December 6, 2017 | 18 Kislev, 5778
This Week

Friday, 12/8
6:30 pm
Shabbat Evening Service: People of the Book welcomes Rabbi Naomi Levy, author of "Einstein and the Rabbi"

Saturday, 12/9
9:00 am
Hevrah Torah

9:00 am
Tot Shabbat am
Sunday, 12/10
9:00 am
Religious School - Last Sunday Before Winter Break

9:30 am
Film Society Screening of "Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis"
Tell Your Friends—Please Do Not Leave Your Car at University Synagogue

Security is always our top priority at University Synagogue. We are in constant contact with law enforcement, have regular trainings and drills, and stay up to date on both news and innovations.

We were blessed to receive a homeland security grant some years ago that allowed us to build the outer perimeter, put up a security booth, and institute a number of protocols to keep our community safe.

As you know, we have outer and inner gates. The inner gate is only accessible via a security guard or keypad code. The outer gate is locked when the building is closed. And, we do close. We schedule our staff and security based on what is happening at the synagogue. When there are no events or when events are over, we turn off the lights, close the building and lock the outer gates. In order to remain secure, we are not able to provide our security codes.

If you leave your car on the premises, please know that it will be locked on site until the building re-opens. 

As I have mentioned, we’re happy you feel at home here . Please do not leave your car in our lot unless you are here for a meeting or event.  

Thank you for helping to keep University Synagogue safe.  

Lisabeth Lobenthal
Executive Director
1st Candle: December 12th

Hanukkah means "dedication" in Hebrew, and refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and "rededication" of the Temple in Jerusalem. The modern home celebration of Hanukkah centers around the lighting of the hanukkiyah, a special menorah for Hanukkah; foods prepared in oil including latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts); and special songs and games.

Please see our Happy Hanukkah Guide for some useful resources to help you celebrate the Hanukkah miracle!
Einstein and the Rabbi, December 8th

Join us on December 8th at 7:30pm when R abbi Naomi Levy , founder and spiritual leader of Nashuva, will be speaking at University Synagogue as part of our “People of the Book series on “Einstein and the Rabbi.” She became the first female Conservative rabbi to head a pulpit on the West Coast. Author of three books, she has appeared on NBC's Today Show and on Oprah, and has been featured in Parade, Redbook, Self, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and Los Angeles magazines. We welcome her return to our congregation!
From a review of Einstein and the Rabbi by Jonathan Kirsch:  The title of the book refers to a kind of mystery story that runs throughout the work. Levy found her way to an obscure letter whose author turned out to be Albert Einstein: “A human being … experiences himself … as something separate from the rest,” the great scientist wrote. “The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion.” The letter inspired her to play the role of a detective: “Little did I know that this powerful teaching by Einstein about the universe would lead me to the soul of a stranger, and that I would feel compelled to follow the sacred thread of his story.” I won’t give away the ending — or the fascinating and sometimes sorrowful twists and turns — of the story that she tells about Einstein’s letter except to say that it carries a profound irony. For Levy, the words of a famous man of science reveal a path to something every bit as elusive as the theory of relativity — the human soul.
It Is Holiday Party Time Again at Cloverfield OPCC!

Please join the Sisterhood sponsored party on December 22nd from 2pm to 4pm at the Cloverfield location for a festive celebration If you have not already donated two sets of towels in a gift bag, please bring them with you if you attend.

Must RSVP to:

All are welcome!

Holiday sing along and much more!

Hope to see you there!

Suzy Giambattista
Enid Friedman
Social Action VP
New Research Highlights Success of Reform Jewish Youth Engagement

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) has released preliminary survey findings showing the impact of Reform Movement Youth Programs on Jewish Identity. The URJ retained Rosov Consulting to examine the effect of participation in summer camp, youth group, and other Reform Movement youth activities on the Jewish identities of the participants. Among the key preliminary findings:

  • Alumni are far more likely to care about being Jewish than are the general Reform population. Alumni, regardless of whether they come from interfaith families, are more than twice as likely (81% vs. 37%) to say that identifying as Jewish is “very important” to them.

  • Alumni are three times more likely than non-alumni to say that “being part of a Jewish community” is an essential part of being Jewish.

  • Younger alumni (ages 25-39) place a higher value on “choosing and adapting Jewish rituals” than their older peers.

  • Alumni are more likely to marry Jewish, whether or not they themselves were raised in interfaith families.

