Bat Mitzvah: Hailey Lober – Atlanta Jewish Times

Hailey Brooke Lober of Roswell, the daughter of Michael and Heather Lober and sister of Hannah Lober, was called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah Saturday, Aug. 12, at Temple Beth Tikvah.

She is the granddaughter of Skippy Lober of Merritt Island, Fla., and the late Henry Lober and David and Marilyn Waugh of Jacksonville, Fla.

Hailey is in the eighth grade at Mill Springs Academy, where she has received three Presidents Educational Gold Awards for Outstanding Academic Excellence. She plays fast-pitch softball for the city of Roswell, is on the swim team at Mill Springs and is an equestrienne at Alpha Equestrian. She also enjoys biking, hiking, surfing, skateboarding and kayaking.

Hailey is an active member of the National Charity League, a mother/daughter philanthropic organization. She also is involved in a leadership program at school. Through both programs, Hailey volunteers at such charitable organizations as Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Atlanta Humane Society, the Drake House, DreamWeavers of Georgia, Foster Care Support Foundation, Furkids, the Fulton County Library, Heavens Gait Therapeutic Riding and the North Metro Miracle League. Her favorite volunteer opportunity is tutoring children after school at STAR House, where she makes a personal connection with every child she tutors, resulting in lasting relationships.

Hailey is also a dedicated environmentalist. As part of her mitzvah projects, she joined the Sierra Club to support research into honeybee colony collapse disorder. She certified her familys yard as a wildlife habitat through the World Wildlife Fund and continues to work toward ecological sustainability.

Read the rest here:
Bat Mitzvah: Hailey Lober – Atlanta Jewish Times

Posted in Bat Mitzvah Comments Off on Bat Mitzvah: Hailey Lober – Atlanta Jewish Times

Teen son’s sleepy ways irk dad – Virgin Islands Daily News

Dear Harriette: My teenage son just came home from camp, and all he does is sleep. He has been home for a few days now, and literally I cannot get him out of bed until after 12. I know he had a rigorous schedule at camp, but I feel like I am missing out on enjoying time with my boy before school starts up again. Should I be worried? What can I do to entice him to get up? I dont want to resort to punishment, which is my girlfriends strategy. I do want him to get up before midday.

Wake Up, Cleveland

Dear Wake Up: Give your son a week to acclimate to life at home. He is probably grateful to be able to sleep in for a few days. At most camps, children are up and out of their cabins by 7 or 8 a.m. and are on all day and into the evening. His body could be in real need of simple rest.

After a week, you can let him know that it is time to get back into a regular routine. Make it clear that you expect him to get up earlier each day. This will ease him back into a school schedule and also give the two of you time to reconnect. Be aware, though, that as a teenager, he will probably wake up wanting to spend more time engaging with his friends than with you. That is normal. Establish a balance by appealing to his heart. Make it clear to him that you miss him and want to spend some time with him.

Dear Harriette: My daughter has been invited to so many bar and bat mitzvahs that its hard to count. I like that her friends want to include her in everything, but it is pretty expensive to go to all of these events. This is not because there is a charge. Its all the other stuff, starting with new clothes for multiple events. And while there is no expected amount to be given for a gift, it is considered culturally and spiritually appropriate to give money in increments of $18. How can I get my daughter to all of these parties in comfort without going broke?

Being 13, Westchester, N.Y.

Dear Being 13: Your job is to plan it all out. Decide how many dresses you can and will pay for, and let your daughter know she will have to rotate them through the party cycle. Assure her that she will not be the only one wearing a dress more than once. As far as gifts go, do the same. Figure out how many of these events your daughter is likely to attend, to whom she is the closest and what you can afford to give. If you want to stick with the increments of $18, its OK to give $18. For those who are close friends, give more if you can. Make sure your daughter writes a lovely card for each mitzvah. Be sure to donate to the charity of a childs choice if they defer you to a charity rather than a personal gift.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

More here:
Teen son’s sleepy ways irk dad – Virgin Islands Daily News

Posted in Bat Mitzvah Comments Off on Teen son’s sleepy ways irk dad – Virgin Islands Daily News

Jewish Director Puts Richard Wagner On Trial At His Own Festival – Forward

Scholars have long argued whether Richard Wagner left traces of his anti-Semitic convictions in his opera, for example, by encoding characters with stereotypically Jewish traits.

When Barrie Kosky directed a Ring Cycle in Hannover between 2009 and 2011, the Australian director didnt have a shred of doubt. For him, the duplicitous dwarf Mime (the cycles most charmingly villainous character) was a perfect illustration of what Wagner wrote about Jews and Jewish music, which the composer described as a sense-and-sound-confounding gurgle, yodel and cackle.

You cannot not argue that Mime is the absolute personification of the Jew, which is why he was a Jew inmy production, with yarmulke, payis and vaudeville clowns face, the 50-year-old director reminisced recently from his office in central Berlin.

This summer, Kosky, whose ongoing tenure as artistic director of Komische Oper has been one of this citys most thrilling cultural developments, becomes the first Jewish director to work at Bayreuth, the legendary Wagner festival founded by the composer as the optimal showcase for his work in 1876. His assignment: the composers most nationalist opera, Die Meistersinger von Nrnberg, a work that the Third Reich adored above all others.

Meistersinger, about a singing guild in medieval Nuremberg, which holds a contest for the hand of a fair maiden, is the only comedy among Wagners ten mature operas: but the laughter here is derisive; it is the laughter of exclusion, directed against the pedantic and scheming mediocrity Beckmesser, who, like Mime, has often been interpreted as a Jewish caricature.

That point is open to debate, but theres no charitable way to parse the operas closing monologue. The hero, Hans Sachs, delivers a stirring speech to the victor of the song contest, the knight Stolzing. Sachs warns against foreigners and the decay of what is German and true, and trumpets the eternity of Holy German Art. Stolzing is won over by Sachs eloquence and gladly accepts the mantle of Meister, which he previously rejected.

Modern productions of Meistersinger have grappled with how to deal with this critical and highly problematic moment. In October 2015, the Berlin Staatsoper celebrated the 25th anniversary of German unification with a blissfully nave and clich-lade production from director Andrea Moser that showed a strong and prosperous Germany that had magically escaped the quagmire of history. Not so in David Boschs 2016 production for the Bayerische Staatsoper, set in a visibly depressed German town dominated by boxy gray concrete buildings with satellite dishes. At the conclusion of Boschs production, Stolzing snubbed the guild, grabbed his sweetheart and left town in a hurry. To his credit, Bosch didnt ignore the nationalist ideology inscribed in the opera, like so many others have, (including Otto Schenks grandly historical production at the Met between 1993 and 2014). On the other hand, his idea of rejecting the monologue was clearly at odds with Wagners score.

To me, the monologue is the absolute natural development of the material that happens in the hours beforehand, Kosky explained. At the July 25 premiere, Kosky revealed his key insight about Meistersinger. It isnt at all a piece about Nuremberg or Germany national identity. The operas true subject is Richard Wagner himself.

More ink has been spilled about Wagner than any other artist in history, making the composer at least as fascinating as the operas he bequeathed to posterity. I think Wagner is so complex and so narcissistic that I think all these characters are part of himself, Kosky explained, suggesting a very personal source for Wagners fanatical anti-Semitism. Wagner carried the fear that he himself could contain Jewish blood in him. Whether its true or not, isnt the issue. The issue is that he had the fear.

