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Rabbi's Message

Jerry Cutler

We all mourn the tragic loss of life in the horrific hate crime carried out in Pittsburgh this past Shabbat. We, The Creative Arts Temple, stand with Temple Tree of Life, the larger Pittsburgh Jewish community and Jewish communities throughout the world as we confront this unspeakable horror perpetrated against innocent individuals engaged in prayer and conversation.

This is not the first act of violence that stems from and speaks to the tremendous polarization in our country. We struggle to make sense of this tragedy, and as we do so, some of us are led to our polarized corners. We all have strong feelings, and there is legitimacy and possibly hope in many of our reactions. 

At this moment, however, CAT is in total support of pluralism in the midst of a divided country. We cherish diversity and we strive to understand each other and we actively push each other to think outside our own boxes and our own bubbles. We do not take this opportunity to cast blame on various segments of our society beyond the individual perpetrators of these crimes. We come forward at this time to say that we believe in a world where our strength can stem from our diversity and where our willingness to speak with and engage others is a first step toward healing and hope. 

Rabbi Jerry Ram Cutler

Shabbat Shalom

Our Next Shabbat Service

7:30 pm on Friday, 
November 2, 2018 
Why?  Tradition!

Going west on Wilshire as you approach Warner Blvd., one long block west of Beverly Glen, turn into the driveway that has the sign "Church Parking" and park on levels P2 or P3. Take the elevator up to P1 (which is also the lobby). Services are in the Town Hall room directly across from the elevator.

It is imperative that we all try to attend this Friday Night Shabbat service on November 2, as a testament to our unity with Jews throughout this troubled world.  It is interesting to note, that the "The Balfour Declaration" issued on November 2, 1917, was the first recognition by a modern nation of the Jewish claim to Palestine as a national homeland.
Arne's Corner

Democracy is thriving in Israel.

Israel is the one country in the Middle East where you  can, with dignity, attend an LGBT parade. Where the proportion of women 
serving in the Knesset is higher than in the U.S. Congress. Where there 
is universal healthcare. Where labor unions have grown bigger and  stronger (compared to the U.S.) over the past decade. Where minority 
citizens are guaranteed the same rights as Jewish ones. And it is  precisely these achievements that are sustained by Israel's Jewish  character and traditions.

Israelis pray for peace. Palestinian leaders pray for  Israel's destruction.

 Arnold Charitan

Renew Ralphs Community Contributions Now!

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Please Register today!
For your convenience, step-by-step website registration instructions can be found at, click on Community, click on Community Contributions, click on 'Enroll Now'. 

If you don't have computer access, please call Ralphs at 1-800-443-4438 for assistance.

CAT NPO# 92136
Ralphs Rewards Card
Donate to CAT while you grocery shop

Participants are required to register for the new term online at  or by calling Ralphs at  1-800-443-4438. 

You will be asked for The Creative Arts Temple NPO number. It is NPO# 92136

Please Note!!
The Scan Bar letters will no longer work at the register.

To verify if Creative Arts Temple is your charity of choice, look at the very bottom of your receipt next time you shop at Ralph's.  It should say "At your request, Ralph's is donating to Creative Arts Temple."  If you do not see that, you will need to register through the Ralph's 

Gelson's Discount Cards

Yes, it is Hanukkah again!  Gelson's has offered to provide the temple with discount coupons.  Pick them up at a Friday night service or call the temple for your coupon.  Gelson's will honor any expired coupon.  

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Support CAT when you shop on Amazon!

If you want Amazon to donate to Creative Arts Temple, you need to start each shopping session at and they will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases.

Monthly Events
Services, Dinners, High Holidays 

Friday - November 2 @ 7:30 pm
Shabbat Services 
Belmont Village - Town Hall
10475 Wilshire Blvd

131 S. Rodeo Drive  Suite 100
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Cell 310-995-0340
Bus 310-248-6440

I will be with you every step of the way. That is my promise, that is my commitment. 

Also, a FREE mezuzah hanging on your new home from our esteemed Rabbi. 


