(310) 592-0321
April 7, 2017 Edition

Meet Photographer Bill Aron
Explorer of Jewish Identity 

By Idelle Davidson

Like many of our ChaiVillageLA members, photographer Bill Aron has forged a distinguished career. His images documenting Jewish communities throughout the world have appeared in the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and other major museums and galleries. His first book, “From the Corners of the Earth,” features photographs of Jewish life in Cuba, the former Soviet Union, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York. His book, “Shalom Y’all” chronicles the Jews of Mississippi, Louisiana, and more of the Deep South. For Chapman University, Bill produced 100 portraits of Holocaust survivors living in Los Angeles. His most recent collection, “New Beginnings: The Triumphs of 120 Cancer Survivors,” is a departure for Bill and just as meaningful. 

Bill grew up in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania, spending his junior year in Israel. His was a wish to see the world, “I was determined to leave from a very early age,” he says. 

It was on to the Peace Corps in Turkey for four years. He then returned to the U.S. to finish his education at the University of Chicago. There he met his wife, Isa. Both earned PhDs, his in sociology, hers in philosophy of education. Today Isa is a professor of education at Hebrew Union College. Her mother is Sylvia Ettenberg, co-founder of the Ramah camping movement. 

For a time, Bill served as head of research at a drug addiction program at Camarillo State Hospital. Then, as part of a move to New York and post-doc work at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he worked with Project Ezra, which provides social services to the Jewish elderly of New York City’s Lower East Side. 

That marked a life shift. He unpacked a camera and elevated a childhood hobby into a new-found career. “I began photographing what we all thought were the last days of the old immigrant community,” he says. “I fell in love with the synagogues and the neighborhood.” Positive feedback from a curator at the Jewish Museum in New York led to gallery representation and sales of his work. 

When you look at his pictures—of Israel for example—you are struck by the geometry, light, and motion in a scene: the windows like stacked rectangles outside a Jerusalem apartment; the shades of white in a multi-image panorama of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian Quarter; a passageway with steps that, with perspective, look like a tallis; the profile of a woman, fervent in prayer, her lips pressed to the Western Wall. 

Many evoke emotions. In Cuba, he shot photos of a chacham, or scholar, leading the service at a Sephardic synagogue. “This old, old man picked up the Torah and held it in the air and looked at me,” says Bill. “It was part of the ritual, but it sent shivers down my spine. To me it meant no matter what was going on in his life, this was his rock, his anchor.” 

In another photo, a Holocaust survivor stands with a lovely smile, his arms stretched out to the world. Bill understands the image may prompt questions. “And I asked him at one point, ‘you’ve been through a horrendous childhood, how can you be so cheerful?’ He said, ‘that was then and this is now.’ It was such a simple yet profound statement.” 

Exploring Jewish culture is the unwavering theme. “That doesn’t necessarily mean capturing someone wearing a kippah,” he says. “I don’t think there’s one way to be Jewish.”

His most current work, photographing cancer survivors, is deeply personal. Bill speaks freely of his own past-cancer diagnosis and of those he met who became his teachers. “I was inspired by their strength and determination.” 

Ultimately, he believes photographs draw us in. They spark new ways to think and feel.  Or as the author and Rabbi Chaim Potok wrote in describing Bill’s work, “In his hands, a peripheral form, photography, seeks out the unseen—and becomes art.” 

Bill and Isa are members of Temple Emanuel. Their two sons live in Los Angeles. For fun, Bill teaches photography and says he loves movies. See his portfolio at: http://www.billaron.com/.

Thanks for Renewing!

Thanks to everyone who has renewed their membership with ChaiVillageLA! If you need any assistance, be in touch with us at the office: 310-592-0321 or Devorah@ChaiVillageLA.org

  Understanding the World’s News with Myrna Hant
By Helene and Barry Korn

Myrna is extremely well read. She reads all the leading books and newspapers on what's going on in the world and especially in the US. She is very skilled at drawing on all her sources to ask interesting questions. In this session, we discussed the health care act that was coming up for a vote. There was a lot of participation and people had interesting comments and questions. About ten of us attended and everyone got lot out of the discussion. It was a morning well spent!

  New Discoveries on Ancient Biblical Women

By Radell Simon

Rabbi Sarah Bassin’s series of classes on the history of women in the bible is stimulating and unique. We learn about rarely known women who had influence during their lives and beyond. It’s fascinating to study how they are viewed through the ages, as well as by today’s standards.  

We recently learned about Bruria. I was touched by her story because that is the name of two of my Israeli cousins who are named after our great grandmother, who perished in the Holocaust. I remember hearing stories about her being such a strong and powerful woman. Now I know why! 

