour was a wonderful experience. The leader, Bruce Phillips, was informed and interesting, and the bus was great. There were 20 people in attendance, which was a perfect number. The event took place from 9:00 - 12:00 PM, which was the perfect amount of time. Bruce explained the beginning roots of the Jewish history of LA. These types of events are great and ChaiVillageLA should have more events like it.”   -- Madeline Wolf 

By Lorna Belman - Sunday April 30th was a typical LA sunny, clear spring day - perfect for the historic tour of Jewish Los Angeles. Bruce Phillips was the informed and able docent of twenty interested tour participants. He was extremely well-prepared and we could tell that the story of the Jews of Los Angeles is very close to his heart. The tour bus made its first stop at Echo Park Lake where we heard about how it and other reservoirs were the original sources of water for the city in its early years. We then took a short walk past the imposing Victorian mansions on Carroll Avenue in Angelino Heights where the first wealthy Jewish families lived. In Boyle Heights, we were disappointed not to be able to enter the old Breed Street Shul, but Bruce's interesting stories about the early years of Jewish settlement in that area made the stop fascinating. We did see the interior of the original Sinai Temple, built in 1909, which is now the Pico Union Project, and functions as a multi-faith cultural arts center for the diverse groups who live in that area, and hosts many Jewish events. Overall it was a worthwhile experience of friendship and exploration! 

Village members enjoy the bus ride!
Sign on display outside of the Pico Union Project in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles.

We try to remember the tragic events of the Holocaust each year on Yom Ha-Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, we read the story of Village member, Lucienne Aroesty…

From Belgium to France

By Lucienne Aroesty

I was born in Belgium where my early years in Brussels were very happy and life was good. We enjoyed a comfortable life, spent vacations on the beach and visited our grandparents who lived nearby. In 1940 when the Nazis invaded Belgium and began rounding up Jews, my father decided to move the family to Free France. Our lives changed overnight and my sister and I who were still very young had little understanding of why we had been forced to leave the happiness and security we had known. We travelled far from our home sometimes by foot and sometimes by train enduring many hardships and even at one point escaping the bombing of a train in which we were traveling. We eventually spent several years living in a small village, St. Antonin- NobleVal, in the South of France, where we tried to make a living from chickens and eggs. We lived as a Protestant family attending church and Sunday school regularly. It was only when I was nine that I found out we were actually Jewish. In 1942 after the Nazis invaded the area, one room in our house was used by them for grain storage. The German soldier who came to the house regularly had no idea that we were a Jewish family. We didn't fit the stereotype!  He had a friendly relationship with my father and even used to listen to the BBC broadcasts with him, which was illegal. When the situation in our little village became more dangerous, my mother took us to a small orphanage in a remote village. My mother offered to help at the orphanage so she could keep an eye on us. My father who was working with the Resistance was hiding in the hills near the village at that time. It wasn't until 1945 that the Allies came to our village and the Nazis finally surrendered. 

I credit our survival to the determination and resilience of my parents and to the kindness of many strangers. But I always think of my grandparents Aranka and Sandor Tabovits, who were deported to Auschwitz and died in the gas chambers.

Upcoming Events
●        Abby Stein: A Transgender Woman’s Journey Out of the Hasidic World - Thursday, May 18, 2017, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

●        The Great ChaiVillageLA Shake-Out - Sunday, May 21, 2017, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

●        UCLA Memory Training: 1st of 4-Week Series - Thursday, May 25, 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM - Waiting List Available, call (310) 592-0321

●        Paul Simon: Words and Music at the Skirball - Thursday, May 25, 2017, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

●        Journaling: Getting Rid of Clutter and Reaching Your Goals: 1st of 3-Week Series - Thursday, June 1, 2017, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

●        First Annual Chicken Soup Cook-Off - Sunday, June 11, 2017, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

●        ChaiVillageLA’s Anniversary Celebration - Sunday, June 25, 2017, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
The Great ChaiVillageLA Shake-Out
Sunday, May 21, 2017, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Temple Isaiah - Social Hall
Click here to register!
Be prepared! This ChaiVillageLA event is both social AND informative, and a great way to introduce your friends to the ChaiVillageLA community 

Come learn how to prepare for; and what to do during and after, an earthquake. Our presenters will teach us how to minimize injuries and damages, how to handle potential dangers due to utilities, where to go after an earthquake, and how to choose a meet-up location with friends and family by planning specific strategies for children and the elderly

How close is your nearest ChaiVillageLA neighbor? Map it! Find out by pinning your location on the ChaiVillageLA neighbor map and you will always know how close your friends live! 