The curtain rose on Wagners library at Wahnfried (sets by Koskys frequent collaborator Rebecca Ringst), the magnificent house the composer built for himself in Bayreuth. Its a typical evening at casa Wagner, with Richard excitedly opening presents from admirers and swooning over fine silks and perfumes as Franz Liszt pounds out the Meistersinger overture on the piano. The composer dances across the room, lecturing Hermann Levi, the Jewish conductor who had a near-masochistic relationship with Wagner, one moment, and lunging to upwrap a portrait, the next. His wife Cosima visibly irritated by her husbands shenanigans, nurses a headache.

The real Wagner loved to preview his operas-in-progress to his family and friends, reading dramatically from his libretti and providing musical examples in virtuosic one-man-shows that would last for hours. In Koksys production, Wagner scrambles about assigning roles to his guests in what quickly turns into an impromptu performance once the final bars of the overture segue into the Lutheran chorale.

Kosky wittily grafts the fictional characters onto the real ones. Wagner becomes Sachs (the stern Michael Volle); Cosima transforms into Eva (a miscast Anne Schwanewilms); Liszt, Wagners father-in-law, is assigned the role of Pogner (the sonorous Gnter Groissbck), Evas father; a stand-in for Wagner who amusingly crawls out of the piano, assumes the part of Stolzing (the otherworldly Klaus Florian Vogt); poor Hermann Levi reluctantly becomes Sixtus Beckmesser (Johannes Martin Krnzle giving the evenings best performance).

Act I brims over with constant activity and invention. Bayreuths audience is notoriously hostile, especially at premieres. But thunderous applause shook the house once the first act curtain fell. Having raised the bar so high, however, Kosky seemed to be setting himself an impossible task. The remainder of the production never quite reached that same level of theatrical achievement.

The two remaining acts of Meistersinger crescendo in crowd scenes that call for a chorus of over 100. As he has so often in Berlin, Kosky proved himself expert at managing this onstage clutter; the antics that culminate in Beckmesser being pummeled by the nighttime rabble here took on the character of a pogrom, with the town clerk being forced into a gigantic mask of an anti-Semitic caricature right out of Der Strmer. While Beckmesser is thrashed, out-of-sight, behind a painting of Wagner, the evil Jew mask reemerges as a massive balloon dominating the stage. While the symbolism is excessive, Kosky does succeed to conveying one critical point; not that Beckmesser is Jewish, but rather that, at this juncture in the opera, he becomes the Jew the villagers need in order to justify their descent into madness and violence.

One could take the point one step further. Through his theoretical writings and the music that reflected them, Wagner created his own sort of Jew, the undesirable other he was able to define himself and the German culture whose savior he styled himself as in opposition to. I believe you cansee Beckmesser as a metaphor for the fear and humiliation of the assimilated Jew, Kosky explained. Wagners big problem wasnt with Shtetl Jews and Eastern European Jews but with 19th century assimilated Jews. They look like us, they dress like us, they talk like us, but be careful, beware. Theyre out to infiltrate us and destroy us. Its hard not to hear an echo of this suspicion and fear in Meistersingers closing speech.

As in most every Meistersinger production I have seen, Johannestag, the St. John Day setting for the climactic song contest, was presented as a historical Volksfest, with elaborate period costumes (by Klaus Bruns), energetic flag waving for the medieval guilds and good-natured rowdiness. There was one enormous difference, however. Kosky situated the festival inside the courtroom of the Nuremberg Trials. This was Koskys most daring move, as well as his least satisfying one. Stepping out of Wagners monomania, the production contrasted Wagners fairy-tale Nuremberg with the Nuremberg that served as the backdrop for the spectacular rallies immortalized by Leni Riefenstahl in Triumph of the Will, before being chosen as the site to reveal the Nazi regimes greatest crimes.

I stand accused and must acquit myself. Those words, spoken by Sachs in the final scene, formed a leitmotif throughout the third act. In the song contest, Sachs defends himself against Beckmessers accusation of having written a bad song. The ballad in question is Stolzings Preislied, the knights contest entry, midwifed into existence by Sachs during the first half of the act.

