A joyous community of Jewish women engaged in prayer,
study, and spiritual growth
Our next service will be Saturday, December 2
Find Ways to Light Up During the Holidays!
Happy Hanukkah! As we are entering the holiday season, we remember that Hanukkah is a time to slow down! The candles can be used for reflection and meditation. After they are lit with the blessings, and you sing a few songs, then perhaps you can sit still for another few minutes. Silence your mind...watch the flame flicker...notice the layers of light in a single candle. From this quiet place, there is tranquility, gratitude and contentment of spirit.

We hope to see you on Saturday, December 2. We will begin at 8:15 am with a light breakfast and teaching by Rabbi August on "We Don't Need Blue and White Lights on our Homes to Enjoy Hanukkah - finding ways to light up during the holidays with stories, teachings and more!" Our breakfast is sponsored by Wendy Aleman in honor of the engagement of her son, Alex, to Rena Jawry, and by Edith Ballonoff in honor of the birthday of her daughter, Lynn Beliak. 

Services follow at 9:30 am, led by Rabbi August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley. Readings are from the book of Genesis. Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush luncheon after services, sponsored by  Tonia Agron in celebration of her 80th birthday and Hilda Mills, in honor of her 83nd birthday and the yahrtzeit of her husband, Sheldon.

Join us as we celebrate Hanukkah at Lev Eisha where you will find everything you are looking for!

May this be a sweet and meaningful holiday time for us all.
Celebrate With Lev!
We very much appreciate those Lev Eisha sisters who make it possible to cater our breakfasts and monthly Kiddush luncheons. Please consider celebrating your simcha with Lev Eisha. Sponsors are still needed for January through June. 

Contact our catering chairperson, Lynn Beliak at  catering@leveisha.org  and send in your payment BEFORE the 20th of the month . You can mail a check to us at 10736 Jefferson Blvd. #706, Culver City, CA 90230 or pay online HERE. Forms are available on the Lev table in the foyer, or on the upstairs kiddush tables. Lynn hopes to hear from you soon.
Registration Closing Soon!
January 26-28, 2018

To celebrate our Chai year, our annual Lev Eisha Women’s Weekend Retreat will be held at Holy Spirit Retreat Center in Encino. It will feature our traditional welcome/introduction, Friday night Shabbat service, and a delicious Shabbat meal. 
Our Shabbat morning services are followed by lunch and a new and different afternoon filled with meditation, art, and gentle introspection led by Chantel Zimmerman, who is a motivational coach and workshop facilitator. After dinner, we will be entertained by “Nevenka,” an LA based folk chorus performing music of Eastern Europe. 

Sunday, after breakfast, we will participate in a Tu B’Shevat Sedar led by Rabbi August and Cindy. And back by popular demand is Joy Krauthammer's Photography Walk - not to be missed!

This promises to be a memorable weekend of music, self-discovery, and retreat from our hectic everyday lives. Invite family and friends to join us! 
Visit our website HERE to register OR you can download the registration form HERE and mail with your check to Lev Eisha, 10736 Jefferson Blvd., #706, Culver City, CA 90230.
Registration form and payment MUST be received by Dec. 15 - don't miss out on this special weekend.
Growing and Growing
Our membership continues to grow -
Welcome back to the following renewing members, and welcome to those who have joined us this month:

Jo Beth Cohen
Gladys Diener
Lynne Rosenstein
Judy Sherman

If you haven't renewed your membership for our Chai year, there are 3 ways you can join us: 1) yisit the website, leveisha.org and join online; 2) return the membership application that was mailed to you last summer; or 3) pick up an application on either our membership table or on the kiddush tables.
Donors Make It Happen
Thank you to the following generous donors:

  • Carol Solomon, because she loves Lev!
  • Sara Fields, in honor of her birthday
Rabbi's Column
Mudbound the Movie, God, & Hanukkah
I called a Reconstructionist rabbi to review the basic ideas of this denomination when I was preparing for my interview at a Reconstructionist Temple. “God,” I was told, “is the force that makes for salvation.” Not the God of miracles, or the God that has a “chosen people.” Rather, their idea was that God is a “force” for renewal, hope and change.

Armed with this understanding, I was told at the interview, that there was one “deal breaker.” I assumed it was a theological issue and was ready to discuss the Reconstructionist view of God. When I asked about the “deal breaker” the answer was more prosaic – “We want to make sure you will end the Rosh Hashanah services by 12pm.” I had to laugh.