  Save the Dates

Sunday, May 21, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Emergency Preparedness (bring a non-Village member)
Tuesday, June 13 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM - Basic Drawing with Dr. Ruth Weisberg
Sunday, June 25, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM - ChaiVillageLA's Anniversary Celebration

Intermediate and Advanced Bridge – Monday, April 10 & 17, 2017
Walk with the Rabbi – Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Understand the World’s News – Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Caregivers’ Support Group – Tuesday, April 11 & 18, 2017

Bridge – Monday, April 17, 2017
Expo Trip to USC Tour, Space Shuttle, And Museum
Friday, April 14, 2017, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Expo Sepulveda Station at Sepulveda Blvd and Exposition Blvd (just south of Pico Blvd)
Click here to register!
Let’s meet at the Sepulveda Expo Station to ride the train to University of Southern California. At USC, we will have lunch followed by a private tour of the campus. After the tour, we will visit the Exposition Park Rose Garden and then enter the California Science Center to visit the Shuttle Endeavour (there is no charge). We will do a short walking tour of Exposition Park. For those who have seen the Shuttle, you will be free to visit the Museum of Natural History, IMAX Theater, or other museums. Some museums and the IMAX have admission charges. 

If this is your first time on the Expo line, come a few minutes early and we will be there to show you how to use the train. There will be a reasonable fee for taking the Expo; many of us will be able to take advantage of reduced senior rates. If you have a Tap Card, be sure to bring it. Parking is available at the Sepulveda Expo Station on Exposition Boulevard for $2.00/day. Be sure to pay at the pay station before leaving parking structure. Click here more information on applying for Senior Tap Card. 

For more information, email Terry Pullan at tpullan@pullan.com or Stuart Goldurs at ssgoldurs@aol.com.

ChaiVillageLA’s 1st Annual Community Seder
Monday, April 17, 2017, 6:00 PM
Temple Isaiah -- Social Hall
Click here to register!
Join your friends and neighbors as we end the Passover holiday together. Cantor Lizzie Weiss and Cantor Tifani Coyot will lead us in tradition and contemporary song. This will be an interactive celebration of our heritage and community. We welcome all current and prospective adult members of Temple Emanuel and Temple Isaiah to join us on Monday, April 17th at 6:00 PM at Temple Isaiah. The cost is $20 per person. Contact Devorah at 310-592-0321 or devorah@ChaiVillageLA.org to reserve a seat at our table. Need a ride? Let us know.
La Cienega Art Gallery Walk
Thursday, April 27, 2017, 11:15 AM - 2:00 PM
Meet at the parking lot of Blum and Poe, 2721 S. La Cienega
Click here to register! 
Join ChaiVillageLA members, Dean Schenker and Marsha Rosenberg, as they lead a tour of Culver City's hip Arts District. The easy walking gallery tour will include visits to art galleries on La Cienega between Venice and Washington Boulevards.  

Following the tour, those who wish may continue the art conversation over an optional lunch.Location to be determined. Meet in the parking lot of Blum and Poe, located at 2727 S. La Cienega Boulevard.

Jewish History through Women’s Eyes with Rabbi Sarah Bassin
Part 4 of 5

Thursday, April 20, 2017, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Home of Iris and Gordon Cutler – 3260 Earlmar Drive, Los Angeles
Click here  to register! 
 H ow many of us are aware of the influence, heroism, and power of our female ancestors? Join us as we journey from the biblical world forward with a focus on women’s experience and expression of power in our Jewish history.
  Historic Tour of Jewish Los Angeles
Sunday, April 30, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Temple Isaiah - Outside Deck
Click here  to register! 
Join us for a bus tour of Jewish Los Angeles! We’ll depart from Temple Isaiah and take a ride through some of the historic and Jewish sites around town. Our tour will be led by Village member Bruce A. Phillips, professor of sociology and Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College.  

Join us as we visit historic sites such as the Breed Street Shul, Libros Shmibros Bookstore, the site of a former Yiddish school, and so much more. This is sure to be a day of learning and connection to the Jewish past of this city!  

The cost of the tour is dependent on how many people sign up - the cost of the bus is $190, which will be divided equally between the registrants. The tour will focus on historically Jewish sections of Los Angeles and will feature a discussion of gentrification in the city. For more information and the general outline of the tour, click the “click here to register” link above, which will take you to the event description. 


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

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

 Home Hosts:

 Gloria Boraz & Stanley Goldblatt
Lora & Jaime Jerugim
Barbara & Dale Joyner
Shirley Kern
Sue & David Rosenblum
Phyllis Shlecter & The Beverly Hills Watermark

 Event Facilitators:

Rabbi Sarah Bassin
Lorna Belman
Myrna Hant
Chuck Hurewitz
erry Pullan


ChaiVillageLA is actively approaching potential Community Sponsor businesses, such as theatres, restaurants, banks, and others who specifically serve older adults. Thanks for letting us know if you have any personal contacts or ideas that might be helpful.  Contact Devorah at Devorah@ChaiVillageLA.org. 


Refuah Shleimah, a Full and Complete Healing:

Norma Glickman
Sylvia Fox

 Feel better!

Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries Foundation
Aaron & Sylvia Rothenberg Family Foundation
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
Kobor Family Foundation  
Supported by
ChaiVillageLA is a proud recipient of a Cutting Edge Grant from 
The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles