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The Japanese Lover – By Isabel Allende

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511ZF8U21HL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_“In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener and a tender love affair being to blossom.

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichmei and his family – like thousands of other Japanese Americans – are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world.

Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care workers struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly 70 years.

Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, The Japanese Lover explores questions of identity, abandonment, redemption, and the unknowable impact of fate on our lives. Written with the same attention to historical detail and keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of he Spirits, The Japanese Lover is a profoundly moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world full of unceasing change.”

Taken from an article on www.isabelallende.com
Submitted by Barbara Brown

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – by Garielle Zevin

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Lev Eisha Book ClubThis is very dear and sweet book for lovers of books.  A.J. Fikry is the quirky owner of a small, independent bookstore on the fictional Alice Island in New England. He is cynical, cranky, and depressed…and not without reason. The recent death of his beloved wife has torn his life apart. As the story develops, Fikry finds love and fatherhood gratifying. His choices in fiction change at the opening of each chapter where he quotes and comments on books he has read. The opening to each chapter becomes softer and less tutorial.

A.J.’s crankiness is balanced by Maya’s youthful intelligence and Amy’s light-hearted charm. The book contains a good cast of eccentric townsfolk in a small community. The various characters are well developed, and we come to love all of them. The young child named Maya is especially precious in her sense of awe and wonder. She grows up in the bookstore. It is a true delight to see the world from her point of view. Amelia is a very independent and devoted bookseller whose life is filled with kindness and eclecticism. The book has a couple of mysteries related to a book that is stolen from Fikry, and the parentage of the little child left in Fikry’s unlocked bookstore. The mixed race element is also present in this book. The child is born of a black mother and a white father. A.J. also has a white mother and an southeast Asian father (Indian).  The story speaks to embracing people of all backgrounds. Through the love of books, the community of Alice Island comes together. This is a very readable and a very endearing book. It also inspires us to want to see and support the return of our neighborhood bookstores.

This book was read and enjoyed by the Lev Eisha Book Club.

Submitted by Lillian Laskin

The Light Between Oceans

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The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans is a multi-layered, tragic story of a lighthouse keeper, his wife and the course of action they took upon discovering a 2-month old baby and a dead man in a rowboat which had washed up on the shore of the island where they lived. Tom and Isabel are decent people; he is a World War I veteran who served honorably and she is a local girl who is young and unworldly. They are very content with their isolated life on Janus Rock except that they are unable to have a child. This baby appears to be the chance they have been waiting for. They rationalize keeping the child as their own, unaware of the terrible consequences for the parent(s) who have lost their child.

The story is set in Australia immediately following World War I. The descriptions of the area, the people, and their lives are beautifully drawn. Stedman skillfully weaves a compelling tale which causes us to ponder the moral and ethical questions and each character’s position. Tom and Isabel, Hannah and her husband, the baby’s grandparents, and the townspeople each seem so real. The author’s use of language draws the reader into the story, making it come alive.

The Lev Eisha Book Club unanimously recommends The Light Between Oceans. It is a story with no easy or pat answers about what to do in difficult situations. As readers, we cared about each character and felt emotionally connected to them. We hope you will enjoy this read.

Submitted by Barbara Brown

Jewish Journal Article May 2015

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We are very excited to have an article about Lev Eisha published in the Jewish Journal! Please follow this link to view the original article: Jewish Journal Article

<em>The board members of Lev Eisha, equipped with their tambourines. Group founder Rabbi Toba August<br /> is in middle row, right. Photo courtesy of Lev Eisha</em>

The board members of Lev Eisha, equipped with their tambourines. Group founder Rabbi Toba August
is in middle row, right. Photo courtesy of Lev Eisha

Lev Eisha is a modern-day Red Tent, except instead of gathering in a portable desert shelter, this women’s minyan congregates just miles from the beach in a West Los Angeles synagogue on the vast, summer-camp-like premises of Vista Del Mar.

Don’t be totally misled — there are a handful of men who attend the services on the first Saturday of each month, including the occasional tag-along husband. One man even attended services solo recently, trying it out after undergoing some tough times. He said he was in search of a healing service, especially one with no shortage of “maternal energy.”

What makes the services so particularly comforting?

“Our goal was to find a place where people can come to be very joyous or very sad, or anything in between,” said Rabbi Toba August, 64, who founded the group about 15 years ago. “I really wanted to have a place where the emotions are available, where you’re feeling something and connecting with something deep within your soul, your psyche, your essential being.”

At Lev Eisha (Hebrew for “a woman’s heart”), a key part of that is accomplished through constant music. It has its own particular groove, fronted by the prowess of cantorial soloist Cindy Paley on acoustic guitar, two backup vocalists, a percussionist, a violinist and a whole congregation playing tambourines.

In the midst of the service, women get up on a whim and dance around the pews, exuding a joyful reverence. At times, the minyan feels more like a hippie colony, which makes sense when you consider August is a product of the 1960s flower power counterculture. But the service can be devout and traditional, too, as when the Torah service starts and the ark opens. The energy changes, becoming more silent and thoughtful.

Each woman here has her own reason, her own story. Board member Janis Cohen, for example, who was recently named the next president of Lev Eisha, was raised as the only daughter in a testosterone-fueled household. She said she was originally skeptical of the concept of a women’s minyan.

“I was turned off by the women’s liberation movement because it has a tendency to bash men,” she said.

But after attending a service at the suggestion of a friend, it soon became apparent that Lev Eisha was an inclusive community, not at all what she expected.

Another member, Barbara Axelband, said that after battling cancer and undergoing a mastectomy, it was the thought of August that pulled her through. When Axelband’s granddaughter was having a bat mitzvah, she told her daughter that she’d attend under one condition: The service didn’t conflict with her commitment to Lev Eisha. She got her wish.

After many years with the minyan, Axelband — who, like many in the group, dons a yarmulke — makes sure not to miss a single service. But that’s a typical story with these women. Lev Eisha has become their community, their monthly spiritual shot of adrenaline. Current president Barbara Brown said she schedules family trips around the gatherings, and the group even has its own dedicated resident poet, Sarah Barash.

“I’ve missed only one service in 10 years,” said Barash, who attributes the development of her poetic craft completely to August and the congregation.