In this production, rather than merely defend himself against Beckmessers slander, Sachs, or rather, Wagner-disguised-as-Sachs, is called on to justify himself, and perhaps his posthumous reputation.

Early in the act, Sachs and Stolzing sit alone in the empty courtroom, composing the Preislied like two lawyers going over a brief. Aside from this, the courtroom played no significant role until the end of the act. The austere setting allowed the focus to be placed directly on the music, sensitively rendered by Swiss conductor Philippe Jordan into a delicate and probing disquisition on the artistic process. Michael Volles dramatically nuanced songwriting lesson and the radiant Morgentraum quintet made this the most surpassingly beautiful part of the evening.

While preparing the production, Kosky was focused on Meistersingers long composition history. Its not acomedy, Kosky asserted, pointing to how Wagners initial idea of writing a Satyr play (to imitate the Greeks) that would parody his earlier opera Tannhuser evolved into something very different 25 years later. At first, the whole idea of tradition was to be mocked and laughed at. And a few decades later, its to be venerated.

Alone on stage at the end of the evening, Wagner / Sachs stands in the witness box and directly addresses the audience. Volle pleads with us bitterly and dramatically, and at this point in the evening, the lack of supertitles makes Wagners message the moral of the story more palatable. Volles gesticulating and fist-waving occasionally brought Hitler to mind; yet I more often found myself thinking about Chaplins great final speech in The Great Dictator, where the Fhrers furious oratory style, so memorably parodied earlier in the film, is turned on its head by the Jewish barber. It is possibly the most moving plea for humanity and compassion ever committed to screen. Astonishingly, Chaplin underscores it with Wagner: the ethereal prelude to Lohengrin. Ive always felt certain that this musical choice was the directors defiant insistence that sublime art must never be harnessed to serve odious ideology.

Yet Kosky is up to something quite different. As the monologue reaches its climax, a dummy orchestra glides forward on a stand from backstage. Cosima reclines adoringly in front of the musicians, savoring the triumphant final chorus. (The orchestra at Bayreuth plays from a hooded pit and is hence invisible to the spectators, which makes Koskys decision to have a mock orchestra onstage all the cheekier). In the end, the music wins out.

Does this mean that Wagner gets an acquittal? Kosky leaves us with the unresolved and perhaps unresolvable tension between intolerant philosophy and supreme music; between aesthetics and ethics; between Wagners warped egomania and the universality of his art; and between the historical uses and abuses of that music and what encountering it in means for us in the 21st century.

Some people dont like the idea that the waters are muddied with Wagner, Kosky told me. But geniuses can be assholes, and geniuses can be monsters and geniuses can be also very contradictory and problematic.

In the end, it is the music that endures. That is one conclusion suggested by Koskys production. And it is quite similar to one proposed by another Jew who, not too long ago, went in search of Wagner in Bayreuth: Stephen Fry in the 2010 documentary Wagner & Me argues that we can and must open ourselves to these works because, Wagners music is bigger and better than Hitler ever imagined it to be. In the new Bayreuth Meistersinger, Wagner gets a very different, and slippery, kind of acquittal. You might even say that the trial was rigged from the start. The composer has scripted and staged the whole thing in order to vindicate himself. Hence, what initially seems to be a cop-out musica vincit omnia reveals itself as the productions logical conclusion. It holds up a mirror to Bayreuth and its audience, reflecting how they are trapped, perhaps hopelessly so, inside of Wagners overpowering solipsism. As a probe of Wagners intolerant, megalomaniacal and brilliant mind, Koskys Meistersinger is a fascinating coup de theater, but as an interpretation of the piece it is unsatisfying. The Nuremberg Trials cannot help but seem out of place in a production that is so stuck inside Wagners head for most of the evening. The Nazi history of the Bayreuth continues to bedevil the festival that is still in the control of the composers family. I almost got the sense that Kosky, against his better judgment couldnt resist at least cracking the lid on this can of worms.

