September 2016

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Table of Contents Featured 3. Toward a Just Society 4. A Campus for New Generations

Local 6. New Year, New Equipment 7. Tzedek, Tzedek 8. CSP Archaeology Series 11. Teen Bonding 12. Safety First 16. Experience the New Year in a New Way 17. Community Calendar 18. New Beginnings 19. New Items for the New Year

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Welcome to

Jewish Orange County Kosher OC Magazine is here to give the Orange County Jewish community news when it happens, here and around the world. We combine the best of modern media and dedicated journalism to give you timely and interesting stories about the movers and shakers of the community and the great events they hold. We also talk about Jewish trends and trendmakers in Israel and throughout the globe with interesting ideas about celebrating holidays and celebrating each other. Join us for a window into the world of Judaism, and let us have your insight and input. It is our pleasure to serve this wonderful community. Zach Miller


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Toward a Just Society I l ene S c h n e i d e r / C o n t r i b u t o r


o create a just society in America, we have to get proximate, change the narrative, stay hopeful and be willing to do uncomfortable things, according to Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Stevenson, who launched the 2016-2017 TVT Speakers Series at TVT Community Day School in Irvine on August 24, also talked to students during the day. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is a legal practice that defends the poor, the wrongly condemned and those trapped in the furthest reaches of the U.S. criminal justice system. Under Stevenson’s leadership for 31 years, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. “Our capacity to change the world depends on our ability to get close to the problem,” Stevenson said. “There are parts of the community where there is poverty, abuse and violence, and people are acculturated to stay

away from them. We’ve allowed distance to occur between us and the most vulnerable elements of society.”

fighting on the front lines to defend a young man sentenced to die for a notorious murder he did not commit. He added, “Politicians have The book, a New York created a culture of toughness Times best-seller, that swallows up some elements earned Stevenson the of society – a narrative of fear and Andrew Carnegie anger based on race that makes Medal for Excellence people insensitive to injustice.” and an NAACP Image Award. The book, a Stevenson argues that wealth, New York Times bestnot culpability, often shapes seller, “is as gripping as outcomes in the criminal justice it is disturbing,” wrote system. His organization believes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond TVT speaker Bryan Tutu, “as if America’s Stevenson stresses need to soul has been put on trial.” do things that change the


that the opposite of poverty is justice. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and spending on human services and education is compromised by spending on jails. Some courts may be more committed to finality than fairness. For those reasons, he said, people of color are more likely to be incarcerated, and thousands of children are in adult jails where they are at risk for sexual abuse and violence. Stevenson’s memoir, Just Mercy, tells the story of a young lawyer

“I do what I do, because I’m fighting for my humanity and dignity,” Stevenson concluded. “To do justice, we have to deconstruct the conditions that cause poverty.”

and responsible citizens; and to succeed at the finest colleges and universities. TVT also strives to inspire students to lead meaningful lives, based on Jewish values.  For more information on TVT, 5200 Bonita Canyon Drive, Irvine, CA 92603, contact (949) 509-9500 or visit

TVT is a pluralistic day school noted for its academics, values and cohesiveness. Its mission is to challenge students to think critically and creatively to achieve their fullest potential in an inclusive, pluralistic environment; to prepare students to be leaders, active learners Kosher oc Magazine // September 2016


A Campus for New Generations I l ene S c h n e i d e r / C o n t r i b u t o r


ongregation Shir HaMa’alot, the Reform Congregation in Irvine, will celebrate its new construction with a groundbreaking ceremony and Shabbat services on September 30 at 7 p.m. “We are building a new campus for the next two generations of Orange County Jewish families,” said Rabbi Richard Steinberg, senior rabbi of Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’a lot. “We are remodeling our current building into an

educational center and then along Michelson Drive, creating a new, dynamic, multi-use sanctuary, social hall and administration wing.” He added, “When we bought this building in 1994, our congregation’s population was 250 families. Now, twenty-two years later, we top almost 650 families. We have outgrown our space. As the Torah teaches, G-d desires the Israelites to build a sanctuary so that G-d’s spirit may dwell within each person. That too is our hope – that whenever people walk into our campus, their spirit will be lifted, their mood will brighten and their experience will be positive.”