Barash isn’t the only congregant who said she experienced self-fulfillment after attending services.

“When I come here, I’m not playing a role. I’m not somebody’s caregiver, daughter or wife. I’m me,” said Robin Winston, Lev Eisha’s head of membership.

Lev Eisha started as an annual weekend at Camp Ramah, part of the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) Wagner Women’s Retreat, a getaway designated solely for women. But over the past 15 years, the community has transformed into what it is now — a full-fledged congregation with some 100 people attending a typical service.

That’s not to say Lev Eisha didn’t encounter some major shifts along the way. Until five years ago, services took place behind the main sanctuary of the Conservative shul Adat Shalom in West Los Angeles. That was when August was that synagogue’s rabbi as well, a position she no longer has.

A New York native, August was among the first class of women to enter the Jewish Theological Seminary’s rabbinical school in 1984. Nowadays, August is the rabbi at Temple Shalom of the South Bay, a Reconstructionist congregation in Hermosa Beach, and she teaches rabbinics at the transdenominational Academy for Jewish Religion, California.

“I have three part-time jobs, but that’s three board meetings, three columns, three newsletters,” she said as her voice trailed off into a listing of threes. “Three this, three that.”

She said she tries to divide her time evenly among her responsibilities, not to mention reserving some down time for herself and her husband.

And although she initially started her career as a Conservative rabbi, August said her Judaism is constantly evolving, becoming more meditative and personal.

“The rabbi I was at a Conservative shul was not the person I really am. But at Lev Eisha, I’m totally able to be myself,” she said.

At the unaffiliated Lev Eisha, August is free to design her own brand of Judaism.

“There’s a Judaism for everybody,” August said. “You’ve got to find your own way back.”

June 2015 Newsletter

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A joyous community of Jewish women engaged in
prayer, study and spiritual growth  
 

June 2015

Join Us for Our Last Service of the Year!
We will miss Lev Eisha over the summer break and can use this time for renewal.  What projects can we complete? What time can we take for reading, walking and lunch with friends? Like the “renewal” which we feel at Lev Eisha services, we can also feel the sense of joy and meaning in other ways this summer.  Bring the Lev spirit into your summer days. 

Join us for services at 9:30am, led by Rabbi August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley. Torah readings are Parshat Beha’alotecha from the book of Numbers.  Rabbi August will be doing the En-Chanting Torah – if you haven’t heard this type of Torah reading, you are in for a treat! Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush after services, sponsored by Lydia Friedlich in honor of her 70th birthday and by Barbara Brown, in honor of the Board of Directors.

In This Issue
Membership
President’s Message
SOVA Drive
New Board of Directors
Mark Your Calendars
Message from Rabbi August
Our Resident Poet
Trivia Corner
Milestones
Map & Directions
Quick Links
Visit our website!
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing ListGray

Contact Us!

Get a Free Year of Membership!
If you haven’t renewed your Lev Eisha membership, here is an opportunity you just can’t miss.  Join now, at the basic or any of the higher levels and you get next year free!  Don’t wait – sign up  HEREYou can also mail your check to Lev Eisha at 10736 Jefferson Blvd. #706, Culver City 90230.

Welcome back to renewed members Eileen Ettinger and Sarah Barash.

Our June Donors Are Blooming!
  • Lydia Friedlich made a donation in memory of her dear friend, Marsha Strasner Kivowitz.
  • Suzanne Schweitzer made a donation in honor of Lydia Friedlich.
  • Barbara Brown made a donation in honor of the upcoming marriage of Jonathan Blake, son of Judy and Mitch Blake, to Shulie Eisen
  • Marla Osband made a donation in honor of Barb and Marv Brown’s anniversary.

 

President’s Message
by Barbara Brown 

It has been my great honor and a real joy to have served as President of Lev Eisha for the past two years. Our wonderful community has enriched my life enormously, reconnecting with old friends and making new friends, Jewish learning, personal growth, giving back to others, and being part of a group of unique and amazing women. I look forward to working on the 2015-16 Board under Janis Cohen’s dynamic leadership. I feel blessed to have worked with extraordinary women over the past several years and to have enjoyed watching Lev grow and prosper.

Special thanks to Rabbi August for her kindness, her excellence as a teacher and spiritual guide, and her insightful leadership. To Cindy, Joy, Robin, Ruth, Sarah, Sharon and Toby for giving so generously and beautifully of yourselves and your art to allow each of us to flourish spiritually and to enjoy our time together each Shabbat.

I wish each of you a relaxing and enjoyable summer filled with blessings of good health and peace. See you on September 5th as we begin another joyful year at Lev Eisha!

 

Our Fifth Annual SOVA Drive

Dear Lev Community,

Our service on June 6th will bring us together in prayer and offer our community the opportunity to help support the food pantry provided by Family Services at SOVA.

Bins will be provided for your convenience Saturday to place your donations of canned meat, tuna, whole grain cereal, peanut butter, boxes of pasta, canned fruit and vegetables, and other non-perishable food items. Foods do not have to be kosher. Please check the expiration dates to be sure you are not donating expired food. Please, no glass containers. In addition to foods, toiletry items are also needed as well. Especially needed are bars of soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and shampoo.

If you cannot bring items to our Lev Eisha service, there are several other ways to support SOVA:

  • If you would like to make a donation online, click HERE to go to the SOVA website and view their Virtual Food Drive.
  • Donations may be mailed to JFS (SOVA Community Food & Resource Program) 16439 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406.

SOVA distributes over 100 tons of food each month. Each client that SOVA helps leaves with more than 18 pounds of groceries, which is enough to provide at least 15 healthy meals. Monetary gifts actually go further than food donations, because SOVA can buy in bulk at significant discounts. Every dollar donated to SOVA can purchase $5.00 worth of groceries. We have the ability to help 50,000 people yearly who rely on the SOVA pantry for their nutritional needs.

“Todah rabah” to all of you for your generosity. We will greet each other on June 6th with arms filled with groceries. Help will be there for you if you need any assistance.