The place has a Ring-like curse on it and this means that it can veer between tragedy and farce, and often both, Kosky responded when asked to share his thoughts on the festival. You have a theater constructed by a man whose family then ran it, whose wife deified him, whose wife turned that wooden theater into the Kaaba in Mecca, with people walking around it in circles to be purified so it became not a theater but a temple. And then youve got the war, where it became a Nazi theater and was used and abused by the family and by Hitler.Over the past decade, the festival has certainly begun to confront the most shameful episode of its past. Like Herheims Parsifal, Koskys invitation to direct Meistersinger should be seen as a step in this direction. Beyond owing up to its Nazi past, Bayreuth has also struggled to assert its continued relevance, as well as to justify why a publically funded opera festival should be in the hands of the Wagner clan. This years festival program includes some of the best arguments for and against the tenure of Katharina Wagner, the composers great-granddaughter who has run the festival, by various degrees, since 2008. In addition to the final revival of Frank Castorfs universally hated Ring Cycle from 2013, the program also includes the first revival of Uwe Eric Laufenbergs mind-bogglingly stupid Parisfal, set in ISIS-controlled territory. However, freed from the high expectations that attend any premiere here, the exemplary musical caliber, featuring Hartmut Haenchens fluid, rich conducting and the magnificent Austrian tenor Andreas Schager in the title role, was able to shine through more completely. Beyond Meistersinger, the most compelling case for Katharina Wagners artistic vision for Bayreuth in the 21st century was her stunning and dreamlike 2015 production of Tristan und Isolde, although the July 27 performance lacked the holistic energy and conviction of the Parsifal revival. The fierce boos that met Katharina when she took her bow came as something of a shock. (It must also have been fairly embarrassing for the festival, since Angela Merkel was attending). Were the dissenters in the audience angry about the production or her overall leadership of the festival?

Kosky has nothing but kind words for Katharina, who he says gave him complete artistic freedom and made his assignment there unexpectedly enjoyable. Nor did he feel any disquiet working for the festival that once hosted and toasted the Nazi high command: Bayreuth, even with the Hitler story, is a set for farce, not a setfor tragedy. The tragedy happens in the art that you put on thestage. But that whole domestic world of Wahnfried and that whole Nazi circus at Bayreuth, to me, its Mel Brooks. Im horrified by what the Nazis did outside Bayreuth. But what the Nazis did in Bayreuth is Springtime for Hitler! With his big assignment behind him, its safe to say the director will be laying off Wagner for the foreseeable future. When Kosky returns to Berlin in the fall, he will throw himself into a work that is much closer to his heart, Fiddler on the Roof.

The Bayreuth Festival runs until August 28

View original post here:
Jewish Director Puts Richard Wagner On Trial At His Own Festival – Forward

Posted in Jewish Music Comments Off on Jewish Director Puts Richard Wagner On Trial At His Own Festival – Forward

Bar Mitzvah | Definition of Bar Mitzvah by Merriam-Webster

noun, often capitalized B&M bar mitzvah br-mits-v

Definition of bar mitzvah

1 : a Jewish boy who reaches his 13th birthday and attains the age of religious duty and responsibility

2 : the initiatory ceremony recognizing a boy as a bar mitzvah

noun , often cap B&M bar mitzvah br-mits-v

Definition of bar mitzvah for Students

1 : a Jewish boy who at 13 years of age takes on religious responsibilities

2 : the ceremony recognizing a boy as a bar mitzvah

Read more here:
Bar Mitzvah | Definition of Bar Mitzvah by Merriam-Webster

Posted in Bar Mitzvah Comments Off on Bar Mitzvah | Definition of Bar Mitzvah by Merriam-Webster

I Just Became a Bar Mitzvah at Age 70 on Top of the Rockies –

Let me tell you a little story. It was a cloudless day on Monday in Telluride, Colo., a small Western town high in the Rocky Mountains filled with forests and rivers. This is my eighth year visiting my son Matthew in Telluride, and I have made many friends there over the years. I was on my way into town to run a few errandsmail some postcards home, have lunch with a friend and do some shopping at the market.

