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Reflections from our BDJ Members in Israel #5 Part 3

02/15/2024 04:36:24 PM


Stacy Kent

Tu B'Shevat at the Nova Site

The day we drove to the site of the Nova festival, it was Tu B’shevat. Being that I was on a JNF volunteer mission, planting trees seemed appropriate.  When I scanned the landscape surrounding the memorial at the Nova site I noticed the forest was comprised of Eucalyptus trees. Those in the distance stood tall, strong and healthy. The ones closer to the site of the...Read more...

Reflections from our BDJ Members in Israel #5 Part 2

02/15/2024 04:34:25 PM


Stacy Kent

Shevivim Cemetery

After Kibbutz Gvulot, we went to the Shevivim cemetery. In every cemetery there is a military section so that if a soldier from that community dies they can be buried with their community but also acknowledged properly in the military section. In this military section there are 29 temporary graves. Twenty nine of the 90 plus innocent civilians from Kibbutz Be’eri who died on Oct 7th are...Read more...

Reflections from our BDJ Members in Israel #5 Part 1

02/15/2024 04:32:34 PM


Stacy Kent

Kibbutz Gvulot

I began the day at Kibbutz Gvulot, which was the first Jewish settlement in the Negev in 1943. It is in the Gaza envelope but it was not hit on Oct 7th. It is close enough that the kibbutz community needed to be relocated to a hotel in Elat, but it is not within 4 kilometers of the border so Gvulot does not receive additional and much-needed benefits from the government.  At Gvulot was...Read more...

Reflections from Our BDJ Members in Israel #4

01/10/2024 12:44:04 PM


Alex & Julie Fax

Agricultural volunteering:

First thing to know is that the need for agricultural volunteers is very real and the farmers you are helping are deeply appreciative.  They really are in a tough situation and the work you do has a direct impact on their livelihood and the Israeli economy in general.  It's really worth doing.

Second thing to know is that you can't find agricultural opportunities more than a week in advance...Read more...

Reflections from Our BDJ Members in Israel #3

01/10/2024 12:33:03 PM


Mark Rosenbaum

The answer is “yes.” 

I spent the week of December 24 through 28 on a Jewish National Fund (“JNF”) solidarity mission to southern Israel.  We shared a hotel with refugees from Sderot, where children rode their bikes in the hallway, and attended a local school each day. We had the privilege to build sprinklers for kibbutznik Erez so that he...Read more...

Reflections from Our BDJ Members in Israel #2

12/28/2023 03:36:58 PM


Sari Abrams

What has struck me in these past few days that I’ve been in Israel is how things can feel normal and anything but normal simultaneously. From the moment I stepped into Ben Gurion Airport, greeted by large photos of the hostages and an empty arrivals hall, I felt a rush of intense despair and hope - swirling and conflicting emotions.

There is a lot that feels “normal” - the crowded train, the bustling streets and...Read more...

Reflections from Our BDJ Members in Israel #1

12/28/2023 03:16:01 PM


Gail Katz

Here are some thoughts/volunteering advice on our first day together as a family.

It is actually somewhat hard to navigate volunteering on your own, and especially with kids.  There are so many WhatsApp groups, it's overwhelming.  And the information is often confusing as to what the actual needs are and when.  Most agricultural volunteer opportunities are limited to people 18 and up.  I believe...Read more...

Halacha How to for Fast of 10th of Tevet (5784)

12/13/2023 10:16:17 AM


Rav Yosef

Friday, December 22nd will be the 10th of Tevet, an annual day of Tefilla, Tzedakah, and of fasting. It’s a day with deep historical roots, dating to when the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem in the 6th century BCE. But this year it is about something different. It is about calling out to God at a time of national crisis. It is about the chayylaim on the battlefield, the hostages wherever...Read more...

Shachen Tov

12/11/2023 03:54:09 PM


Rav Yosef

When Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai asked his disciples to “go forth and observe what is the best way for a person to live”, they returned with numerous sound answers,

 רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, עַיִן טוֹבָה. רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אוֹמֵר, חָבֵר טוֹב. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר...Read more...

We Mustn't Waste This Hour

11/02/2023 05:05:53 PM


Rav Yosef

Coby is still in Kibbutz Zikim, a mile or two north of the border with Gaza. He and a small handful of men remain, while the other 800...Read more...

Disbelief and Belief

11/01/2023 05:40:46 PM


Rav Yosef

Tuesday, the first official day of the visit, was long, intense, and sobering. There is much to share, but it’s already late in the evening, and there’s still jet lag to contend with.

The Disbelief is still fresh and raw:

The disbelief of the reserve soldiers who were in Shul on the morning of October 7th, and only checked their phones for possible call-up orders after numerous people independently described what was...Read more...

Shabbat Parshat Noach

10/23/2023 02:04:29 PM


Rav Yosef

In a week of intense anxiety and sadness, I looked to the parsha for … something. It is not surprising that it was the rainbow that caught my attention.

Ramban considers but then sets aside the idea raised by some of the other commentaries, that God created the rainbow at this moment, to be the sign of His covenant with humankind going forward. Ramban insists that we have no choice but to follow the science that “the...Read more...

Kol Nidrei Appeal

09/28/2023 11:30:39 AM


Rabbi Yosef Kanefskly

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבותֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקב. הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת כָּל הַקָּהָל הַקָּדושׁ הַזֶּה עִם כָּל קְהִלּות הַקּדֶשׁ. הֵם וּבְנֵיהֶם וּבְנותֵיהֶם וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם.  