 

Respectfully,

Lydia Friedlich (Outreach Coordinator)

SUSTAINING PILLARS OF LEV EISHA
Before I step down as President, I am excited to share a new opportunity called “Pillars of Lev” with you. I am also going to ask you to join me in participating as a “Pillar.”
SUSTAINING PILLARS OF LEV EISHA is designed as a sustaining legacy to cover our core operating expenses – rent, insurance, a portion of the professional staff salaries, and our sound engineer over the next couple of years.  These expenses total about $15,000 per year.
Our goal is to have 15 Lev women become Pillars, pledging $1,000 per year for 2 years, for a total pledge of $2,000*.  This pledge is above your membership and sponsorship opportunities, which we humbly ask remain at the same generous levels.
I value your participation with Lev, and at this time ask you to join me and a select group of others in our Mitzvah of Tzedakah for our beloved Lev.
Please know that thanks to our grants, fundraisers, memberships, sponsorships and donations, Lev Eisha is in a sound financial state at this time.  We are, however, financially conscientious and believe it is prudent to bolster our coffers for the near term to sustain our community and enable us to continue our important mission.

Please join me as a Pillar and know that our entire community will continue to thrive as a result of your generosity. 


Please email me at barbarabrown48@gmail.com

or Rabbi August at tobaaugust@gmail.com to pledge your support or to ask additional questions.  I am also available at (310) 558-7013.
* Your pledge of a $2,000 payment or two installments of $1,000 may be acknowledged publicly or you may choose to remain anonymous.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration. 
Respectfully,

Barbara Brown

Our 2015-16 Board of Directors

President                         Janis Cohen

Vice President                  Lydia Friedlich

Secretary                         Rachelle Neshkes

Treasurer                         Ruth Grossman

Membership                      Robin Winston

Marketing & Website         Rose Ziff

Catering                           Lynn Beliak

Ritual                               Judy Fishman

Fundraising & Outreach     Holly Zucker and Gail Heim

Hospitality                        Joan Spiegel

Dancing with My Soul         Linda Zweig

Immediate Past President  Barbara Brown

Mark your calendars for the new year!
2015-16 Calendar

Services: 9:30am  12:00pm

Breakfast & Study at 8:15am – 9:25am

Kiddush immediately following services

 

Please note:  breakfast will be available at 8:15am     

Rabbi’s teaching to start promptly at 8:30am

September 5 *
October 3
November 7
December 5*
January 9, 2016
February 6*
March 5*
April 2
May 7*
June 4

*Breakfast before services

Lev Eisha Travels To Germany 
Myrna Kayton, Sandy Luboviski and Sue Urfrig visit a synagogue in Germany

Lev Eisha Travels To Morocco
Anna Alexis in Morocco

Wherever You Are, You Are Home!
by Rabbi August 

Simcha is a familiar Hebrew word usually translated as gladness or joy, and as a noun refers to a happy occasion. “Mitzvah Gedolah L’hiyot B’Simcha Tamid,” – “It is a greatMitzvah to always be in a state of happiness,” asserts Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, a 19th century Chasidic teacher in a popular teaching.

         I am troubled by this teaching. Are you “always” in a state of happiness/simcha? And why should we be? The Chasidic tradition believes that when you are happy you are more capable of service to God and going about your daily activities than while you are depressed or upset. Although I can agree with this assumption, I have to change my understanding of simcha and what is meant by happiness. I simply do not believe we can be happy all the time!

         The Torah portion before the holiday of Shavuot is always the first part of B’midbar – the 4th book of the Torah – and it begins:

“God spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting,

on the first day of the second month (hodesh) of the second year  

since they left Egypt.”

 

         In his Chassidic commentary, Rabbi Art Green wonders about all the details in this opening verse and explains that it is to teach us not to be depressed but to strive to be in simcha – in joy. He notices the Hebrew word for month is hodesh which is similar to the word for “something new'” and for “renewal.” Every month is a time for renewal – to forgive yourself and start fresh. This helps us feel more joy and puts us into a state of simcha, a sense of being home. So, happiness is related to forgiveness and renewal, a more nuanced explanation.

         Similarly, why does the verse add that God spoke to Moses in the ‘Tent of Meeting’? In Hebrew the word for meeting, mo’ed, is also the word for festival, a time of joy. We are taught that we should strive to enter ourselves into our own tent of joy – our own Ohel Mo’ed.

         The idea is not that we should be “happy” in the classical sense at all times, but rather, we should have the awareness of where we are in our life journey. What does our “tent” look like?

Although we are often content, fulfilled and optimistic, sometimes our tent is one of disappointment, illness, exhaustion or apathy. If this is so, we acknowledge our state with curiosity and use the tools we have to cope with and improve our reality. We remind ourselves that each day and month is a new beginning. We pray, study, exercise, meditate and rely on our family and friends.

The Chassidic teaching above states that even when we feel lowly and humbled, aware of our negative state, we should fill ourselves with joy. Why? Rabbi Art Green says:

“There is always a chance to begin again and change, since we are ever being liberated anew from whatever enslaves us.”

May we all find healing, renewal and joy over our summer break.

See everyone again at Lev Eisha at our September service.

AMEN

We Bid a Fond Farewell to Sarah Barash
We say l’hitra’ot…til we meet again…to our resident poet Sarah Barash. As a Lev member for many years, Sarah began began writing and sharing her amazing poetry with us at our monthly services. As every Lev member can attest, Sarah is a gifted observer of life and a thinker of great depth and feeling whose writing resonates on a very personal level. As she and her husband Bob begin a year-long adventure in Florida reconnecting with family there, we will greatly miss seeing her each month. However, she will continue to send us poems to be read at Shabbat services. Her helpfulness, energy, and enthusiasm will be missed, but we are assured that this is a positive move for Bob and Sarah and that it is temporary in nature. Sarah, your Lev Eisha family wishes you all the best and sends you off with bountiful blessings for good health, happiness, contentment, and love.

Our Resident Poet

Beloved friends,

I will be away in Boynton Beach, Florida, for a whole year, from June 2015 to June 2016.  That I will miss you all is an understatement.   My writing for Lev Eisha has derived from my deep desire to understand and connect with a personal Judaism.   The friendships and associations that have miraculously sprouted from being a part of this community have without doubt changed the essence of my life.   Although I served on the Board of Directors a number of seasons,  and continue to help Rabbi August during services, it was indubitably the opportunity I was given to bring my “personal psalms” to all of you, that has helped me to approach my potential.  I knew I could write, but who, for, or what had eluded me.  My novel The Book of Love is complete and Kenneth Klee has suggested that the most propitious time to publish would be Jan. Feb. or March of 2016.

