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by Rabbi Ephraim Osgood

Many people may not be aware that Hillel was founded in 1948 by the founding rabbi of Beth Jacob, Rabbi Dr. Simon A. Dolgin. Eight years ago, Rabbi Roi Zadok, who was then Hillel’s Judaic Studies Principal, suggested that I begin a bi-monthly Shabbat afternoon Mishna shiur for my students at Hillel. Originally, I invited the boys from my class. Beth Jacob was happy to host yet another Torah class in its midst, and even agreed to provide some delicious treats for the kids. At that point we decided to actively recruit from the community. We learned a number of Mesechtot over the next seven years. Aside from Pirkei Avot, we always use Mishnayot with pictures in order to help bring the Mishna’s narrative alive. A few years later, when I joined Beth Jacob’s Youth Department to run the Junior Congregation, we decided

to increase the shiur’s frequency to every week. Due to the shiur’s popularity, a girls’ shiur was founded as well, and the two groups (boys and girls) were eventually combined into one. Thankfully, I have hired an assistant to help with the large crowd. We begin one hour before Mincha in the Ives Youth Lounge at Beth Jacob Congregation located at 9030 W. Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills CA 90211. We have delicious treats and lively Torah discussion for everyone who comes. We also end each class with a raffle of awesome prizes (last week I raffled off a Sky Ball and an autographed basketball card). For more information about our program please e-mail me at eosgood@hillelhebrew.org or rabbiosgood@bethjacob.org.

JANUARY 9, 2014

Torah, treats, prizes, and friends attract dozens of kids to weekly Shabbat Mishna Shiur at Beth Jacob. I would happily stand corrected if someone would tell me that they are aware of a Mishna Shiur like ours anywhere in the world. Our co-ed shiur attracts a mixture of boys and girls from an amazingly broad spectrum of the Jewish community here in Los Angeles. We have 30-40 2nd-6th graders coming to learn Mishna Pirkei Avot every Shabbat Afternoon. The shiur is hosted by Beth Jacob Congregation and Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, and is attended by kids from my class at Hillel, as well as students from Maimonides, Yavneh, Chabad, Etz Jacob, Sinai Akiba, and almost all of the local public schools. Where better to learn our eternal moral values than with the full tapestry of our city’s youth?

Rabbi Ephraim Osgood teaches 3rd and 5th grade boys at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, and is Junior Congregation Director at Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills.

Ex-NBA Stars Disassociate from Dennis Rodman-Led Basketball Game in Pyongyang (NBPA), the NBRPA is a non-profit for news updates sent direct association comprised of former to your Twitter page or professional basketball players of the mobile device. NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters, and WNBA. The NBRPA is a charitable, The Simon Wiesenthal 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a two- Center is one of the largest pronged mission to assist its members in international Jewish human their transition from the playing court into rights organizations with life after the game, while also positively over 400,000 member impacting communities and youth through families in the United States. basketball. It is an NGO at international “While we support international agencies including the goodwill and diplomacy in instances United Nations, UNESCO, deemed appropriate by our Board of the OSCE, the OAS, the Directors, it is important to clarify that Council of Europe and the the trip to North Korea led by Dennis Latin American Parliament Rodman and others was not sanctioned by (Parlatino). the NBRPA and is not supported by our organization in any way,” said NBRPA Chairman of the Board swwxc Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All-Star. “Under the right circumstances basketball can serve as a bridge to bring communities together, Transportation, Messenger and Delivery Company but these are not those 24 Hour Service Including Erev Shabbos & Motzei Shabbos circumstances. Standing alongside our partners at the NBA, we do not PUNCTUAL condone the basketball activities to be conducted COURTEOUS in North Korea this week.” RELIABLE HAIMISHE For more information,

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center commended the the National Basketball Retired Association for firmly disassociating itself from the Dennis Rodman organized basketball game in Pyongyang in honor of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s 31st birthday. “While all Americans support the use of sports to break down barriers between nations, this game does nothing but give the North Korean propaganda machine an undeserved opportunity to change the narrative of this dangerous, nuclearized bully, into a fun-loving, youthful basketball fan,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights group. Pictured at podium, Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) with Rabbi Abraham Cooper Photo: Christine Butler “At the Wiesenthal Center’s press conference yesterday we heard North Korean escapees urge the ex-NBAers to speak out and we are grateful they have before the tip-off in North Korea tomorrow,” Cooper added. The association’s press release from Chicago reads in part: This morning the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) Board of Directors held a conference call to discuss human rights and the upcoming basketball exhibition in North Korea to be led by Dennis Rodman this week. In a productive conference call, the NBRPA Board of Directors discussed the basketball exhibition, as well as conditions and policies in place under North Korea’s current leadership regime. Directly supported by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association

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