The full survey results will confirm the success of the URJ Youth model, which reinforces congregational engagement by connecting local, regional, and national youth programs. Being able to provide complementary and meaningful engagement opportunities across individual communities drives a sense of belonging to greater Jewish community throughout the course of a lifetime.
Film Society Screening of
"Method to the Madness
of Jerry Lewis"

 The Film Society will screen "Method To The Madness of Jerry Lewis" on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 9:30 AM in the chapel.
The late Jerry Lewis (born in 1926, Jerome or Joseph Levitch) was not just a hyperactive man-boy who made you made you laugh with his antics, inventive stunts and humor. His story follows the American struggle for identity after 1945.

This in-depth documentary film peels back the layers of the real person, to reveal the development of his talent and his craft as a director and innovator. Sourced from his films and his personal photo and film archive, you'll enjoy rare footage never seen before, and interviews with Steven Spielberg, Carol Burnett, Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, Carl Reiner and others who knew him.

This full-length documentary was made by a member of University Synagogue who will be our guest on Sunday. The film was produced for Starz and screened at Cannes to a standing ovation.

As always, there is no charge for admission. But you may support the US Film Society by taking the guest to lunch for a contribution of $250 for more stories about Jerry.

See you at the movies!
University Synagogue is committed to Tikkun Olam. Here's how you can help this holiday season!

  • Gift Cards for Hurricane Victims: National chains only, please! Gift cards will be going out to Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, so recipients must be able to use them. Walmart, Target, Subway, and Trader Joe's Gift Cards are all accepted national chains!

  • New Towel Sets: For the residents at the Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC) Homeless Shelter. Sets include two bath towels, two hand towels, and two wash cloths. Added toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and mouthwash are welcome and encouraged!

  • Donate to Baby2Baby: New and like-new items are accepted for low-income children, ages 0 - 12! All clothing, backpacks and school supplies, toys, bottles, baby food, formula, and more would be greatly appreciated by those in need. For a full list of donation items, please visit
Thank you for your kind contribution to those in need!
Please have all donations delivered to University Synagogue by:

December 18th

6:30 PM - Sisterhood Hanukkah Dinner 

7:30 PM - Human Rights Shabbat, "People of the Book" featuring Rabbi Naomi Levy. Einstein and the Rabbi .

9:00am - Tot Shabbat

7:30pm - Shabbat Hanukkah Zimrah

10:30am - Shabbat Hanukkah Service celebrating Frances Spencer-Shapiro becoming a Bat Mitzvah

5:30pm - Shabbat Services*

5:30pm - Shabbat Services*

*Please note special times!
University Synagogue Membership Directory
A membership directory is a wonderful way to reach out, connect and stay in touch. University Synagogue will be creating one within the next few months. We plan to include pictures so people can put faces to names when we see each other around the synagogue.

 Please email your favorite photo to our Engagement Coordinator, Emilie Leder at by Friday, December 22. 

We want to respect your privacy. This directory is for the  private non-commercial use of the members of University Synagogue only.  If you do not wish to have your information listed, please let us know by contacting Emilie at the above email. If we do not hear from you, we will presume it is o.k. to print your information which will include, name, address, phone number and email. We’re looking forward to connecting.  
Follow University Synagogue on Facebook!
Want to stay up to date on all events and activities? Please like and follow us on our Facebook page. Simply click on the button below, sign into your Facebook account, and click like. 
Calling all Greeters!

If you’re interested in welcoming our community at services, we want you. All you need is a smile.

Please contact our Executive Director, Lisabeth Lobenthal at
High Holy Days 5778/2017
Thank you to all who helped make our High Holy Days so meaningful
Thank you to those who joined us on the Bemah:
Meredith and Jason Abber
Stephanie and Jonathan Carson
Donna Shapiro and Angel Castillo
Jill and Allen Chozen
Cami and Howard Gordon
Abbi Hertz and David Krauss
Sophia and Elliot Horowitz
Anne and Arnold Kopelson
Heather and Brian Lazarus
Cindy and Jerry Lederer
Gail Berman and Bill Masters
Martha and Jeff Melvoin
Mona and Steve Miller
Terry and Kevin Nikkhoo
Deborah Price and Allan Golad
Bruce Sanders
Allison and Matt Schwartz
Azee and Robert Shamsi
Meryl Shapiro-Tuchin and Michael Tuchin
Jennifer Haarmann and Mitch Viner
Karlene and Howard Weg
Julia and Roy Weinstein
Susan and Larry Weiss
Lynne and Jacques Wertheimer

Thank you to our candle lighters:
Margarete Feinstein
Cindy Lederer
Scott Spencer