 

I wish you all love, peace and joy.

Sarah

 

I was once

I was once as a driven leaf without limb or root

any existing wind could lift me up could toss me down

I was once as rain or snow

falling wherever an accumulation of tears had gathered

I was once as a book containing no dialogue

just endless narrative left to wander aimlessly from page to page

always the quotation mark never the quote itself

I was once as a small child long since weaned

still searching to connect with the source

I knew of God but not of my place in the eternal story

but even a leaf may find rest in a phalanx of leaves

the rain and the snow eventually flow into something

far greater than themselves

and the book with chapters rearranged may find an audience

but I am not a leaf the rain the snow or a small hungry child

nor am I an unread book left to molder on a shelf

I am as God made me

able to wrestle my demons and mingle with the angels

able to whimper to wail to love and be loved

 

* * * * *

for vivian feintech

Los Angeles – September 2008

 

Trivia Corner
Here are the answers to last month’s trivia questions:

Q: What Jewish movie star he-man wore dresses as a kid?
Issur Danielovitch aka Kirk Douglas. He was the only boy among 4 or 5 older sisters. They couldn’t afford toys, so they treated him as their own private dress-up doll. Then as a teen he muscled up and became macho to prove his manhood . . . (I am Spartacus!)Q: What Jewish man was the first & greatest swashbuckling movie hero known as the First King of Hollywood?
A: Thomas Ullman aka Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.

Milestones
Mazel Tov to the following June, July & August birthdays:
June: Gail Barton, Rona Berns, Janis Biederman, Farla Binder, Melanie Gutterman, Marion Klein, Leonia Kallir Kurgan, Lydia Friedlich, Judy Rosenzweig
July: Sharon Alexander Dryfuss, Rabbi August, Farla Binder, Judy Blake, Susan Casamassima, Lillian Coopersmith, Vivian Feintech, Myrna Gale, Roz Hendlish, Laurel Newmark, Andrea Nitz, Linda Owen, Craig Singer, Joan Spiegel, Nancy Weiss, Robin Winston
August: Lee Fischer, Myrna Gale, Barbara Haberman, Shayna Lester, Lois B. Miller, Ellie Sherman-QuinnMazel Tov to the following wedding anniversaries:
Robin and Bruce Winston, who are celebrating their 30th
Barb and Marv Brown, who are celebrating their 25th

Mazel Tov to Joy Krauthammer, whose art and writing on healing is on display at the American Jewish University through August 20.  Her work is part of the Art & Healing Through Creative Expression exhibit. You can see Joy’s work in the 2nd floor library of the AJU.

If you have a milestone to share please send it to Rose Ziff at editor@leveisha.org.

Birthdays, weddings, graduations, Bat or Bar Mitzvot, births, special awards/honors, and exotic vacations are some of the simchas that are fun to share with our community. 
This is also the place to ask our community to join you in prayers of healing for those who are ill or in memory of those who have passed away. Our newsletter is usually published the Monday before each service.

Map & Directions
Lev Eisha Shabbat Services are held at Vista Del Mar
3200 Motor Ave., Los Angeles 90034
Click on the map for directions.
Welcome to Lev Eisha, a spiritual prayer service by and for women.  B’ruchot Ha’baot – we invite you to join us with great blessing.  We provide a joyous environment with opportunities for soulful prayer, energetic song and dance, deep Jewish study, and meditation.  Each person, in their own way, finds what they need for their personal and spiritual growth at Lev Eisha.What makes our community so unique? The answer is reflected in our name. “Lev” means heart, and “Eisha” means woman.  When women come together with open hearts, we figuratively hold each others’ hearts in profound acceptance, understanding and love.

Join us and support Lev Eisha. By attending you are giving yourself the greatest gift; time for yourself, a “spiritual fix” to keep you balanced and centered for the month. Lev Eisha will transform your Jewish soul.

May 2015 Newsletter

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A joyous community of Jewish women engaged in
prayer, study and spiritual growth  
 

May 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ISRAEL!
On April 23, corresponding to the 4th of Iyar, the Jewish people celebrated Israel’s 67th birthday, Yom Ha’atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day. At that time Israel was a blessed haven for European refugees and survivors of the Holocaust. For American Jews, the idea of Israel is one we struggle with. Yes, we love to visit, and some of us made Aliyah. Yet we are concerned about the politics and the tension with the Arabs and the intractable issue of a separate Palestinian State.

 

What was it like to be an American Jew right after the Holocaust and the establishment of the state of Israel? One great writer, Bernard Malamud, explored these questions of identity in his novels and short stories.

 

Join us for breakfast beginning at 8:15am, on Saturday May 2, when Rabbi August will teach and lead a discussion on Jewbird, Bernard Malmud’s most famous and thought-provoking short story.  Our breakfast is sponsored by the Lev Eisha Book Club.

 

The breakfast teaching is immediately followed by Shabbat services at 9:30am, led by Rabbi  August and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley. Torah readings are Parshat Kedoshim from the book of Leviticus.  Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush after services, sponsored by Lynn Beliak in honor of her mother, Edith Ballonoff, on her 93rd birthday; the yarhzeit of her mother-in-law, Regina Beliak, and in honor of Joan Siegel for all the delicious cakes she has made all year for kiddish; by Sandy Terranova in honor of her birthday; by Barbara Goldstone  in memory of her husband, Bob Goldstone; and by an anonymous donor.

 

Thank you to all our sponsors for this month’s Shabbat.  Would you like to sponsor a kiddush or breakfast?   Look for the pink business cards on each table with the address to mail checks and Lynn’s email address.  She is starting to take sponsorships for next year.  Email LYNN or call her at 310-286-2831, to make arrangements.
In This Issue
Membership
Fundraiser Recap
Message from Rabbi August
Our Resident Poet
Trivia Corner
Quick Links
Visit our website!
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing ListGray

Contact Us!

Get a Free Year of Membership!
If you haven’t renewed your Lev Eisha membership, here is an opportunity you just can’t miss.  Join now, at the basic or any of the higher levels and you get next year free!  Don’t wait – sign up HEREYou can also mail your check to Lev Eisha at 10736 Jefferson Blvd. #706, Culver City 90230.

