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

September 2016
New Beginnings
Welcome back and welcome to our new home!

Our first Lev Eisha service is Shabbat Rosh Hodesh Elul - the beginning of the new month before Rosh Hashanah.  Lev Eisha is also having a new beginning at our new venue, Beth Shir Shalom and it is fitting to be at our new home on the first day of a new Jewish month.

The month of Elul is an opportunity for four weeks of preparation for Rosh Hashanah.  Rabbi August will be teaching about how to prepare and bringing in "tools" for us to try, including  poems, journal exercising, music, movement, meditations and more.
Join us this Shabbat for new beginnings - for Lev Eisha's 17th's year in a new home and for YOUR new beginning - preparing for Rosh Hashanah, on Saturday, Sept. 3.   Services begin at 9:30 am, led by Rabbi August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley.  We are happy to welcome back Melanie Fine, our Torah reader.  Readings are from the book of Deuteronomy.

Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush luncheon.  Sponsors are Cindy Paley, in honor of her birthday and the wedding of her daughter, Avital to Monique on August 7; Olivia Goodkin, in honor of her 60th birthday and the birth of her new granddaughter, Emerson Schwartz (parents Geoff and Meridith Schwartz); and Fran Bogotch, in honor of her birthday.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Join Our List
Contact Us!
Our new location:
Beth Shir Shalom
1827 California Ave.
Santa Monica 90403

Please note:
Our mailing address remains the same:
10766 Jefferson Ave. #706
Culver City 90230
Membership Drive Off to a Great Start!
Thank you to everyone who joined/renewed their membership so early in the new year. What a great show of support for Lev, and what a wonderful way to start the year.

New/renewing this month: 
Wendy Aleman, Eve Axelrad, Myrna Barth, Shirley Belinfante, Barbara Brown, Helen Budin, Janis Cohen, Jo Beth Cohen, Sheryl Colby, Nicole Crouch, Carole Easton, Nancy Federman, Louise Feinberg, Evelyn Feintech, Vivian Feintech, Sara Fields, Lee Fischer, Helen Fishman, Judy Fishman, Lydia Friedliech, Olivia Goodkin, Barbara Goldstone, Deena Gordon, Ruth Grossman, Arlyne Gruesner, Barbara Haberman, Gail Heim, Marion Klein, Annette Levey, Vivian Mehlman, Hilda Mills, Shirley Munch, Pam Neshkes, Cindy Paley, Beverly Rimer, Arlene Rosenblatt, Janice Ruben, Suzanne Schweitzer, Nadine Shulman, Lynn Stevens, Debra Vilinsky, Robin Winston, Rose Ziff, Linda Zweig.

We are again offering a premium for the 75th person to join/renew their membership.  The lucky person will receive an honor at an upcoming Lev service, offered by Rabbi August, plus a special gift.  

Haven't rejoined yet? It's so easy - just click  HERE   to renew online or mail your check with the membership form you received in the mail earlier this month.

Song, dance, prayer and study are yours when you join Lev Eisha.  Each member of the Lev community is valued; we are counting on your support.
Lev Spirit
Wear something purple on Sept. 3 to show your Lev spirit!
Message From the President

Dear Friends,

I invite you to our new Lev Eisha home, Beth Shir Shalom, in Santa Monica.

We remember and appreciate the warmth of Vista Del Mar, our home for the past seven years.  The Vista staff accommodated our needs with warmth and professionalism while pursuing their mission of providing high-quality treatment programs for special needs children and their families.  I am grateful for our years at Vista - and now we are looking forward.

Under our past-president Susie Yuré's leadership, our venue search team vetted over 50 locations.  We are very enthusiastic about our new space at Beth Shir Shalom, located at 1827 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA  90403.  

Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels and his staff are eager to host and welcome us with open arms.  

According to the Talmudic sages, moving to a new location brings a change of mazal (luck, fortune).  May this move be accompanied by mazal for Lev Eisha and each of us!

Rabbi August, the Board and I look forward to welcoming you to Lev Eisha at Beth Shir Shalom!