The congregation will honor its donors – including more than 75 percent of the congregation — at the groundbreaking will symbolically Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’a lot and dig the first shovel embarks on groundbreaking. into the ground. Cantor Arie Shikler, a mainstay of the congregation for more than forty years, said, “There is a special spirit at our temple, and this new campus will only enhance what is already so good. Music will beat in each person’s heart as people join us for services, for meetings, for 4

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school and for community.” According to Rabbi Leah Lewis, Rabbi and Director of Education and Lifelong Learning for more than five years at the synagogue, “We have been sort of land locked and not able to do all the things we dream about. With our new educational center and expanded space, the possibilities will be endless. Our school, of more than 400 students including our bursting high school program on Tuesday nights, will engage in projects that have been impossible heretofore because of a lack of space. The sky is the limit now.” Beth Carroll and Dr. Rachel Harman, co-presidents of the congregation explained that while the current temple facility will close down the day after Yom Kippur for construction, the temple will still be active and fully functional. Friday night services will be held at the Mormon Center on Lake Street in Irvine, Sunday School will be at Tarbut v’Torah on Bonita Canyon in Irvine, Tuesday night school will be held at the Back Bay Club in Irvine (upstairs from Irvine Lanes) and several other locations for services and programs will be used as well.

Anyone interested is free to call the office to obtain the year-long “Catalogue of Programs and Services.” According to Rabbi Steinberg, “At the groundbreaking there will be the joy of Shabbat and the double joy of breaking ground with live music, champagne and a spirit filled with possibilities. The whole Orange County community is invited to join the synagogue for this event.” He concluded, “Now being in Orange County and Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot for more than a decade and half, I have seen the incredible growth of our congregation and our Jewish community. This new spiritual campus will be the epicenter for temple members and community members to search for meaning, pray with intention, learn wisdom from our ancient tradition and mostly come together with friends and family to lift us all up.” 

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New Year, New Equipment I l ene S c h n e i d e r / C o n t r i b u t o r


hen the Olam Jewish Montessori held its open house on August 28, the pony rides and the petting zoo were great attractions for the kids. Equally interesting to both children and parents was the new playground equipment, designed to keep children safe, engaged and learning new skills at the same time.

ended play, using all-natural materials, keeping in mind the health and safety of the children and avoiding compounds that are unhealthy to children or the environment.

“By purchasing this equipment, specifically the Outlast Set Playsystem, we can help create a learning environment that builds STEM (Science, Technology, OLAM Jewish Montessori Engineering and Math) adds equipment to build skills,” said Dawn STEM skills. Kreisberg, OLAM Jewish Montessori “As the parents of Olam Jewish director. “STEM will be an Montessori students, we have integral part of our program a wonderful opportunity this year, incorporating lessons to incorporate an Outdoor that help children apply math Classroom Experience into our and science through real handschildren’s curriculum,” explained on learning using new design Susan Berezovsky, Olam PTA processes such as this outdoor president. “The ability to learn equipment, and teaching them to outside will afford our children work in collaboration as well as a unique learning opportunity independently.” that will help foster their growing Kreisberg added, “When children minds and creativity.” are engaged with tools and The new equipment from materials that promote learning, Community Play Things consists their imaginations and creativity of high-quality, state-of-the art come to life. OLAM has begun early childhood materials that to set up the environment, are durable, safe and able to so our children are engaged withstand long-term use. The in the scientific principles of company designs and creates building and designing different furniture to promote openstructures. These blocks will 6