We welcome new and renewing members:
Barbara Lewis
Sheryl Melendez
Irene Perer
Hali Ziff

Dedicate a Prayer Book!
  • Joann Blumenfeld donated a prayer book in memory of Barbara Axelband’s beautiful daughter, Laurie
  • Sara Fields donated 2 prayer books in honor of Barbara Brown’s Lev Eisha Presidency

Share a simcha or remember a loved one.  It’s only $18 to dedicate a prayer book, or 8 for $100.  ContactRUTH to order your prayerbook dedication.

Lev in the Afternoon – What a Great Day!
by Barbara Brown
On Sunday, April 19 our Lev community enjoyed a fabulous afternoon of folk music, friendship, delicious homemade goodies both sweet and savory, and the opportunity to buy a wonderfully diverse assortment of auction items. The event was our annual fund raiser – “Lev in the Afternoon.” Janis Cohen and her husband Ken Morris opened their beautiful new home to us, and if you were able to attend you know what a joyous time we had.

 

Cindy and her talented musician friends, including our own Robin Winston, performed the music of Pete Seeger. After schmoozing, noshing, and bidding, we sang along to these timeless songs. The mood was festive and filled with the Lev spirit!

 

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this event successful, with particular appreciation to the following:  to Janis for so ably chairing our afternoon; to Rose Ziff for her skills with publicity, silent auction signage, and decorating; to Lynn Beliak, Gail Heim and her committee for buying, organizing, and setting up the food so beautifully; to Robin Winston for making signs and performing in concert; to Cindy for performing and handling all of the musical program details; to Judy Fishman for setting up and organizing the silent auction.

 

Special thanks to Holly Factor, Barbra Bolle, Judy Sherman, and Joan Spiegel for their invaluable assistance in preparing for and helping with the set up.

 

To the many Lev members and friends who made baskets, solicited donations, gave us handmade items for the auction, and brought guests, we thank you for your support. Our community is indeed blessed with talented and caring people. We count on each of you to continue to make Lev Eisha the fabulous congregation it has been and continues to be.

Our event was held at Janis and Ken’s brand new home Olivia Goodkin and Bruce Winston at
check in

JoBeth Cohen and Holly Factor Perusing the auction items

Sweet and savory goodies!

Barbara Brown, Sara Fields, and Marla Osbandenjoying the day Even the men got in on the fun!

Our fearless leader, Rabbi August We donated our balloon arrangements to Kindred Hospital after the event


2014-15 Calendar

Services: 9:30am  12:00pm
Breakfast & Study at 8:15am – 9:25am
Kiddush immediately following services
 
Please note:  breakfast will be available at 8:15am     
Rabbi’s teaching to start promptly at 8:30am
 
 *May 2
Breakfast & Brucha, followed by Shabbat Services June 6
Shabbat Services – our last service of the year

*Breakfast teaching before services

Counting Each Day – Making Each Day Count
by Rabbi August 

 

For the last two weeks, I have enjoyed picking up my newspaper from the driveway. Why? The reason is the blooming jasmine bush in front of our home. Each morning I stop, close my eyes and breathe in the intense sweet perfume-like fragrance. For an instant I am smiling, content, filled-up with gratitude for the small miracles of beauty and aroma of nature. This moment is enough. What a great way to start my day!
Our lives are sustained by moments of joy, sorrow, love, resentment, hope and despair. Moments come and go – and the secret is to savor and be present in each particular moment.
The Jewish tradition has a ritual called ‘Counting the Omer’ (Sefirat Ha’Omer) which encourages and aids us to pay attention to the sacred moments. It is a seven-week period, 49 days of counting each day, beginning on the second day of Passover and ending at Shavuot.

 

Every Jewish holiday has at least three levels of meaning: historical, connection to the land of Israel, and spiritual. The counting of the Omer is in the Torah and was the time the farmers in ancient Israel brought an “omer” – a specifically designated amount of their first crop of barley – to the Temple. Historically it reminded the ancient Israelites of the freedom from slavery (Passover) and the connection to receiving the Torah (Shavuot). We were not free to do whatever we chose, but rather to follow mitzvot (commandments) and live a civilized life in a community with an awareness of God. Bringing the omer also reflected their gratitude for having food and gave them the opportunity to pray that their next harvest of wheat would also be abundant.
In contemporary traditions, our focus in on the third level, the spiritual one. Like the month of reflection before Rosh Hashanah, we use these seven weeks to appreciate the significance of the moment. There are many teachings in Hasidic traditions which help us focus on strengthening our good character traits, realigning our priorities and improving how we react daily to our work, family and friends.
This year I am using a new approach found in Rabbi Karyn Kedar’s new book, Omer: A Counting. She created an original set of seven spiritual principles for these seven weeks. They are: 1. Decide, 2. Discern, 3. Choose, 4. Hope, 5. Imagine,  6. Courage and 7. Pray. In the first week of May, we are in the 4th week of the omer – the week of Hope.
Let me share a part of her teaching and perhaps we can respond both to the quote and her poem below.
For the 28th Day – “The eye has a dark part and a light part. One can see only through dark part.” (Midrash)
 
 
Hope
 Creator of darkness and light,
 banish my despair,
 turn aside my indifference,
 soften the callousness of my heart.
 Open my eyes
 that I may see that
 beauty abounds,
 and that love abides.
 Enlighten my life with
 holiness and grace.
 As it is written: Come, let us walk in the light of God. (Isaiah 2:5)

 

 May it be so, and we say AMEN.

 

Offerings from Our Resident Poet, Sarah Barash
We are continuing our new column in the Lev Eisha Newsletter with a second offering by our resident poet, Sarah Barash.  If you are interested in buying her book of poems, see Sarah at services.