Telluride is full of tourists this time of year. As I passed the busy town park, I saw two young men in the crowd. Their appearance was very distinctive, and I immediately recognized them as Jewish men. Neatly groomed with beards, they were wearing handsome black suits and broad-brimmed hats. Without hesitation, I called out the window: Shalom, my brothers, shalom!

I came to a stop in the street as one of them quickly approached my car.

Without hesitation, we clasped hands. The first words from his mouth were: Are you Jewish?

I replied: No, but my mother is.

He asked: Is your grandmother Jewish?

I said: Yes. And he said emphatically: Then you are Jewish.

At that moment, I knew I had to talk to these young men, sent by Chabad of Southern Colorado to perform mitzvahs with Jews in the area. I made a hasty U-turn in the street and quickly parked my car. They were standing on the curb watching me as I walked across the street. We shook hands, and I was introduced to Mendel and Mendy. I wanted to know more about them, so I suggested that we walk into the park a bit and sit down for a talk.

I told them the story of my Jewish grandparents and how they had crossed Europe in the early 1900s to escape the pogroms of Belarus and Lithuania. They settled in the East End of London, and made a life for themselves and their four daughters in the Jewish community. Their homes were bombed and destroyed during the Nazi blitz of 1940, but they survived. My father was an American sailor stationed in London. He met my mother and her family, and after the war, he sponsored their journey and settlement in America.

Then Mendy asked me the most poignant question: Did you celebrate your bar mitzvah?

No, I had not had a bar mitzvah ceremony when I was younger. My fathers family were American Methodists, and everyone seemed to get along nicely without much talk of religion. And what would a 10- or 12-year-old boy know about such things? But talking with these rabbinical students, a host of memories came flooding back to me.

You can be bar mitzvahed here, now, today in the park, they said.

I couldnt believe it! I had never been asked or offered the opportunity. My beautiful mother had expressed regrets to me on several occasions at not having raised my brother, sister and me in the tradition of her Jewish ancestors. But that was many years ago; shes 90 and Im 70two lifetimes nearly gone with so much that has happened over the years.

Again they offered, and I couldnt say no. I noticed a striking black bag with Hebrew letters etched in gold. It was quickly opened. A yarmulke appeared and was placed on my head as the scroll boxes, or tefillin, were put into place. Before I knew it, I was reciting prayers in Hebrew and recalling the words my zayda had used at Passover. The world seemed to melt away for a moment as I gained confidence in reciting the words. Soon we were holding hands, singing and dancing in the town park, taking no notice of the people walking by.

I remember Mendy teaching me about a Divine spark and my relationship to Gd. Then, as quickly as it happened, I was hugging Mendel and Mendy, and saying shalom over and over again. I thought: Am I crazy? Is this really happening? I quickly got my mother on the phone and introduced her to Mendy, who explained that now she had a son who was a proper Jewwell almost, without the years of study and practice. We soon parted, and I promised to stay in touch and come to see them in New York after returning to my home near Washington, D.C.

And there I was. Standing in the bright light of day having just had a bar mitzvah at 9,000 feet with two Jewish men I had met minutes earlier. I called my dearest Uncle Saul in Florida and told him that I just become a bar mitzvah in the town park. With his usual sense of wit, he said the next knock on my door would be the mohel.

View original post here:
I Just Became a Bar Mitzvah at Age 70 on Top of the Rockies –

Posted in Bar Mitzvah Comments Off on I Just Became a Bar Mitzvah at Age 70 on Top of the Rockies –

Bride Wears Late Grandma’s Dress To Her Wedding, And It Fits To AT – HuffPost

Madison Kantzer wasnt the kind of little girl who grew up with a vision of her dream wedding. But she knew one thing for certain: When the big day came, she was going to wear a beautiful beaded gown that once belonged to her late grandmother.