Rosh Hashana Drasha 2

09/19/2023 10:02:08 AM


Malka Popper

I want to tell you a little bit about my grandfather. My grandfather was born in Hamburg, Germany and escaped to Shanghai during the war. He lived in the ghetto and would often describe to us what Rosh Hashanah was like. He knew how to blow shofar and would go from area to area helping other people fulfill the mitzvah. That’s how he met my grandmother, he was in her neighborhood blowing Shofar on Rosh Hashanah. My grandmother was younger...Read more...

Rosh Hashana Drasha

09/18/2023 09:39:48 AM


Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

And God saw everything He had created and behold it was good. Not just good, but tov me’od, it was very good. Inquiring minds of all ages have been intrigued by the word “me’od” and have wanted to know what additional layer of meaning the word might be suggesting.   

R’ Chama bar Chanina proposed that the word suggests that God was so completely taken with the...Read more...

The Nine Days and Tisha B'Av 5783

07/13/2023 05:39:05 PM


As the month of Av approaches here are some reminders and schedule items:

The Nine Days

Beginning Tuesday night July 18th, we will transition from the "three weeks" to the "nine days." The conceptual difference between the two is that while during the three weeks we refrain from celebratory and musical events that are beyond the typical daily routine, during the nine days we diminish even...Read more...

BDJ Membership for 5784

06/26/2023 11:49:50 AM


SIGN UP NOW Dear {{first_name}},

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! It’s that time of year again when our new membership year lRead more...

Fast of the 10th of Tevet

12/28/2022 04:16:08 PM


Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

One the days on which we Jews pray, repent, and fast is the 10th of Tevet. We chose this date as it commemorates the Babylonians having laid siege to Jerusalem, leading to its eventual destruction in 586 B.C.E. Interestingly, this fast (along with the 17th of Tamuz, Tisha B’Av and Tzom Gedalia) was suspended during the Second Temple period, and we...Read more...

Chanukah Halacha How To

12/15/2022 09:19:07 AM


Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

Candle Lighting: 

The first night of Chanukah this year is Sunday night. Women and men are equally included in the obligation to light. Ideally we light our Chanuka lights around 25 minutes after sundown, but later in the evening is also alright. The only place where we can fulfill the mitzvah of lighting is in our own home, or if we are out of town, in the place that we will be sleeping that night. (More on traveling during...Read more...

Farewell from Rabbanit Alissa

03/10/2022 09:47:25 AM


Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn

Goodbyes are hard, but important. A chaplaincy mentor of mine once emphasized that when leaving a patient’s room, it is crucial to say ‘goodbye’. She explained that even if we think we can come back tomorrow, life can change in a second– especially in a hospital. As natural as it is to want to avoid it, we cannot squander the gift of closure. Including when it is bittersweet and tearful. Saying goodbye is not only a privilege, it’s...Read more...

Farewell to Rabbanit Alissa

03/10/2022 09:01:03 AM


Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

בתר צלותיה אמר הכי, “after his prayer he would say as follows”. This phrase introduces a series of stories on Daf 17a of Brachot. Each of the stories presents a “post-prayer prayer” that various Talmudic sages composed and personally appended to their daily Amidah. One of these post-prayer prayers is actually the one that we all append to our Amidah to this day. Others of the post-prayer...Read more...

Chanukah Halacha How To

11/25/2021 01:13:38 PM


 Candle Lighting: 

Who: The mitzvah of Chanukah is נר איש וביתו- one candle for each household. The Gemara gives the option to beautify the mitzvah by having each member of the household light one candle (mehadrin). The Gemara gives an additional way to beautify the mitzvah (mehadrin min hamedrin), which is to light an additional candle each night increasing in order for eight nights. This is our practice today,...Read more...

Rav Yosef's Rosh Hashanah Drasha

09/09/2021 11:44:23 AM


The answer is such a classic, that we rarely pay any serious attention to the question that precedes it.  The answer is, “on a day when the books of life and death are open, would you expect that Israel would be singing?!” 

It’s an important answer, epitomizing the unsettled, even anxious feelings that we bring into the day. But it’s an answer which creates a...Read more...

Rabbanit Alissa's Rosh Hashanah Drasha

09/09/2021 11:32:39 AM


BDJ Family~~Though I am still on family leave right now caring for my father, I wanted to share my heart and some words of Torah with you. So many of you have reached out to me with love and support, and it only felt right for me to be with you on Rosh Hashanah and to honor my father in this way. I am so grateful...Read more...

Letter RE: COVID from our Community's Rabbis

12/09/2020 12:31:09 PM


Dear Community Members,

As we are all aware, there has been a significant increase of COVID cases locally. We are encouraged by the careful adherence to the safety precautions that our synagogues have undertaken in order to enable safe, outdoor, masked and distanced minyanim to continue. These minyanim are COVID-compliant, outdoor events, in line with the latest LA Department of Health guidelines, where we work...Read more...

Please renew membership by tonight!

08/30/2020 08:01:05 AM


SIGN UP NOW Dear {{first_name}},

If you are receiving this email, we still DO NOT have your membership registration information and ask thaRead more...

Membership - Last Chance to Renew to Receive High Holiday Resources

08/27/2020 02:12:49 PM


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Membership Due This Weekend

08/14/2020 04:47:08 PM


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If you are receiving this email, we still DO NOT have your membership registration information and ask thaRead more...

3 Days til Membership Deadline - A Message from Andres Terech, Treasurer

08/12/2020 06:46:10 PM


SIGN UP NOW Hello BDJ Chevra!
It has been way too long since we have seen and spoken to each other. I hope that you and your family near aRead more...

BDJ Membership - 5 Days til Deadline

08/11/2020 06:56:09 AM


SIGN UP NOW Dear  {{first_name}},

If you are receiving this email, we still DO NOT have your membership registration information and ask thRead more...
Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784