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Real Estate Tidbit from Lady Jeff Cutler

Could ADUs help solve LA's homelessness crisis?
The mayor's office wants to encourage landlords to 
rent out granny flats to the homeless

New state rules making it easier for homeowners to build  accessory dwelling units on their properties were designed to address California's severe  housing shortage.

Now Los Angeles officials plan to test whether ADUs, aka granny flats and in-law units, could be a solution for homelessness as well.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city has won a $1 million grant through the  Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge to fund a program pairing homeless residents with homeowners who have space on their properties for an ADU.

Under the program, which is expected to launch in spring, participating homeowners would receive up to $30,000 worth of assistance constructing an ADU on their property. Rather than a direct loan or stipend, the money would come in the form of tax breaks or reduced permitting fees.

In return, owners must agree to rent the new structure to a homeless resident who will be supplied for two years with rental assistance and case management through the county's homeless services authority.

Los Angeles-specific  rules governing ADU construction  are still a work in progress, but statewide standards have made constructing the units a simpler process in the meantime. That's caught the interest of property owners, who  applied to build nearly 2,000 ADUs  in the first 10 months after the new rules took effect.

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October & November Anniversaries
Mazel Tov to our CAT lovebirds!

Stuart & Cipora Kricun 10/3/2018
Robby & Myla Fraser 10/12/2018
Bernard & Jane Shapiro 10/21/2018
Melvyn & Irene Reznick 10/25/2018
Louis & Fran Zigman 10/27/2018
Norm & Joanie Crosby 11/1/2018
Martin & Phyllis Gilmore 11/1/2018
Godfrey & Barbara Dekovner- Mayer Harris 11/5/2018
Aaron & Nina Bush 11/8/2018
Ruth A. & Dale G. Pressman 11/11/2018
Richard & Marianne Kahn 11/22/2018
Irv & Mallory Sobel 11/30/2018

October & November  Birthdays
And many happy returns!
bday grumpy cat         

Adrienne Leevan 10/1/2018
Jolie Ancel 10/6/2018
Sidney Crestol 10/7/2018
Jane Shapiro 10/8/2018
Marilyn Weisleder 10/15/2018
Louis Milkowski 10/17/2018
Lynn Zaifert 10/17/2018
Bobbie Tepperman 10/20/2018
Carol Jean Delmar 10/24/2018
Sue Glass 10/24/2018
Eugene Heller 10/26/2018
Stanley Weisleder 10/26/2018
Roberta Siegman 10/27/2018
Elizabeth Chodar 11/1/2018
Barry Glazer 11/2/2018
Melvin Fineburg 11/3/2018
Edythe Horwitz 11/3/2018
Anne Berenzweig 11/5/2018
Morton Fallick 11/7/2018
Melvyn Reznick 11/12/2018
Elton Lewis Bailiss 11/15/2018
Faye Frankel 11/16/2018
Tess Cutler 11/17/2018
Dr. Nathan Sperling 11/21/2018
Stephen Maitland-Lewis 11/22/2018
Chelsea Cutler 11/25/2018
Jean Rosenblatt 11/27/2018
Gladys Charitan 11/28/2018
Norman Kantor 11/28/2018
Rosaline Gershuny 11/29/2018
Myla Fraser 11/30/2018
Yossi Oseary 11/30/2018

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September & October Onegs
Thank you to our sponsors!