And sure enough, when Madison tied the knot with Adam Hoffman on April 9 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, she wore the dress her grandma Adel Schif Greene had worn to Madisons uncles bar mitzvah 51 years earlier, in March 1966.

My mom has had the dress for a long time and Ive always loved it, Madison told HuffPost. I was never someone who envisioned my ideal wedding, but this was something Ive always known I would wear, especially because I didnt think I would ever find a dress as amazing as this one in a store.

The three-quarter-sleeve gown with floral detailing fit Madison to a T no alterations necessary.

Start to finish, the bride called the big day amazing.

Adams grandma stood up for the first time in many years to dance with him, our rabbi was so wonderful and it was amazing having all of our friends to dance and celebrate with, she said. We ended the day with late-night Philly cheese steaks, so really, it was so much fun.

Below, more photos from the couples celebration.

Excerpt from:
Bride Wears Late Grandma’s Dress To Her Wedding, And It Fits To AT – HuffPost

Posted in Bar Mitzvah Comments Off on Bride Wears Late Grandma’s Dress To Her Wedding, And It Fits To AT – HuffPost

The Jewish wedding without any Jews – Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Chronicle
The Jewish wedding without any Jews
Jewish Chronicle
Teresa Wroska, an actress from the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw, was brought on board to assure the wedding's authenticity. Ms Wronska choreographed the event from the signing of the ketubah, to the traditional Jewish music that was played by a band of …

Continue reading here:
The Jewish wedding without any Jews – Jewish Chronicle

Posted in Jewish Music Comments Off on The Jewish wedding without any Jews – Jewish Chronicle

Hollywood Temple Beth El Adopts Open Seating, No Charge Policy for High Holy Days – WEHOville

Hollywood Temple Beth El, 1317 N. Crescent Heights Blvd.

Hollywood Temple Beth El is adopting an open seating, no-charge policy for High Holy Days in an effort to reach beyond its core members and attract more young people to its services.

The policy, announced by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg, the senior rabbi at the synagogue, is a gamble, based on the quote If you build it they will come, Weinberg said. It is our hope that a significant critical mass of younger Jews will meet, find common interest and become interested in creating a community of common interest and friendship at historic Hollywood Temple Beth El.

Rabbi Norbert Weinberg

Synagogues traditionally have charged annual dues to their members. But that practice is changing according to a report in Jewish Telegraphic Agency. It notes that nearly 60 Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues have dropped mandatory fees. And while that number is a small percent of the roughly 1,500 such synagogues, it is double the number in 2015. Many of those synagogues do have a suggested voluntary donation.

The JTA story cites a survey by the Pew Research Group that notes millennials are less inclined to become members of old institutions. And it quotes Jack Wertheimer, a history professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, who says Were living in a time today when institutions are held suspect and also seen as rather cold and distant. This whole idea of membership dues reinforces that point.

In his congregation newsletter, Weinberg notes that Hollywood Temple Beth El has had a glorious past, starting with its founding by some of Hollywoods film industry pioneers. We also know that this congregation, like any person, has gone through its own storms, and from time to time, needs a taking of stock. We owe it to those who came before us and whose passion helped build this sacred place to do so.

We are at such a point now.

We have been operating, since antiquity, as a conventional synagogue, supported by a membership base and High Holy Days tickets, whose focus is on that core membership. However, reality has bypassed that model; this is true for many other synagogues as well.

We must now position ourselves to become the locus of Jewish life in this side of Los Angeles. That means that we are opening our doors to the entire community. Our services are open, our activities are open.

In its effort to make the High Holy Days service more open, Temple Beth El is creating a new prayer book text, Weinberg said. It will be inviting and accessible, with new explanations, readings, and transliteration. We are making sure that the music will move the heart and body, while the teachings will move the heart and mind.

