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Ablin Family

Jason Ablin, Principal, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy

Lisa Bellows Ablin, Geriatric Social Worker, Jewish Family Service

Kayla, 17; Noa, 12

Members since 1997

When we first came to Los Angeles we had been shul hopping, and by the time we got to B’nai David, Lisa was pregnant, and she was taking a little break from shul. She was blown away when, even though she had never been to shul, the shul sent over Shabbat meals when Kayla was born.

That sense of caring permeates the whole community. Our family feels so connected to the warm and nurturing environment at B’nai David. But even more importantly, the caring reaches well beyond those in our immediate circle.

A few years ago, Jason was sitting outside at a coffee shop on Pico Boulevard with Rabbi Kanefsky. Whenever any of our neighborhood needy people walked by, Rabbi Kanefsky greeted them warmly, by name.

Rabbi Kanefsky sees every human as a creation of God, someone worthy of dignity and empathy. He embodies these values not only in the programs he supports at B’nai David—our monthly lunch for the homeless and needy, our distribution of supermarket vouchers, packing up duffle bags to distribute on Skid Row – but in his personal way of connecting with everyone.

Rabbi Kanefsky takes on all the issues—he talks about migrants and mental health and race relations in his drashot. He is willing to take risks for what he believes is right in the Jewish community, even if others don’t agree.

Kayla and Noa have received all the right messages growing up at B’nai David. Kayla leined the Book of Ruth at our women’s service for her bat mitzvah, and Noa leined all of Parshat Mishpatim. Noa was really impressed by the Gesher pre-bar/bat mitzvah program’s visit to a mosque and encounter with Muslim kids.

The sense of openness, the commitment to social justice, the value placed on women’s participation – all of these values fall in line with how we are trying to live our lives, and what we are trying to teach our daughters.

Thu, January 18 2018 2 Shevat 5778