As always, thank you to our annual oneg sponsor:  ARNOLD & GLADYS CHARITAN 

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Refuah Shleima

CAT wishes speedy recoveries to

September & October Yahrzeits 
May you be comforted by the mourners of Zion

Marc & Barbara Barenfeld  In memory of Charles Barenfeld
Joni Berry, & Stephen Maitland-Lewis In memory of Inez Eichenbaum
Michael Carson In memory of Iva Joann Morehead
Arnold & Gladys Charitan In memory of Estelle & Alexander Korn
Ruth DiPietro In memory of Dora Moses
Faye Frankel  In memory of Sol Platzner and Sam Dervin
Stuart Freeman In memory of Rachael Wager-LaCross
Godfrey Harris & Barbara Mayer In memory of Edward & Dolly Davidson
Joseph Hoffman  In memory of Rochelle Hoffman
Barbara Rae Levine In memory of Avis Levine
Sharon  Mason & Robert Masino   In memory of Miriam Mason
Danton Rissner  In memory of Leah Rissner
Schultz, Darlene In memory of Jacob Popkin &  Harry Schultz
Barbara Lee Schulz In memory of Annette Gruman Schulz
Bernard & Jane Shapiro In memory of Lena  & Sol Shapiro
Veprin, Tootsie In memory of Harvey Veprin & Sadie Raphael
Harriet Von Stroheim In memory of Beatrice Lee Davis
Evelyn Wiggins In memory of Irving Wiggins

If you made a donation in memory of your loved one and you don't see it here, it is because it was received after publication deadline and will appear next month

Review From the Pew
By Rabbi Jerry Ram Cutler


A STAR IS BORN | Official Trailer | 2018 [HD]
A STAR IS BORN | Official Trailer | 2018 [HD]

It's de ja vous all over again. The plot is the same (this is the 3rd version I have seen) and the story is along the same lines with a slightly different scenario.  What sets this screenplay apart from its predecessors is the stark direction of first time director, Bradley Cooper and the welcoming presence and terrific acting of Lady Gaga.
Cooper's use of close-ups lends a penetrating insight to the story telling captures the emotions and intensity of its subject. It's a gift that will look great on his resume.

As for Lady Gaga.  She is not only one of the most gifted recording artists of her generation but her acting skills as guided by Cooper, should keep her busy reading a plethora of movie scripts forwarded to her by her agent.

Cooper stars as Jackson Maine, a recording and high powered personal appearance attraction, who is in popular demand. An addiction to booze and pills is an ominous omen to his eventual downfall.
Following a successful gig, he wanders in to a gay club for a shot or two of whiskey. Sitting at the bar he is captivated by the performance of Ally (Gaga), one of the bar's regular entertainers.

He takes her home and she abruptly leaves the car after rejecting his advances. Telling her dad, a wonderful Andrew Dice Clay, of her evening. Being a former club singer once compared by a fan to Frank Sinatra, he is disappointed with her reaction to Maine.

Ally accepts a backstage invitation to see Maine at a packed concert. Persuaded by Maine to sing a duet with him, she is soon pursued by an agent who foresees stardom in her future. At first, he is happy for her growth. As her notoriety grows, Maine's jealousy and addiction hit a new low.

In case you are young and haven't seen or heard about any of the previous "A Song Is Born" films starring Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland or Barbra Streisand, I won't divulge the ending. Cooper, who sings very well in addition to his other immense God-Gifted talents, is a treat to see regardless of the role he is playing. As for Gaga, her star will only burn brighter as the Lady is truly an iconic talent.

  3 ½ Bagels out of 4
For mature audiences


Review From the Pew
By Rabbi Jerry Ram Cutler

Bad Times at the El Royale 
Bad Times at the El Royale | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX
Bad Times at the El Royale | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

The El Royale, once playing headliners, has fallen on bad times after losing its gambling license. Once a glamorous get-away for fun and the appearance of marquis name entertainers, is now a shadow of what it was with its hotel register's names very sparse.  Now a downtrodden third rate place to hole up for a day or two, it attracts castaways and lost souls.

It is a day in 1969, (references to J. Edgar Hoover and President Nixon are seen or heard) the hotel sits on Lake Tahoe built on the border line of Nevada and California. The El Royale's manager, Miles Miller, played by a marvelous Lewis Pullman, greets an eclectic menagerie of forlorn and mysterious guests as they check into the hotel.

Among the guests are Jeff Bridges as Father Daniel Flynn whose disheveled appearance and love for liquor casts doubts as to his authenticity. He befriends Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo in a breakout performance) a former backup singer yearning to become a star on her own. Other guests are Jon Hamm posing as Laramie Seymour Sullivan, a gregarious vacuum cleaner salesman.