Thank you to those who shared their personal stories:
Nancy Abell
Julie Bank
Jill Chozen
Lynda and Alan Goldman
John Libby
Amy Madnick
Bill Sanders
Allison Schwartz

Thank you to our Shofar Blowers:
Sammy Lena
Karen Shanbrom
Josh Wieder

Brentwood Havurah Participants:
Micah Gordon
Rob Izenberg
Max Karmazyn
Jeffrey Melvoin
Nick Melvoin
Jeanette Mills
Yuval Ron

Yashar Koach to those who chanted from the Torah or offered an Aliyah:
Allie Abemayor
Emilie Badener
Asher Bank
Nicola Bird and Seth Weisberg
Mira Chaskes
Mara Fein
Eliana Feinstein
Renata Feinstein
Enid Friedman
Emily Glenn
Madeline Glenn
Bennett Golad
Emma Pearl Golad
Hannah Goldsobel
Lucas Goldsobel
Cami and Howard Gordon
Capp Gordon
Abbie Harooni
Cole Heine
Gail and Bob Israel
Zach Jacobs
Ana Kahan
Lucy Kahan
Chloe Kaufman
Ezra Krieger
Sammy Lena
Jason Morganbesser
Tiana Nikkhoo
Ben Onkin
Damon Pizzuto
Ellie Ross
Allen Schultz
Jake Shapiro
Sydney Shear
Congressman Brad Sherman
Karen Sillas
Scott Spencer
Meryl Shapiro-Tuchin and Michael Tuchin
Jessica Tuchin
Jordan Tuchin
Joe Weiner
Michael Weisberg
Rachel Weiss
Zach Weiss
Megan Williams
Karina Wisen

Thank you to our Choir and instrumentalists:
Niv Ashkenazi
Herman Barnathan
Alicia Blanc
Susan Buttros
Bradley Cohen
Liesl Erman
Mara Fein
Sam Fischer
Megan Gillespie
Emily Glenn
Jody Golightly
Peter Gordon
Lynn Grants
Susan Greenberg
Marie Hodgson
Dennis Karmazyn
Jackson McDonald
Josie McGibbon
Julie Metz
Jeanette Mills
Ruth and Rick Mills
Ava Nahas
Thomas Neenan
Mariana Ramiriz
Anne Richards
Yuval Ron
Laurie Schoemann
Danielle Segen
Thomas Segen
Zev Spencer-Shapiro
Brandon Turner
Ian Walker
Dina Spevack-Weiss
Josh Wieder

Special Thanks to:
Hevrah Torah Class
Tikkun Olam Committee
Visitors to Israel
UNITY Officers
Board of Trustees of University Synagogue
Sisterhood Board of Trustees
Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles
Annual Hanukkah Party and Program
Join the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles (JGSLA) for an Annual Hanukkah Party and Program here at University Synagogue!

December 17, 2017
12:30pm - 4:00pm

Admission is free for JGSLA members, and $5.00 for guests! A s always, we open new memberships that day for $25.

We will be showing the film "Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness", and there will be a Hanukkah buffet of latkes with sour cream and applesauce, sufganiyot, and even some healthy things to eat. Program begins at 1:30pm.

This is a great opportunity to bring friends to learn about Jewishgen and get into the holiday spirit.

Mitzvah Corps: We're Here For You!
The University Synagogue Mitzvah Corps wants you to know that we're here, and we care!   Dedicated to serving our fellow congregants as they encounter major life cycle events, we will gladly send a welcome gift to a new baby, and provide support for ill or mourning congregants and their families (delivering a hot meal, completing a minyan, running an errand, etc.).  

If you’re in need of some TLC from the Mitzvah Corps, please just inform any clergy member or the synagogue office.    We’d also love to have you join us as a volunteer — the demands are few and the rewards are plentiful!
Please contact Susan Wieder at .
Know of Anyone...?

We rely on our University Synagogue families , th eir friends and relatives, to alert us when someone is hospitalized or suffering any illness or bereavement. The Clergy would also be delighted to learn about happy events such as celebrating a birth, or any Simchah. Local hospitals do not release patient information; kindly call Sue Share, Assistant to the Clergy, at 310-472-1255, ext. 120, or email her at , so that our Rabbis and Cantors can better serve our congregation.
Oneg Shabbat Sponsorships

Share your special life cycle event with the congregation on Friday night!
Birthday, Anniversary, Engagement, Aufruf or Baby Naming

Click here to see the sponsorships. 

For more information, please contact Bonnie Kebre at .