Events in the West: On January 7, Rabbi Yosef Y. Jacobson will speak on “Marriage: The Comedy And The Kabbalah” at the Menachem Institute in Tarzana, CA… Yeshivat Yavneh hosts Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, author, lecturer, TV host and Jewish Press columnist, on Motzaei Shabbos, January 14 at Shaarei Tefila… On January 30, Rabbi Jason Weiner, chaplain of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, begins his three-part series on medical ethics and the beginning of life and reproductive technology at Young Israel of Century City in Los Angeles.
Chanukah Celebrations: Most shuls have pre-Chanukah bazaars and/or a Chanukah party. Chabad tries the unusual, and sometimes the spectacular. This year the Los Angeles Chabad organization reached out to more than just Universal City Walk when looking for a spectacular venue for its Chanukah celebrations. For the first time, there was a celebration in downtown L.A at L.A. LIVE, across from the Nokia Theater and Staples Center. The Chanukah menorah lighting ceremony was scheduled conveniently for Lakers basketball fans, the majority of whom always show up early for games, as it was held right before their game vs. the Jazz. The lighting ceremony, complete with some celebrity lamplighters, was broadcast live on the KTLA evening news. Along with performances by the Klezmer Fusion Band and the Cheder Menachem boys’ choir, there was menorah ice sculpting, celebrity dreidel, kids activities and donuts for all… Another fun venue was the “Chanukah on Ice,” a regular attraction in many cities across the U.S. It was held in California at the practice rink of L.A.’s hockey team, the Kings. Cars and vans, with menorahs on rooftops, drove around Jewish neighborhoods to remind the public that it was Chanukah. And the annual Chanukah parade took place on the last night of Chanukah, starting at Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon.
Back To The Future: For the first time in at least 25 years, a minyan was held recently at the Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights to celebrate two bar mitzvahs, including one for a young man with special needs. The smachot were organized by Camp Chesed and Camp Dora Hauser. The Breed Street Shul was the largest Orthodox synagogue in the western United States from 1915 to 1951, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles, located east of downtown, was home to the city’s most populous Jewish community from 1910-1950.
Kosher News: 365 Sesame Sticks and Sesame Trail Mix, carried at Whole Foods, are kosher – but contain dairy ingredients. There is no D on the label… Many Israeli olive oils have unauthorized hechsherim. The national rabbanut hechsher should be accepted on olive oil only if accompanied by a hologram. While Tevel olive oil claims to have Badatz Beit Yosef, Maayan Hashemen oil claims Chug Chasam Sofer Bnei Brak and Katit Me’ulah, Galilee Press claims Badatz Yoreh De’ah, none of them are legitimate.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Mazel Tov – Births: Rabbi Shlomie and Elisheva Nussbaum, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi Nachum and Chaya Sauer)… Rabbi Yosef and Rochel Bromberg, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi Nachum and Chaya Sauer)… Rabbi Dovid and Esther Sauer, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Nachum and Chaya Sauer)… Moshe and Miriam Bloch, a son (Grandparents Yaakov and Laura Bloch)… Menachem and Chaya Cohen, a son… Yonatan and Sara Griffith, a daughter (Grandparents Yisroel and Reeva Milstein)… Joel and Shoshana Fogel, a son (Grandparents Sandy and Freda Small)… David and Tzippy Leichter, a son (Grandparents Robert and Elaine Leichter)… Yakov and Rochel Teichman of Lakewood, NJ, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Avrohom and Sara Teichman)… Boaz and Rebecca Kohn, a son (Grandparents Larry and Maureen Isenberg)… Jeremy and Samantha Garelick, two sons (Grandparents Arnie and Sue Garelick)… Michael and Pamela Talansky, a son (Grandparents Meir and Robin Gelman)… Steven and Danielle Herbst, a daughter (Grandparents Eddie and Debbie Herbst)… Simy and Yarden Hollander of Yerushalayim, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Tzvi and Kaila Hollander)… Eli and Esther Malka Heller, a daughter (Grandparents Rabbi Dov and Chana Heller; Rabbi Asher and Batya Brander)… Josh and Rachel Tomaszewsky, a daughter (Grandparents Joe and Gerda Tomaszewsky).
Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Hillel Essas, son of Yossi and Bella Essas.
Mazel Tov – Engagements: Adam Shapel, son of Benjamin and Susie Shapel, to Elisheva Frohlinger, daughter of Brian and Mini Frohlinger… Chaim Mainstain, son of Morris and Sharon Mainstain, to Chani Crane, daughter of Dr. Hal and Jody Crane of Denver, CO… Yocheved Roz, daughter of Erwin and Mindy Roz, to Yaakov Hobb, son of Morris and Naomi Hobb)… Ayelet Levychaim, daughter of Rabbi Avrohom and Sarah Levychaim, to Moshe Moinzada of Baltimore, MD… Estie Altusky, daughter of Rabbi Yitzchok and Chaya Altusky, to Uri Meyer Kanark of Flatbush, NY… Nachi Gurman, son of Zalman and Chavie Gurman, to Tamar Lichtenstein of Lakewood, NJ.
Mazel Tov – Weddings: Aliza Saltiel, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Manny and Sharon Saltiel, to Avi Gruen, son of Jeff and Judy Gruen… Aryeh Leib Freylicher, son of Alexander and Rita Freylicher, to Ellie Exelbaum of St. Louis, MO.