Enter Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson) a standoffish hippie who has just kidnapped her young sister from charismatic cult leader Billy Lee, very well played with all the character flaws and maniacal traits by Chris Hayworth.

The setup by writer/producer Drew Goddard is suspenseful and most inviting as is the brilliant lighting, set decorations and photography emblazon an exciting noir feel.

As enthralled as we are, settling in for a terrific time at the movies with each damaged guest, Goddard's screenplay lets the story meander a bit too long as the heart of the film loses its bite and never materializes. With Bridges doing his best to put everyone's problems at ease, the drama turns and evolves into too dark an arena. I was disappointed at the end when violence put a damper to speculative hope.

To that point, it was a bit long, watchable and entertaining. And, with Bridges cast as a questionable priest, spending time at the "El Royale" isn't so bad.

  3 Bagels out of 4
For mature audiences

Review From the Pew
By Rabbi Jerry Ram Cutler

The Guilty

The Guilty - Trailer - SFF 18
The Guilty - Trailer - 

Did you ever receive a gift in a small package and when you opened it, it turned out to be much bigger and gratifying?

That's the reaction I had when I finished viewing "The Guilty" which is set entirely in a Copenhagen police station. Asger Holm, (Jakob Cedergren) is a policeman on temporary duty answering telephones from people in distress...a slight demotion from his regular duties as a street cop.

He fields a few calls and dismisses them as frivolous or coming from cranks with nothing better to do. One call grabs his immediate attention.  It is from a frantic woman, Iben, who claims to have been abducted. She must whisper as her kidnapper is in the car with her.

The set-up is riveting especially when the story becomes more dramatic when it is revealed that a murder has been committed and that a young child is in danger.

Using all the techniques he has learned as a police officer, Holm very rarely puts down his headphones to survey the situation. All he knows is that he must think clearly if he is to save Iben's life.

Every minute is precious as Holm, who we learn is on the carpet for a mistake in judgement he made and must answer for the next day. With pressure unrelenting, he tries to comfort Iben and sends a dispatch to look for the car she is in and another dispatch to go to her home and save the boy.

Unfolding in its regular 85 minute length, Gustav Moller, a first time director who also co-wrote "The Guilty," stays fixed on the facial expressions and emotions of Cedergren's excellent performance.

Moller has a flare for suspense and his taut direction coupled with the acting, has given us a riveting film to enjoy without overbearing music and sexual innuendos.

3 Bagels and a shmear out of 4

Opening Friday in select theatres October 19th.

Why Gangsters Who Broke Every Law Still Went to Services on Yom Kippur

They stole. They murdered. But many Jewish mobsters still saw religious observance as an integral part of their identity.

(Ryan Inzana)

On Yom Kippur in 1929, Louis Fleisher, Harry Fleisher, and Henry Shorr attended services at Orthodox Congregation B'nai David in Northwest Detroit. The three men-all sterling members of the  Purple Gang, Detroit's mostly Jewish mob-had plenty to atone for: The Purple Gang controlled the city's illegal gambling, smuggled liquor during Prohibition, and had a hand in most of Detroit's underworld vice. The gang didn't hesitate to resort to violence-arson, bombings, and murder-when its operations were threatened. They were reputedly more ruthless than Chicago's Capone gang.

The three gangsters didn't notice three other men sitting in the back of the synagogue: G-men disguised in black Hasidic garb who hoped to arrest the three hoodlums after the service. But when the non-Jewish G-men lit up cigarettes during the intermission, not knowing that striking a match or lighting a fire is forbidden on Yom Kippur, their cover was blown and the gangsters got away.

The men of the Purple Gang weren't the only Jewish mobsters who observed Jewish rituals, even as they committed crimes that broke all of the Ten Commandments, as I discovered while doing research for my book on Jewish mobsters,  But He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters. When examining FBI files and interviewing old-time Jewish criminals and their relatives, I found that plenty of Jewish mobsters prayed in synagogue on Shabbat, observed Jewish holidays, maintained religious rituals, fasted on Yom Kippur, and attended Passover Seders.

