November 15, 2017 | 26 Heshvan, 5778
This Week

Friday, 11/17
7:30 pm
Pink Shabbat Zimrah

Celebrate resiliency with a soulful evening of music and prayer. Join Cantor Kerith Spencer-Shapiro and Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein for a special Pink Shabbat Zimrah featuring:

  • Peter Gordon
  • Ava Nahas
  • Yuval Ron

Terry Nikkhoo will share her story of triumph and resliency.
Saturday, 11/18
9:00 am
Hevrah Torah

9:00 am
Tot Shabbat

9:00 am
Torah Off the Beaten Path

Sunday, 11/19
9:30 am
Film Society Screening of Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
Tikkun Olam

As Vice President of Tikkun Olam here at University Synagogue, I am
honored to share with you that we have joined our fellow Reform Jewish congregations around the country in signing on to a Brit Olam on behalf of our Reform Movement. Social Justice is one of the core principles of Reform Jewish practice. We understand that we are partners with God and humanity in ensuring that we help create a more perfect world. 

The Brit Olam that we have signed is not binding mandate on specific issues of justice. Rather it is a holy covenant in which we as University Synagogue acknowledge that there is brokenness in this world and the mandate to repair that brokenness is not based on petty partisan politics, but on a deep religious and moral obligation to create a more fair, kind and compassionate world. In just a few weeks a delegation of us (both staff and lay leadership) will travel to Boston for our Reform Movement's Biennial convention. At this Biennial I wear a few hats-national board member of the Union for Reform Judaism and national member of the Commission on Social Action. But traveling to this Biennial with our community signing onto this Brit Olam, the proudest hat I wear is VP of Tikkun Olam for University Synagogue. Please click on the box below to see the article by URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs on the importance of this Brit Olam in our movement.

Julie Bank
Vice President of Tikkun Olam
Thank you to our Mavens for a fantastic event of music and dancing! And, thank you to our staff Bonnie Kebre and Emilie Leder. 
Jeff Melvoin
Susan Corwin
Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein
Marc Firestone
Steve Galper
Jeannette Mills
Monte Montgomery
Barry Pressman
Cantor Kerith Spencer-Shapiro
Sam Urdank
Jordan Reddout Wilhoit
Jonathan Zucker
University Synagogue Film Society Screening: Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

The next screening at the University Synagogue Film Society is  “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” an Israeli drama about a woman trying to get a divorce in the Israeli religious court system.  November 19 at 9:30AM in the Grey Family Chapel .

This gripping film was the Israeli finalist for Best Foreign Film 2015 . It transcends the courtroom with the empathy it creates for life as it is lived on a daily basis by many Israeli women.

Our guest will be the distinguished family lawyer, Alexandra Leichter , who has represented women requesting divorce in the Los Angeles religious court.

Because the US Film Society does not charge admission and is funded by your contributions, you and a guest are invited to take Ms. Leichter to lunch at Divino nearby after the discussion. The contribution requested is $250 and is partially tax deductible. 

Please RSVP for lunch directly to Jim Ruxin at .

" once a fleshed-out character, a political metaphor, a shout to heaven and earth”...NY Times.

See you at the movies!
Together As One
His face changed. It happened just after he stepped on the stage. Dressed in a black robe and a white Sufi cap, he walked slowly from the left wing of the stage and stopped. Slowly, he removed his black robe and gently folded it to the ground. He stepped forward, now fully dressed in white as the music started. To the beat of the drum, the bass, the oud, and the qanun, he lifted his arms to chest height, palms upturned, and his face changed. Slowly, he started to twirl, and it appeared to me that light was shining from behind his face, which was now and then upturned heavenward. He continued whirling, faster, faster, then slower, ebb and flow, whirling, whirling, as the music continued, its beat in rhythm with his whirling; his whirling in rhythm with its beat. On and on, he kept whirling, his white skirt undulating as he turned in the ecstasy of his moving meditation. Along with an audience of several hundred people, I watched transfixed as I experienced something enchanting happening in the presence of this magnificent moving prayer. I felt my hair stand on end and rubbed my arms as a chill passed through my body.

