A joyous community of Jewish women e ngaged in
prayer, study and spiritual growth  

January 2016
New Beginnings
New Beginnings is the theme of our January Lev Eisha service.  We have begun a new book of the Torah; w e will celebrate a new life, the birth of a baby girl to our board member Rachelle Neshkes and her husband, Aaron Rosenfield. Together we will have a "Simchat Bat" - a baby naming service.  Each one of us can have new adventures and experiences in 2016 and inspire ourselves and each other.
Join us this Saturday, January 9 for your new beginning - a joyous celebration of song, learning and prayer that will lift your heart and help you soar. Services begin at 9:30 am, led by Rabbi August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley.  Readings are from the book of Exodus.

Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush luncheon, sponsored by Rachelle Neshkes and Aaron Rosenfield in honor of their new baby girl.  Our kiddush will be held in the Vista del Mar gym.

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Our New Members and Donors Start Off the New Year

We welcome the new and renewing members this month. Forgot to sign up?  It's not too late!! You can renew your Lev membership online - click HERE.  Or pick up a paper membership packet after services on Saturday.

Thank you to the following members who renewed for another wonderful year of Lev:

Shirley Belinfante
Olivia Goodkin 
Ellen Sternfeld
Lynn Stevens

Our generous donors this month are:
Lawrence Feinberg        
Heather Principe, in honor of Lynn Beliak 
Beverly Mushinsky, in honor of Joan Spiegel
Vivian Feintech, in memory of Marla Osband
Sandy Terranova 

Arlene Rosenblatt donated a prayerbook in honor of Arlyne Gruesner - "Thanks to Arlyne for her warm smile and generous spirit."

The Magic of Lev - Coming Your Way Soon!

Our annual fundraiser is coming next month - Sunday, February 21, from 2-5 pm at Vista Del Mar.  Be entertained by magicians from The Magic Castle, bid on many items at our legendary silent auction and support our wonderful organization, schmooze with your friends, enjoy gourmet appetizers, wine and cheese and more. See flyer below for details and how to get your tickets. We will have a link up on our website soon if you would prefer to pay online.

Announcing Our 100th Member...

We are pleased to announce our 100th member is none other than Lev Eisha's past president, Olivia Goodkin.  Olivia will receive a special gift and she will have an honor at our January Lev Eisha service. Congratulations, Olivia!
New Beginnings by Rabbi August
I was excited to see that our secular New Year is celebrated the day before we start a new book of the Torah. How serendipitous.  The book of  Shemot (Exodus) began on Shabbat January 2, and tells the story of our people's new beginnings.

Nu? What's new this New Year for you?  Let's use this connection with the Torah portion. The ancient Hebrews have been slaves for over 200 years. Why would they think anything would ever change? Seemingly "out of nowhere," a man named Moses appears with a staff and a conviction that their God wants them to be freed from the savagery of slavery.
This is what is new for each of us this coming year. The idea of "seemingly out of nowhere." The point is, we do not know what is new. And we cannot anticipate what will arise or befall us in the future.  What is new for me is not knowing what will be.
I can be cynical and believe it will be more of the same, or I can choose to be hopeful and delighted that each day will bring an unexpected moment of beauty or serenity; an act of kindness, forgiveness, healing or joy. The point is, the New Year is about what is new. And what is new is about the unknown and how we approach each one of our days.
Moses stopped to observe a burning bush that was not consumed. Taking the time to notice this unnatural act he was patient, curious, reflective and connected to his Divine inner self - his God. With a new awareness of his own potential, Moses began a new mission - to help redeem the children of Israel and release them from bondage.
My dearest women of Lev Eisha,  we too can be curious, patient and reflective as we begin our days - understanding our "mission," the unique purpose for our being alive this New Year.

Let us take advantage of the "seemingly out of nowhere,"  unexpected opportunities to release ourselves from whatever bondage we are in and find the freedom to have hope instead of despair and joy instead of any sadness.

May we have health, beauty, kindness, love and happiness this new year.

Rabbi August Goes to China!
Rabbi August and her husband, Dr. Alan Klein, visited China over their winter vacation.  Here they are at the Great Wall.
Lev Eisha Annual Winter Retreat 
Registration for the Lev Eisha 2016 Winter Retreat is now open!

Invite your favorite women friends and family to share this incredible weekend of Lev! Reconnect during our happy, spiritual and mindful weekend that promises to reboot your spirit, energy and intellectual curiosity.  Led by our very own Rabbi Toba August & Cindy Paley, and featuring inspirational workshops and programs - you'll feel energized, relaxed and renewed! See our flyer below for details.