Sam "Red" Levine provides a singular illustration of this. Levine was New York City gangster Charley "Lucky" Luciano's favorite contract killer. According to Martin Gosch and Richard Hammer's 1975 book  The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano, Lucky called Red "the best driver and hitman I had." Red also had another persona: He was an Orthodox Jew. He always wore a kipah under his hat, ate only kosher food, and conscientiously observed the Sabbath. Levine never planned to murder anyone from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. But, according to Gosch and Hammer, if Levine had no choice and had to make the hit on Shabbat, he would first put on a tallit, say his prayers, and then go and do the job.

Abner "Longy" Zwillman, dubbed the "Al Capone of New Jersey," reigned as king of the rackets in Newark from the Prohibition era to the 1950s. Next to Meyer Lansky, he was the most prominent Jewish mob boss in America. He reached this pinnacle through brains and violence. Despite his reputation as a ruthless mobster, Zwillman remained sensitive to his Jewish upbringing. Jerry Kugel-whose father Hymie was Longy's good friend-told me the following story when I interviewed him in 1991: When Hymie died, Zwillman stood outside and would not enter the chapel where the casket lay. Jerry could not understand this slight. He asked Zwillman why he wouldn't go into the funeral parlor. Zwillman replied that he couldn't. Why, asked Jerry. "Because I'm a kohen," said Zwillman; as a descendant of the priestly class, he was forbidden to come into contact with a dead body.

There are other examples from all around the country of Jewish gangsters obeying certain Jewish laws. How does one explain hoodlums, killers, vicious and violent men adhering to certain biblical injunctions? What about the Sixth Commandment, "You shall not murder," and the Eighth Commandment, "You shall not steal"? Why this paradox in their lives?

The Purples and most Jewish gangsters during Prohibition were the children of Eastern European Jewish immigrants who had come to the United States between 1881 and 1914. The mobsters had been born in America or came as kids. According to Arthur Hertzberg, in his 1997 book The Jews in America, most of their parents had not been part of the religious elite of their communities-the more pious and religiously Orthodox Jews heeded their rabbis' warnings that America was a trayfe medina (non-kosher land) and stayed behind in Europe. Nonetheless, the Jews who did immigrate came from places where the Jewish religion and Jewish traditions persisted as an integral part of the milieu. Most of the immigrants may not have been Orthodox according to Jewish law, but they maintained traditional Jewish religious patterns and brought these practices with them to America. Out of habit, a non-believing Jew might still observe the dietary laws at home, occasionally go to synagogue, and say kaddish for departed parents. These immigrants practiced what sociologist Charles Liebman, in his 1993 book The Ambivalent American Jew, called a kind of Jewish folk religion.

The Jewish mobsters grew up in these traditional homes in Jewish neighborhoods that were infused with folk Judaism, such as New York's Lower East Side, Chicago's West Side, and Detroit's East Side. And like many of their non-criminal peers, some of them continued these behavioral patterns into adulthood. Jewish ritual remained an indelible part of their identity, a part of who and what they were.

Perhaps the greatest influence on the "Jewishness" of these men were their mothers. Many of the major Jewish mobsters, including Meyer Lansky, Dutch Schultz, Lepke Buchalter, Longy Zwillman, and Mickey Cohen, as well as those I interviewed, revered their mothers. Family and friends recounted to me how these men doted on their mothers and treated them with utmost kindness and respect. In the 1979 book  Meyer Lansky: Mogul of the Mob, Lansky told Israeli journalist Uri Dan how his mother "hated to see us go hungry, and she was always ready to give us her share because, like every Jewish mother in the neighborhood, she gladly sacrificed herself for her children." These mens' relationship with their fathers was more problematic. Part of this resulted from the fathers never reconciling to their sons' criminal way of life.