Weinberg said a system to register for tickets to attend High Holy Days services is in the works. Meanwhile, those interested in attending can obtain free, open-seating tickets (or reserved seating for a small donation), by emailing or calling the synagogue at (323) 656-3150 and leaving the names, email address and phone numbers of attendees and the number of tickets desired.

The free, open-seating policy will be in place for the service at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25, which will feature a musical performance by Bryce Emily Megdal and fellow musicians. Also present will be Cantorial soloist Bryce Megdal, a rising singer and songwriter in the L.A. Jewish music scene. Megdal is a cantorial student at the Academy for Jewish Religion and will be High Holy Days Cantor this year for Temple Beth El.Rabbi Weinberg, senior rabbi at Temple Beth El, will be joined on the pulpit by Rabbi Steven Rosenberg, who is providing his services to act as director of engagement and outreach.

For that service, reservations must be made online through Eventbrite.

Hollywood Temple Beth El is located at 1317 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., at the northwest corner of Fountain.

Tagged high holy days, hollywood temple beth el, rabbi norbert weinberg

Read the original here:
Hollywood Temple Beth El Adopts Open Seating, No Charge Policy for High Holy Days – WEHOville

Posted in Jewish Music Comments Off on Hollywood Temple Beth El Adopts Open Seating, No Charge Policy for High Holy Days – WEHOville

Holocaust survivor, world’s oldest man dead at 113 – Las Vegas Review-Journal

JERUSALEM Israel Kristal, the worlds oldest man who lived through both World Wars and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp has passed away just a month short of his 114th birthday, his family said Saturday.

Oren Kristal, a grandson, said he died Friday. He managed to accomplish a lot. Every year he lived was like a few years for somebody else, Oren told The Associated Press.

Last year Guinness World Records awarded Kristal a certificate as the worlds oldest man at his home in Haifa, Israel.

Kristal was born to an Orthodox Jewish family near the town of Zarnow in Poland in 1903.

When he was a child during World War I in Poland he was a helper for a booze smuggler, he used to run barefoot in the snow through the night many kilometers with a heavy package on his back at about 12 years old, smuggling alcohol between the lines of the war, Oren, his grandson said.

He used to walk very fast until he was very old, faster than me, and he used to tell me that when he was my age if you didnt walk fast enough your feet would stick to the frozen ground, Oren recalled his grandfather telling him.

Kristal was orphaned shortly after World War I and moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionary business in 1920.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland Kristal was confined to the ghetto there and later sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps. His first wife and two children were killed in the Holocaust. Six million Jews were systematically murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators during WWII.

He used to tell us whenever we were mourning someone that we should consider that they are being buried in the land of Israel, most of the people he knew did not get to be buried in a grave when they died, Oren said.

Kristal survived World War II weighing only about 81 pounds the only survivor of his large family.

He later married another Holocaust survivor and moved with her to Israel in 1950 where he built a new family and a successful confectionary business.

He was a very hard working man, a lot of energy always running from one place to another doing something, Oren, his grandson said.

He said his grandfather participated in one of his great-grandsons bar mitzvah just a few weeks ago.

An observant Jew, Kristal himself only celebrated his bar mitzvah last year, a hundred years later than usual. He missed his bar mitzvah the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony celebrated when a boy turns 13 because of World War I.

Oren said his grandfather gave no explanation to the secret for his incredible longevity.

He is survived by two children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, media reported.

Continue reading here:
Holocaust survivor, world’s oldest man dead at 113 – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted in Bar Mitzvah Comments Off on Holocaust survivor, world’s oldest man dead at 113 – Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Top Jewish-y Events In NYC This Week (Aug 11 Aug 20) – Jewish Week

Posted in Jewish Music Comments Off on The Top Jewish-y Events In NYC This Week (Aug 11 Aug 20) – Jewish Week