Why am I sharing this story? It relates to a review of the new movie Mudbound, which contained this beautifully written line;

The men’s bond quickly ignites a dramatic fuse that leads to a ghastly, nightmarish reckoning, followed by a brief but haunting intimation of grace
a reminder that the arc of the moral universe does ultimately bend toward justice, however slowly .”
-Theodore Parker and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The part highlighted in bold can be the definition of God for the Reconstructionist movement! I loved it! This is also my understanding of how our world works. There is a constant tug between the forces that make for goodness and those that lead to evil and disruption. For the universe to survive, the forces for good must triumph, just as it says in the above quote from the review.

Which leads us to Hanukkah...

Based on the books of the Maccabees, not found in the Hebrew Bible, we are told about the Jewish fighters who liberated their land from the Syrian Greeks. Under the reign of Antiochus IV, in 167 B.C.E., there was a campaign to impose the Hellenistic culture, which in fact many Jews found attractive. Fearful that the ancient traditions were being lost, a priest named Mattathias and his sons waged a war against the Jewish Hellenizers. Only after the King was tired of the civil war did Antiochus intensify his campaign to ban Jewish practice and defiled the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Maccabees, the name for the traditionalists, then went to war against the Greek Syrians and amazingly won! We know the rest of the story.
The arc of the moral universe does ultimately bend toward justice.”
Hanukkkah represents this arc in its fight for religious freedom and tolerance. Hellenism, in moderation, crept into rabbinic Judaism. Fortunately, this was a slow process, or our ancient religion might have disappeared.

When a people rise to defend their traditions and culture, actually winning the war against great odds, it is the “bend towards justice.”

May we know that Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is a time to find courage and hope. If we are tired, we find strength. If we are ill, we find healing. If we are not finding each day to be one of beauty and meaning, we can use the lights of the holiday to recognize all that is good and holy in our lives. AMEN.

Rabbi Toba August
Couldn't Make It to Lev Last Month?
If you missed Rabbi August's brilliant teaching last month, you can now listen to it online, in the comfort of your home, and share it with friends and family.

Thanks to modern technology, Rabbi August's sermons are now available on our website. Click  HERE  to listen.

This new innovation, however, is costly; please consider making a donation of $100 to Lev Eisha so we can continue this innovative program. This is the cost for us to record and post her sermons. Donors will be acknowledged on our Lev Eisha website as well as in our monthly seat flyer and Newsletter. 

Please help Lev Eisha reach out to our community! Online donations can be made  HERE , or you can mail your check to Lev Eisha, 10736 Jefferson Blvd.,
# 706, Culver City, CA 90230

2017-2018 Board of Directors

Co-Presidents: Janis Cohen & Barbara Brown
Treasurer: Ruth Grossman
Secretary: Wendy Aleman
Membership: Robin Winston
Catering: Lynn Beliak
Ritual: Judy Fishman
Hospitality: Joan Spiegel
Newsletter: Rose Ziff
Outreach: Gail Heim
Women's Retreat: Linda Zweig
Past President: Susie Yuré

Advisory Council
Rachelle Neshkes
Holly Zucker
HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to the following friends who are celebrating December birthdays:

Tonia Agron, Wendy Aleman, Lorraine Factor, Lawrence Feinberg,
Sara Fields, Roberta Kresch, Donna Malamud, Hilda Mills, Ellen Satkin, Shoshi Wilchfort, Linda Zweig

Do you have a December birthday and we didn't acknowledge it? Please send us your birth month and we will be glad to wish you a Happy Birthday!

If 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 Beth Shir Shalom
1827 California Ave. Santa Monica, 90403
To Beth Shir Shalom
Take the 405 Fwy North or South to the 10 Fwy Westbound.  
Exit the 10 Fwy at Cloverfield/26th Street 
Turn right onto Cloverfield. 
Turn left at Colorado. 
Turn right onto 20th Street. Continue straight, past Wilshire, one block, to California. 
Turn left onto California Avenue. Go 1-1/2 blocks. Beth Shir Shalom will be on the right.

To parking lot
Follow above directions to get to 20th Street and turn right.
Turn right at Wilshire. 
Parking lot will be on the right behind the V Lounge, across the street from the Veggie Grill. (See map below)
Phone: 310.575.0985 | Email Us