News report:
Tonight, March 18, 2011, the biggest moon in decades will appear.
HALO ROUND THE MOON
One winter past there were weeks when a bleakness settled in my bones,
Wherever I turned fear followed.
Sleepless,
Ragged thoughts cut my breath in two.
Would the bills be paid?
Could I buy the birthday child a gift?
Would we make it through the month?
Inexplicably inspired I rose from bed to scribble a phrase or two across Scraps of paper.
Standing at the window to illuminate my words
I saw above the rooftops,
Hovering in both time and space,
To mesmerize,
An immense Moon.
Enthralled,
I finally slept,
Until a throbbing light opened my eyes to
The wall of window by my bed,
Where I saw an ethereal halo circling the moon.
The incandescent rings seemed filled with a spirit
Whose essence intensified its radiance ten-fold,
And, as if the waxing and waning of hope itself had first unmoored me,
Now, a mass of despair dislodged,
There was nothing in this moment but the moon and me.
There are, I know, scientific reasons for halos round the moon:
The clouds, the mist, the currents of wind, and particles of dust.
But when I saw that glorious orb in that clear night sky,
I felt bathed in a peace that only
God’s special effects could have created.
MARCH APRIL MAY year upon year,
How could I have known then
That the moon that night would usher in a soul change
To alter the very course of my life?
09/05/2014

 

Trivia Corner
Here are the answers to last issue’s trivia questions, plus a couple new ones.Q: What Jewish comedian was TV’s first superstar and was so popular that NBC gave him a 30-year contract?
Answer: “Mr. Television” was Mendel Berlinger, aka Milton Berle.

Q: What famous Jewish symphony orchestra conductor is the grandson of the King & Queen of the Yiddish Theatre . . . Boris & Bessie Thomashefsky?
Answer: Michael Tilson Thomas
Q: What Jewish movie star he-man wore dresses as a kid?
Q: What Jewish man was the first & greatest swashbuckling movie hero known as the First King of Hollywood?Answers in next month’s newsletter!

Milestones
Mazel Tov to the following April & May Birthdays:April: Holly Factor, Lynn Stevens, Sue Urfrig

May: Edith Ballonoff, Ruth Grossman, Julie Klee, Irene Perer, Marcy Perlmutter, Kate Rosloff, Suzanne Schweitzer, Stacey Serber, Sandy Terranova

If you have a milestone to share, please send it to Rose Ziff at editor@leveisha.org.
Birthdays, weddings, graduations, Bat or Bar Mitzvot, births, special awards/honors, and exotic vacations are some of the simchas that are fun to share with our community. 
This is also the place to ask our community to join you in prayers of healing for those who are ill or in memory of those who have passed away. Our newsletter is usually published the Monday before each service.

Map & Directions
Lev Eisha Shabbat Services are held at Vista Del Mar
3200 Motor Ave., Los Angeles 90034
Click on the map for directions.
Welcome to Lev Eisha, a spiritual prayer service by and for women.  B’ruchot Ha’baot– we invite you to join us with great blessing.  We provide a joyous environment with opportunities for soulful prayer, energetic song and dance, deep Jewish study, and meditation.  Each person, in their own way, finds what they need for their personal and spiritual growth at Lev Eisha.
What makes our community so unique? The answer is reflected in our name. “Lev” means heart, and “Eisha” means woman.  When women come together with open hearts, we figuratively hold each others’ hearts in profound acceptance, understanding and love.
Join us and support Lev Eisha. By attending you are giving yourself the greatest gift; time for yourself, a “spiritual fix” to keep you balanced and centered for the month. Lev Eisha will transform your Jewish soul.

My Tallit by Suzanne Gallant

Posted by | Member Contributions | No Comments

My Tallit

By Suzanne Gallant

Torah does not command

The wearing of a tallit,

It only instructs the Israelites

To add fringes to their garments

And to tie knots on them.

Until modern times, in progressive communities

Only men would wear this garment

With its fringes,

They would wear the tzitit, fringes

All the time.

When this woman had an adult

B’nai Mitzvah, I bought one for myself.

And put it on whenever it was right.

I learned the prayer before donning one

Wearing it with pride.

But recently, a rabbi helped to make it

Even more meaningful to me.

How to hold it and swing it up:

“Lift the tallit, swing it high

And make a tent.”

Welcome, greet and feel the Presence

“There you are my God,

I’m here to praise your name

And feel the joy and blessing

Of Shabbat and prayer.

 

Paris, Selma, Satire and the Modern Western World

Posted by | Rabbis Column | No Comments
I am writing this column on Martin Luther King’s birthday and see a poignant connection between the Selma march in 1965 (as depicted in the movie Selma) with the solidarity march in Paris on January 11, 2015.
 Although not depicted accurately, the movie included the famous activist Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marching alongside Reverend Martin Luther King. The inclusive image of leaders of all religions and races marching arm in arm for civil rights was once again displayed in the Paris march. In response to the killings at the kosher market and the Charlie Hebdo offices, 3.7 million people, along with the families of the victims,  demonstrated, arm in arm, with the French President and other heads of state, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

One inspiring moment in the film Selma was the response to King’s call for support. He waited until thousands of religious and secular people arrived from all over the country to begin the third protest. In that moment of decent people marching for civility and democratic ideals, there was a display of hope and courage. When I saw the newspaper’s front page photo of the January 2015 march in Paris with the disparate leaders marching together, I was again inspired and filled with hope.

Sometimes I feel that the world’s current level of violence and hatred will never subside. Then, there are these moments of hope and the expectation that sanity, tolerance, compassion, and peace can prevail when people march together in solidarity.

Though I am not a political analyst, like many of you I am obsessed with reading everything I can to make sense of world events, and, being a Jew, the rising threat of anti-semitism.  In an interview with Professor Deborah Lipstadt, author of the celebrated book, History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, she asserts that what happens to Jews (like the murders in the Kosher market) are a “litmus test and a weathervane” for hate crimes in general. The multicultural, liberal, and democratic societies, she claims, should be very concerned. It starts with the Jews but it never ends with the Jews.

In her article in the Jewish Journal, Dr. Tamar Frankiel, the president of the Academy for Jewish Religion in California, explained “Why Religion is a Laughing Matter.” The role of humor and satire, she says, is a “disruptive, liberating force,” and can be an outlet to release hate and defuse violence. Judaism has produced a large repertoire of humorous religious satire. Frankiel points out that in the Exodus narrative, which we have been reading in January and February, the Bible makes Pharaoh a laughingstock, a helpless victim of forces he thinks he controls. Unlike the literal Islamic terrorists, our tradition uses irony and satire because we are human and everything, even God, is subject to critique.