Presented by CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member Valerie Fontain and Chin Thammasaengsri, CERT Battalion Coordinator. 

Understanding the World’s News
Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Home of Shirley Kern - 2128 Parnell Ave, Los Angeles
Click here to register! 
This discussion group focuses on the news of the week. Participants share articles and opinions that pertain to what's happening both in the United States and Internationally, and particularly to introduce diverse views. Many of the "pundits" we analyze write for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. You will also examine such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic and other journals that give in-depth coverage of current topics. This is your chance to listen and be heard on the events of the day. 

The class is taught by Village member, Myrna Hant. Myrna received her PhD in Higher Education from UCLA. She was a college administrator as well as an instructor in Women's Studies at Chapman University. 

Refugees and Immigrants Film Series: The Golden Door
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 7:00 PM - 9:15 PM
Temple Isaiah - Library
Click here to register!
The Golden Door is a classic tale of coming to America -- a romantic fable that takes you into the heart of the quintessential American experience. The movie is in Italian with English subtitles. 

Additional films in this series will be screened on Wednesday, June 14 and Wednesday, June 19. There will be a final screening in August, the date to be announced. 

Please register to attend. Call the office for assistance, if needed at (310) 592-0321.

Paul Simon: Words & Music at The Skirball
Thursday, May 25, 2017, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Skirball Center Drive - 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles
Click here to register!
Join your fellow Villagers at the Skirball Cultural Center for a visit to the museum to see the Paul Simon exhibit. The event will take place Thursday, May 25 at 12:00 PM. We shall gather in the lobby. A Skirball docent, Sue Pollack, will lead us through the exhibit. If enough people wish, we can meet for lunch after the tour (place to be selected later). 

Parking is free, but you are responsible for a tour fee of $9 and admission to the museum. (Dean Schenker has already prepaid for the tour, so please pay him back at the event).  

Questions? Payment details? Call Dean Schenker at (310) 839-0622.

  Renew Now for the Upcoming Fiscal Year
70% of our members have already renewed

18 Builders have generously donated at least $180 in addition to renewing.

Thanks so much to all of you! All memberships that began before April 1, 2017, will need to be renewed by July 1, for one year. We are delighted to announce that there is no increase in annual membership dues for 2017-2018. 

To encourage early renewal, we are having a special membership raffle. Prizes will be drawn and announced at our 1st Anniversary Celebration on June 25th. Renew in May to receive 10 tickets or in June to receive 5 tickets. You can pick up your raffle tickets at the event itself. 

Click here to renew now! If you prefer to renew on the phone, call Arielle or Devorah at (310) 592-0321.


We are so appreciative to all our generous April Program Facilitators and home hosts.

 - Sandi Sternig-Babcock & Barbara Joyner, Program Co-Chairs

Home Hosts:
Phyllis Shlecter
Gloria Boraz & Stanley Goldblatt
Iris & Gordon Cutler

Event Facilitators:
Lorna Belman
Gloria Boraz
Phyllis Shlecter
Terry Pullan
Rabbi Sarah Bassin
Bruce Phillips
Dean Schenker
Marsha Rosenberg

Refuah Shleimah, Full and Complete Healing:

Norma Glickman
Sylvia Fox

Marcia Oshman
Sandy Milden

Feel Better!


Phyllis Shlecter on the birth of her great-grandson! Joshua Liam Twersky was born on April 28, 2017. 
We are Saddened by the Loss of…

Nina Abney, mother of Veronica of Temple Emanuel and ChaiVillageLA. Nina passed away on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Condolences can be sent to Veronica at Vabney@gmail.com

Zichrona livrachah, may her memory be a blessing.

In Collaboration With ...
ChaiVillageLA is a proud recipient of a Cutting Edge Grant from 
The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles
   and Our Foundation Sponsors
Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries Foundation 

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
Aaron & Sylvia Rothenberg Family Foundation
Kobor Family Foundation