Janis Cohen,
Lev Eisha President

Parking for Beth Shir Shalom

Driving directions to parking lot:

The parking lot is located behind the V Lounge, located at 2020 Wilshire Blvd. 
This is a 6 minute walk (0.3 mile) to Beth Shir Shalom.

Take the 405 Fwy North or South to the 10 Fwy Westbound.  Exit the 10 Fwy at Cloverfield.  Use the left two lanes to turn left onto Santa Monica Blvd. Turn right onto 20th Street.  
Turn right at the second cross street, which is Wilshire. Parking lot will be on the right.

Walking directions to Beth Shir Shalom from parking lot:
BEGIN:   Parking Lot behind V Lounge @ 2020 Wilshire Blvd.
Head west on Wilshire Blvd toward 20th St
Turn north (right) onto 20th St
Turn left onto California Ave.
DESTINATION:  Beth Shir Shalom
1827 California Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Unrestricted street parking is available 2 short blocks north of the synagogue above Idaho Ave. If you have a handicap plaque, you may park at the meters or in the 2-hour parking which is located on California Ave.   

We will have people in front of the synagogue and in front of the parking lot to assist you.

To download and print the pictures and map below, click HERE


Donors Make it Happen

Thank you to Arlyne Gruesner, who made a donation in honor of Susie Yuré's new grandson.

Welcome Back!
by Holly Zucker

"To everything there is a season" and this season for Lev Eisha is one of change, renewal, and expansion. We are so pleased and excited to say "welcome back" to our Lev Eisha community and we look forward to seeing all of you at our first service in our new "home" Saturday, September 3rd at Beth Shir Shalom.  

How appropriate that our new location started out in 1939 with only 14 members meeting in a Unitarian Church. With a loan from Louis B. Mayer from MGM Studios they expanded into a two story building with a beautiful synagogue that now serves a bustling Jewish community.

The timing for our new move couldn't be more perfect because we will be there in time for the New Year. Over the summer we missed each and every one of you and we know that you have been waiting patiently for our next service. We look forward to sharing our joyful and inspirational music, Rabbi August's teachings, and putting our arms around each other and spreading the "Lev Love".  We also look forward to welcoming more of the Jewish community to Lev Eisha and are looking for ways to be of service to even more people. This season is about sharing our gifts and as a congregation we have many.

We are thrilled to be able to say "welcome back" and know that once you get familiar with it you will love our new location and it will feel like Lev!
Rosh Hashanah: More Status Quo? Or Change?
by Rabbi August
The very name of our holiday, Rosh Hashanah, makes the question above difficult to answer. Literally, Rosh Hashanah means "head of the year." Idiomatically, it is the Hebrew term for our Jewish New Year.
 Did you know that the same word for "year"- Shanah- has two other meanings?   S hana also means both to change and to repeat.
 Human nature tends to resist change. We yearn for stability and often accept the status quo rather than face the unknown. There is a tension between wanting to repeat what we know and wanting to change what we know. Figuring this out, the question of change vs. status quo is a daunting process!
  We are ready to begin our High Holy Days, but are we really ready?  The theme of Rosh Hashanah is supposed to be about Chesbon Nefesh - doing the inner work and taking an accounting of our actions. We ask ourselves where have we missed the mark, and what do we need to repair and pay attention to,for this coming year.
  And yet with our lives so busy, with the challenging uncertain presidential election and the dismal violent condition in much of the world, many of us simply want nothing to be different.  We are afraid things might only get worse.   If we have a job, we keep it, without questioning if it is fulfilling and meaningful. Our health? Dear God, don't let it get worse! Relationships? Just hang on, now is not the time to change. We are in demanding times, and inner growth is not the priority when we are simply trying to stay afloat.  Mostly we ask God to keep things the way they were.
   In a teaching years ago, Rabbi David Hartman challenged us to use crisis and uncertainty as an opportunity to grow. He asserted that we don't have the luxury to be angry, depressed or frightened of change, but stated that "moral life begins when 'ought to be' is different than 'what is'."
    In the midst of so much uncertainty, we have the opportunity to ask, What ought I become? How can I change? What is truly important to me? What are my priorities and how am I taking care of myself and my relationships? How can I make a difference in my world around me?
    If we are really trying to do Teshuvah, to "turn inward" and ask these questions, then we do not have the luxury of status quo!  We all want stability and we can also ask hard questions. Perhaps our questions and inner work are ways to overcome our fear of change.  It is said that "change breeds change and if you change an attitude, it will precipitate other changes in your life." (Rabbi Simon Jacobson)
    May we therefore be blessed this new year with the desire to embrace the opportunities for growth and renewal, even when we are afraid of change and do not want to upset the status quo.  The time is now! There is an urgency and energy in the air. We can find our inner glow, the special spark of our soul.  May we begin to reclaim our true mission in life and have the hope and the courage to become who we are and we say Amen.
    Shanah Tovah U'Metukah- A sweet, healthy and meaningful year to us all!
Shir Beth Shalom