In the fight against intolerance, humor and satire can liberate the mind. There is much irony when we take ourselves and our God too seriously. Frankiel says:

“The best humor comes not with bitterness or revolutionary zeal, but with love and appreciation for the precarious and tender efforts of humans and divine partners to be in relationship.”

One of the cartoons that angered Islamic radicals depicted the founder of Islam holding his head in his hands saying, “It is so hard to be loved by idiots.” Frankiel tells us that this cartoon could have been one of God as the old bearded man in the sky looking down on His human creations. “It must be hard,” she says, “for God to be loved by those idiosyncratic creatures who forget what God is all about.”

Mark Twain said, “humans are the only animals who love their neighbors as themselves and then cut their throats if their theology is different from their own.” And Voltaire is attributed to saying, “I hate what you are saying, but I shall fight so that you are able to say it.”

It is not Islam which is evil; it is the extreme, literalist interpretation of Islam with its support of strict Sharia law which is a threat to peaceful coexistence. David Suissa, a writer for the Jewish Journal wrote,

“If Islam is a religion that stands for justice and peaceful coexistence, it needs to be modernized and reinterpreted to affirm and promote universally accepted human rights and values.”

May we all be motivated to continue to speak out, march, sign petitions, and learn about each other as we fight for a truly civilized and peaceful world. AMEN.

February 2015 Newsletter

Posted by | Newsletters | No Comments

A joyous community of Jewish women engaged in
prayer, study and spiritual growth  
 

February 2015

So, you think you know all about the Ten Commandments? Think again! Join us for a breakfast teaching before services on Saturday, February 7. During this innovative, interactive workshop, you will view the “Aseret Ha-Dibrot” from many new perspectives.  The activity will encourage you to evaluate these “rules for living” in ways you may never have considered before.  A light breakfast will be available at 8:15 am, followed by the teaching at 8:30

At 9:30 am we start Shabbat with services led by Guest Rabbi Naomi Levy and Cantorial Soloist Cindy Paley. Torah readings are Yitro from the book of Exodus. Be sure to stay for a delicious kiddush after services.

We have many generous kiddush sponsors this month.  Breakfast is sponsored by Irene Perer, in memory of the Yahrzeit of her mother, Bessie R. Waldman.  Kiddush lunch is sponsored by Myrna Kayton and Barbara Axelband in honor of their 79th birthdays; by Barbara Brown in honor of the birthdays of her daughter, Sarah, and grandson, Max; by Sharon Alexander in memory of the Yahrzeits of her parents, Pat and Ed Alexander, and the passing of her uncle, Daniel L. Gould; and by Lydia Friedlich in memory of her mother, Dolly Lane.

Thank you to all the sponsors for this month’s Shabbat.  If it weren’t for you, our congregation would not be able provide full kiddush lunches and breakfasts. The
Lev Eisha community is a beautiful place to celebrate special events in our lives and those of our loved ones.  Please be sure to send an email to Lynn Beliak, or call her at 310-286-2831, to let her know which month you would like to sponsor.  There are only 3 more months left – please get your request in now.
In This Issue
Membership
Dues
February Donations
Message from Rabbi August
Member Contribution
Milestones
Map & Directions
Quick Links
Visit our website!
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing ListGray

Contact Us!

We Continue to Grow
We welcome new and renewing members:
Rona Berns
Shayna Lester
Irene Perer
Sarah Schachter

Almost There – Be a Winner!
We are so close to reaching our goal! As we mentioned last month, we are offering two exceptional prizes to the 125th person to join LevEisha.
The lucky person who joins, at any level, will receive an honor at a Lev Eisha service.  In addition, that member will receive one of Joan Spiegel’s famous chocolate Star of David cakes.
Even if you are not the 125th member, you will still be a winner by becoming part of the Lev Eishacommunity, and enjoying all the benefits of membership.
Please select from one of our 5 membership levels:
Miriam $90
Rachel $136
Leah $180
Sarah $360
Hallelujah! $500
You can renew or join online HERE.
Or mail your check to Lev Eisha, 10736 Jefferson Blvd. #706, Culver City, CA 90230.

 


2014-15 Calendar

Services: 9:30 a.m.  12:00 p.m.

Breakfast & Study at 8:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.

Kiddush immediately following services

 

Please note:  breakfast will be available at 8:15 am.    

Rabbi’s teaching to start promptly at 8:30 am

 *Feb. 7
Breakfast & Brucha, followed by Shabbat Services March 7 
Shabbat Services

 April 
No service in April, as the first Shabbat of the month is the second Passover seder and the second Shabbat of the month is the last day of Passover and Yizkor

 *May 2
Breakfast & Brucha, followed by Shabbat Services

 June 6
Shabbat Services

*Breakfast teaching before services

Open Your Heart to Lev Eisha
Thank you to the following generous donors this month:Janice Ruben dedicated 3 prayerbooks.

Lev Eisha Makes People Happy!
Congregant Bobbie Peyser, radiant as always.

 

 

Paris, Selma, Satire and the Modern Western World
by Rabbi August 
I am writing this column on Martin Luther King’s birthday and see a poignant connection between the Selma march in 1965 (as depicted in the movie Selma) with the solidarity march in Paris on January 11, 2015.
 Although not depicted accurately, the movie included the famous activist Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marching alongside Reverend Martin Luther King. The inclusive image of leaders of all religions and races marching arm in arm for civil rights was once again displayed in the Paris march. In response to the killings at the kosher market and the Charlie Hebdo offices, 3.7 million people, along with the families of the victims,  demonstrated, arm in arm, with the French President and other heads of state, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

One inspiring moment in the film Selma was the response to King’s call for support. He waited until thousands of religious and secular people arrived from all over the country to begin the third protest. In that moment of decent people marching for civility and democratic ideals, there was a display of hope and courage. When I saw the newspaper’s front page photo of the January 2015 march in Paris with the disparate leaders marching together, I was again inspired and filled with hope.

Sometimes I feel that the world’s current level of violence and hatred will never subside. Then, there are these moments of hope and the expectation that sanity, tolerance, compassion, and peace can prevail when people march together in solidarity.