Flyers and registration forms are available at the January 9 & February 6 Lev Eisha services, and on our web site,  www.leveisha.org.  

The 2016 Lev Eisha
Wom en' s Winter Retreat

A weekend retreat for women to reconnect through Shabbat, mind & body exploration, prayer, dance, song, discussions,
nature, photography walks, drum circle, camarade rie & more! 

Enjoy a musical Shabbat, new workshops and entertaining programs
with Rabbi Toba August & Canatorial Soloist Cindy Paley 
and featuring inspirational workshop leaders. 

WHEN:   March 25 - 27, 2016 ~ Friday 3pm - Sunday noon
WHERE: Brandeis-Bardin AJU Campus
 1101 Peppertree Lane, Simi Valley, CA  93063

FEE:     $325 per person, double occupancy
            $450 per person, single occupancy 

Silent Partner: 
Please consider donating a full or partial scholarship for a woman who could not otherwise afford to attend. Silent Partners will be honored during the weekend, if they so choose.  Thank you.
Click HERE to enjoy a look at our 2015 Retreat Video

Print out the Retreat Registration Form HERE

Lev Eisha
2015-16 Calendar
Breakfast & Study at 8:15am - 9:25am
Services: 9:30am-12:00pm 
Kiddush immediately following services  
January 9, 2016 
February 6* 
February 21 - Lev Eisha Fundraiser, Vista Del Mar
March 5*
March 25-27 Lev Eisha Women's Retreat, Brandeis Bardin
April 2 
May 7* 
June 4

 *Breakfast before services 
The Neshkes-Rosenfield Family
Rachelle Neshkes and husband Aaron Rosenfield will be celebrating the baby naming of their daughter at our January service.

Our Resident Poet

Words from Sarah Barash, our resident poet. 

when in doubt

lodged in my heart
somewhere between knowing and doubt You dwell
the certainty of Your faith in me belongs to us both
the doubt to me alone
though You Have and Do and Will inhabit all creation
 and though You remain as constant and true
as a child's rendering of home of sun of family
when my heart is low
i doubt
God of Patience have patience with me
when the internal voice has me waver
and the eternal skeptic seeks to sway me from my path
make me mindful
 so that Your certainty might banish my doubt
God of Patience have patience with me
* * * * *
for all those who kept their faith in me
Los Angeles, January, 2011

Lev Eisha Board Celebrates 

Pictured below are members of the Lev Eisha Board of Directors, enjoying a little Hanukkah treat at last month's Board meeting.

Heartfelt condolences to Judy Blake and family on the passing of her beloved sister Joanie Mass of Seattle.

Refu'a Shlema - get well wishes to Robin Winston, who is having surgery Jan. 8.

Happy Birthday to the following January birthdays: Shirley Belinfante, Barbara Brown, Shana Charles, Arlyne Gruesner, Myrna Kayton, Barbara Lewis, Pam Neshkes, Karen Richmond, Sandi Williams.

Start the new year off right - give us the month of your birth and we will acknowledge you in the newsletter. Come on, let us know, share your simcha!

I f you have a milestone to share please send it to Rose Ziff at
editor@leveisha.org.  Birthdays, weddings, graduations, Bat or Bar Mitzvot, births, special awards/honors, and exotic vacations are some of the simchas that are fun to share with our community. 

This is also the place to ask our community to join you in prayers of healing for those who are ill or in memory of those who have passed away. 
Map & Directions
Lev Eisha Shabbat Services are held at Vista Del Mar  
3200 Motor Ave., Los Angeles 90034

Click on the map for directions.

Welcome to Lev Eisha, a spiritual prayer service by and for women.  B'ruchot Ha'baot - we invite you to join us with great blessing.  We provide a joyous environment with opportunities for soulful prayer, energetic song and dance, deep Jewish study, and meditation.  Each person, in their own way, finds what they need for their personal and spiritual growth at Lev Eisha.


What makes our community so unique? The answer is reflected in our name. "Lev" means heart, and "Eisha" means woman.  When women come together with open hearts, we figuratively hold each others' hearts in profound acceptance, understanding and love.


Join us and support Lev Eisha. By attending you are giving yourself the greatest gift; time for yourself, a "spiritual fix" to keep you balanced and centered for the month. Lev Eisha will transform your Jewish  soul.