Jewish mothers sacrificed for their children, but they expected something in return. One of their requests was that their sons sei Yidden (be Jews) and maintain a connection with the Jewish community. At least during their mothers' lifetime, a goodly number of these tough Jewish mobsters obeyed. Detroit mobster Harry Kasser told me in a 1986 conversation that he attended synagogue on the High Holidays solely to please his mother. All of the old-time Jewish mobsters I interviewed could speak Yiddish and practiced some of the Jewish customs. Most of their closest friends and associates in crime and outside of crime were Jews; they married Jewish women (at least their first wives) in ceremonies conducted by rabbis; they contributed to Jewish causes; they attended synagogue on the High Holidays; and they circumcised their sons and made bar mitzvahs.

Another factor contributing to the paradox in these mens' lives was their ability to separate what they did to earn a living-their "business" lives-and the way they behaved in their personal lives. Behaviorists refer to this as "compartmentalization": being able to act one way in the private world and another way in the public sphere, even if the result was blatantly inconsistent behavior. This paradox was expressed to me by a lawbreaker named Myron (he asked that I not use his family name). For years the FBI tried and failed to obtain a conviction against him. The Internal Revenue Service succeeded, however, and Myron ended up going to prison for income tax evasion. When we spoke in 1991, I asked him if he wanted his son to follow in his footsteps with all the dangers it entailed. He replied: "I would say to him that I chose my life, you go choose your life. The only thing is that whatever you choose to do, I would say to him, you gotta put on tefillin every morning, you gotta eat kosher meat, and you have to maintain certain principles."

Throughout their lives, Jewish mobsters remained products of their homes and the environments in which they grew up. Whether they believed in God or not, in adulthood they continued the Jewish traditions they learned as children. No matter how vile their later behavior, in each of these men there remained a pintele Yid, a spark of Jewishness. Meyer Lansky, the alleged godfather of Jewish organized crime, told me in 1980 that he was a non-believer. Yet he maintained his membership in a synagogue, regularly contributed money for its upkeep, and attended services on the Jewish holidays.

Labor racketeer Lepke Buchalter displayed similarly paradoxical behavior. He commanded an army of gangsters who terrorized New York's garment industry. His gang's weapons were destructive acids, bludgeons, blackjacks, knives, fire, ice picks, and guns. At his peak, he controlled a wide assortment of businesses and unions including the bakery and pastry drivers, the milliners, the garment workers, the poultry market, the taxicab business, the motion picture operators, and the fur truckers. Despite the murderous brutality he exercised in his business affairs, he was a considerate son and a doting husband and father. He described himself as a Jew, contributed money to his mother's synagogue, attended High Holiday services, and, according to the FBI, led a quiet home life.

The paradox sometimes lasted till the end of the mobster's life. Harry "Gyp the Blood" Horowitz was a vicious brute and killer of enormous strength, who thought nothing of breaking a man's back for fun. In 1914, he and three accomplices were convicted of murdering the gambler Herman Rosenthal and were sentenced to death. According to the April 18, 1914, edition of the Forward, after being strapped into the electric chair at Sing Sing, Gyp recited the Shema. When he finished, a jolt of electricity surged through his body, killing him instantly. One of his accomplices, Louis "Lefty Louie" Rosenberg, died in the electric chair holding a chumash.

Later in life many of the Jewish mobsters strayed far from the traditions of their youth. But almost all of them received Jewish burials at their death. Despite the brutal and illegal nature of the lives they led, at their demise many of these underworld figures still remained tied to their families, their people, and the Jewish tradition.

For Your Enjoyment

Danny Kaye & Harry Belafonte sing
Danny Kaye & Harry Belafonte sing "Hava Nagila" 1965

Please make a note the Creative Arts Temple has a new phone number as of July 27, 2018. 

Our new phone number is 

Our address is:

Creative Arts Temple
P.O. Box 241831
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Creative Arts Temple

P.O. Box 241831
Los Angeles, CA 90024

(818) 855-1301
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