Lev Eisha
2016-17 Calendar
Services: 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Breakfast & Study at 8:15 a.m. - 9:25 a.m. 
Kiddush immediately following all services

September 3     
October 1*     
November 5     
December 3*    
January 7, 2017     
Jan. 20-22 - Weekend Retreat
February 4*    
March 4   
April 1*   
April 30  -  Day of Learning
May 6     
June 3*  
* Breakfast before services.

Beth Shir Shalom: A Colorful History
(taken from the BSS website)

The streets of a densely populated, but quiet, neighborhood in Santa Monica, just north of Wilshire and within two miles of the beach, are lined with flourishing trees and a mix of stucco apartment buildings and houses.  It is a neighborhood that typifies the area.... except for one thing; nestled in the middle of it sits a very active temple called Beth Shir Shalom (BSS).

Beth Shir Shalom's history began with a small Jewish congregation that had been gathering in the Unitarian Church of Santa Monica for Shabbat services. On January 17 of 1939, 14 members of that congregation decided to meet in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Markowitz to discuss a plan to build a synagogue.   A two-story building was constructed at the northwest corner of 19th & California Streets.  It was named "Beth Sholom Temple," glimmering as a shining light in those dark days leading up to WWII and the Nazi horror.  The first Shabbat service was held on May 1, 1942.  

Thoughts About Lev Eisha
by Holly Zucker

This is more than a Shabbat Service.

This is where you experience Shechinah , the divine presence of God.

This is where you go when you are looking for the familiar face of friendship.

This is where you go to share the goodness that has you kvelling because your daughter is getting married or your son passed the Bar or you are going to be a grandparent.

This is where you go for comfort when you are suffering the loss of a loved one who has passed away.

This is where you are supported in making a new life choice no matter what your age.

This is where you go when you need some self-care, when you want to fill your heart with "spiritual pampering", when you want to experience gratitude.

It's more than a Shabbat Service... this is Lev Eisha.


MAZEL TOV to Joy Krauthammer on the birth of her new granddaughter on Aug. 26. Joy is also celebrating the 30th year of her drum career!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY  to the following September birthdays: Lyn Ayal, Miriam Brauner, Helen Budin, Dana Fein, Barbara Goldstone, Olivia Goodkin, Margot Morrison, Cindy Paley, Betty Ross, Debra Vilinsky. 

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 Beth Shir Shalom,
1827 California Ave. Santa Monica, 90403

Take the 405 Fwy North or South to the 10 Fwy Westbound.  Exit the 10 Fwy at Cloverfield.  Use the left two lanes to turn left onto Santa Monica Blvd. Turn right onto 20th Street.  Continue straight, past Wilshire, one block. Turn left onto California Avenue.  Go 1-1/2 blocks. Beth Shir Shalom will be on the right.

To go directly to parking lot, when you are on Santa Monica Blvd. turn right onto 20th Street (same as above). Turn right at the second cross street, which is Wilshire. Parking lot will be on the right.

Click HERE for parking information.

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.