Though I am not a political analyst, like many of you I am obsessed with reading everything I can to make sense of world events, and, being a Jew, the rising threat of anti-semitism.  In an interview with Professor Deborah Lipstadt, author of the celebrated book, History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, she asserts that what happens to Jews (like the murders in the Kosher market) are a “litmus test and a weathervane” for hate crimes in general. The multicultural, liberal, and democratic societies, she claims, should be very concerned. It starts with the Jews but it never ends with the Jews.

In her article in the Jewish Journal, Dr. Tamar Frankiel, the president of the Academy for Jewish Religion in California, explained “Why Religion is a Laughing Matter.” The role of humor and satire, she says, is a “disruptive, liberating force,” and can be an outlet to release hate and defuse violence. Judaism has produced a large repertoire of humorous religious satire. Frankiel points out that in the Exodus narrative, which we have been reading in January and February, the Bible makes Pharaoh a laughingstock, a helpless victim of forces he thinks he controls. Unlike the literal Islamic terrorists, our tradition uses irony and satire because we are human and everything, even God, is subject to critique.

In the fight against intolerance, humor and satire can liberate the mind. There is much irony when we take ourselves and our God too seriously. Frankiel says:

“The best humor comes not with bitterness or revolutionary zeal, but with love and appreciation for the precarious and tender efforts of humans and divine partners to be in relationship.”

One of the cartoons that angered Islamic radicals depicted the founder of Islam holding his head in his hands saying, “It is so hard to be loved by idiots.” Frankiel tells us that this cartoon could have been one of God as the old bearded man in the sky looking down on His human creations. “It must be hard,” she says, “for God to be loved by those idiosyncratic creatures who forget what God is all about.”

Mark Twain said, “humans are the only animals who love their neighbors as themselves and then cut their throats if their theology is different from their own.” And Voltaire is attributed to saying, “I hate what you are saying, but I shall fight so that you are able to say it.”

It is not Islam which is evil; it is the extreme, literalist interpretation of Islam with its support of strict Sharia law which is a threat to peaceful coexistence. David Suissa, a writer for the Jewish Journal wrote,

“If Islam is a religion that stands for justice and peaceful coexistence, it needs to be modernized and reinterpreted to affirm and promote universally accepted human rights and values.”

May we all be motivated to continue to speak out, march, sign petitions, and learn about each other as we fight for a truly civilized and peaceful world. AMEN.

My Tallit
by Suzanne Gallant

My Tallit

By Suzanne Gallant

Torah does not command

The wearing of a tallit,

It only instructs the Israelites

To add fringes to their garments

And to tie knots on them.

Until modern times, in progressive communities

Only men would wear this garment

With its fringes,

They would wear the tzitit, fringes

All the time.

When this woman had an adult

B’nai Mitzvah, I bought one for myself.

And put it on whenever it was right.

I learned the prayer before donning one

Wearing it with pride.

But recently, a rabbi helped to make it

Even more meaningful to me.

How to hold it and swing it up:

“Lift the tallit, swing it high

And make a tent.”

Welcome, greet and feel the Presence

“There you are my God,

I’m here to praise your name

And feel the joy and blessing

Of Shabbat and prayer.

Dancing With My Soul
by Barbara Brown

The long-anticipated women’s weekend finally arrived. Sixty-one women spent Friday afternoon to Sunday noon enjoying each other’s company while attending a plethora of workshops, taking walks, attending Shabbat services, and just relaxing with friends. We made new friends and hung out with old friends. We sang, we talked, we ate, we danced, we prayed, we played games. The weather was perfect. The food was good. There was time to reflect. There was time to rest. There was time to visit with friends.

 

If you were able to join us for the weekend, I hope you were filled up with light and joy. If you were unable to be there this year, I hope you will consider joining us in 2016. The date is March 25-27.

 

Thank you to each and every Lev woman who contributed in any way to make Dancing with My Soul the marvelous experience that it was. Special thanks to Rabbi August, Cindy, Joy, Robin, Ruth, and Sharon for providing Friday night and Shabbat morning services that were especially beautiful and meaningful.

 

Thank you to Joy Krauthammer for these lovely photos.

Nature Walk

Closing Circle

Milestones
Mazel Tov to the following February Birthdays:
Barbara Axelband, Sarah Barash, Suzanne Buckholtz, Linda Fleischman, Shirley Munch, Cathy Novak, and everyone who has a February birthday.
If you have a milestone to share, please send it to Rose Ziff ateditor@leveisha.org.
Birthdays, weddings, graduations, Bat or Bar Mitzvot, births, special awards/honors, and exotic vacations are some of the simchas that are fun to share with our community. 
This is also the place to ask our community to join you in prayers of healing for those who are ill or in memory of those who have passed away. Our newsletter is usually published the Monday before each service.

Map & Directions
Lev Eisha Shabbat Services are held at Vista Del Mar
3200 Motor Ave., Los Angeles 90034
Click on the map for directions.
Welcome to Lev Eisha, a spiritual prayer service by and for women.  B’ruchot Ha’baot – we invite you to join us with great blessing.  We provide a joyous environment with opportunities for soulful prayer, energetic song and dance, deep Jewish study, and meditation.  Each person, in their own way, finds what they need for their personal and spiritual growth at Lev Eisha.What makes our community so unique? The answer is reflected in our name. “Lev” means heart, and “Eisha” means woman.  When women come together with open hearts, we figuratively hold each others’ hearts in profound acceptance, understanding and love.

Join us and support Lev Eisha. By attending you are giving yourself the greatest gift; time for yourself, a “spiritual fix” to keep you balanced and centered for the month. Lev Eisha will transform your Jewish soul.

The Boys in the Boat – by Daniel James Brown

Posted by | book reviews | No Comments

boys in the boat This is the true and quite amazing story of the 1936 Olympic crew made up of nine young men from Washington State who beat all comers and won the gold medal in rowing during the summer Olympics in Germany on the even of World War II.  The author recounts the individual and collective stories of the University of Washington young men through first-hand accounts by family members, first-hand observers and the men themselves.  Brown has written a gripping, sometimes unbelievable and always interesting story of their trials and tribulations, their failures and successes.  It is easy to imagine yourself in the boat as they struggle to become a team which will bring pride and prestige to themselves, their school and their country.

Submitted by Barbara Brown