During the intermission of this interfaith concert “Together As One” at University Synagogue in Los Angeles, I spoke with my three Muslim neighbors who explained to me that I had just experienced a Whirling Dervish, and what that meant - how much training he had to go through to get to this altered stage of consciousness I had just witnessed. I was so deeply touched, and shared with them that I had felt a shift in my soul that evening. They smiled, I learned their names, I asked them to dance with me in the aisles during the second half of the concert to the wonderful music of the Yuval Ron Ensemble. During the second half, we listened to Yuval tell inspiring stories, and we did indeed dance to the music, our bodies swaying in rhythmic movement to the beat, allowing the joy to move us as we connected with each other in sound and touch. And then the Whirling Dervish came on stage again. He connected with the source beyond the sanctuary and I gave myself over to the moment.

At the end of the concert, Cantor Kerith Spencer-Shapiro invited the clergy present to come forward to the stage to bless the food that had been brought for the homeless. The ‘ticket’ for entry to the concert was food and new clothing for the homeless. The audience had been so generous in their offerings. I stood on stage with my fellow Jewish, Muslim and Christian clergy colleagues, and when it was my turn to speak, I opened my mouth to bless the food, and I too felt blessed to be present, Together As One.

The concert ended with John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” - each verse sung in four languages: Arabic, English, Hebrew and Spanish, with the entire audience joining in with the chorus. I sat still as everyone was leaving, just trying to process what I had experienced. Nadia, my Muslim neighbor, pressed something into my hand that looked like a rosary. “This is called a Tasbih. I use it every day when I pray, and I want you to have it.” A profound gift. Together As One.  

Guest writer
Cantor Sue Knight Deutsch 
Join Cantor Shapiro for a Shabbat morning hike and Torah experience! Enjoy nature and God’s creation with old and new friends. We will give and receive blessings and chant from the scroll. No experience with Torah or hiking necessary!

The next event will be on Saturday, November 18 at 9:00 a.m . Please arrive at 8:45 a.m. to allow for parking. Torah Off the Beaten Path will be at Temescal Canyon Loop.

Meet at the trail head between 8:45-9 am Start hiking at 9. The hiking trail begins at Temescal Gateway Park:15601 Sunset Blvd (Sunset & Temescal). Either park on Temescal for free or park inside for a fee. (Usually $7). As you head into the canyon you will reach a series of buildings that are part of a conference center. There are restrooms here as well as an information kiosk. Meet at the trail head by the brown sign.

We will see you there! 
With the holidays approaching soon, this is the special time of year that our hearts go out to those who are far less fortunate than we are.

Here at University Synagogue we have an annual tradition of making the residents at the Ocean Park Community Center HOMELESS SHELTER feel cared about! It has been 7 years that our Sisterhood has sponsored a Holiday Party, including refreshments,music, (a DJ for karaoke) and well needed practical gifts for all of the shelter residents.

The homeless population in our city has grown tremendously. The shelter's population is 70, including men and women.

Our traditional and warmly received gifts have been NEW towel sets: two bath towels, two hand towels, and two wash cloths. We are counting on as many families as possible to contribute to this generous tradition. Placing the towel sets in large gift bags will make them festive and exciting to receive. Some of you have even put small toiletries items in the bags (shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, mouth wash, lotion, etc collected from hotel and vacation stays, or purchased).

Please bring the gift bags to the front office, and we will be sure that the residents have them by the time that we have our Holiday Party. We would like to have them no later than December 18th .

Many, many thanks, without your participation and generous involvement we could not carry on with this meaningful and gratifying tradition!!


Suzy Giambattista and Enid Friedman
Social Action Chair Women of Sisterhood

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 .

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.  
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 .

9:00 AM - Torah Off the Beaten Path

6:30pm - Family Shabbat Service with Gan and Alef
Consecration ceremony for all new Gan, Alef and Bet students

6:30 PM - Sisterhood Hanukkah Dinner 

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, Auf-Ruf or Baby Naming

Click here to see the sponsorships. 

For more information, please contact Bonnie Kebre at .