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offer our children even more opportunities to use their skills and learn to problem solve, innovate, develop social skills and strengthen their muscles as well as their minds. This is the place to start with mathematical and engineering ideas.” The OLAM community includes students, veteran educators, parents, volunteers, donors and community agencies. OLAM works together to honor the longstanding tradition of the Judaic community, while integrating secular innovative programming, and to preserve the unique natural setting of the Montessori

classroom.  Founded as the first Jewish Montessori preschool in Orange County, OLAM aims to give Jewish youth a hands-on educational environment that “allows our students the freedom and guidance to fall in love with learning, Judaism, friends, and the possibility of what they can achieve,” according to the school’s website. For more information, visit the school at 3900 Michelson Dr., Irvine; check out the website at http:// or call (949) 786-5230, extension 201.

Tzedek, Tzedek Ko s h er OC S ta f f / C o n t r i b u t o r

Congregation B’nai Tzedek celebrates 40 years.


ongregation B’nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley kicked off its 40th anniversary celebration on September 2 with a special service featuring all five rabbis who have served the congregation over the years: Founding Rabbi and Rabbi Emeritus Stephen J. Einstein; Rabbi Richard Ettelson, who filled in while Rabbi Einstein was on sabbatical in 1991 and 1998; Rabbi Rebecca Schorr, Rabbi Einstein’s daughter and CBT’s former assistant rabbi, 2006-2011; Rabbi Mark Kaiserman, interim rabbi after Rabbi Einstein’s retirement in June 2012; and Rabbi David N. Young, CBT’s current rabbi since July 2013. “I recall how excited I was when I awoke on the first Friday of September in 1976,” Rabbi Einstein said. “A group of young idealists had been planning all summer to create a new synagogue–a Congregation of the People, preaching and practicing the principle of justice. They called themselves B’nai Tzedek, and they had called me to be their rabbi. That night was to be our very first Shabbat service.” He continued, “Now this

congregation — which has grown and thrived and touched so many lives — gathers together again on the First Friday in September to begin a series of celebrations marking four decades. The 40th Anniversary Committee, chaired by Rose Lesser and Debbie Biebelberg, decided to honor our five rabbis at this celebratory service. This is most fitting, as our membership has always understood the sacred partnership between congregation and rabbi, and the Judaic value of K’vod Ha-Rav has been an intrinsic part of our culture.” Rabbi David N. Young created a special service for the occasion, which he led with Cantorial Soloist Jenna Sagan, accompanied by Katheryn Klein, who has musically supported the congregation’s worship for the past 15 years. The September 2 service was the first of five special services, continuing through February 2017. Others include: October 21, 2016 — “Social” Action; November 18, 2016 — The Music of CBT; December 23, 2016 — Education at CBT, with former and current teachers and former

students of CBT; and February 3, 2017 — The Future of CBT, featuring the students of Stephen J. Einstein Religious School.

For more information, contact or visit Congregation B’nai Tzedek at 9669 Talbert Avenue, Fountain Valley, CA 92708; (714) 963-4611; www.cbtfv. org.

The centerpiece of the celebration will be a gala on Saturday, October 22, at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. In addition to dinner and dancing, the affair will include a slide show covering 40 years at CBT and featuring favorite photos from members of the congregation. Parodies of songs dating from 1976 to the present will be another highlight. Congregants also painted “legacy tiles” to go on a wall in the outdoor meditation area.  Kosher oc Magazine // September 2016


CSP Archaeology Series I l ene S c h n e i d e r / C o n t r i b u t o r


n a series of three lectures over a two-day period, Dr. Eric H. Cline, professor of Classics and Anthropology, former chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and current director of the GWU Capitol Archaeological Institute, described the factors that could have caused the collapse of various civilizations and led to the rise of Israel in the late Bronze Age, the reasons why Megiddo was such an important strategic site and the possible locations of Biblical events. Professor Cline was in Orange County of behalf of the Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program. Celebrating its 16th year, OCCSP’s mission is to share the joy of Judaism, build community and celebrate our Jewish heritage with a rich adult education program and unique family experiences. CSP. Which has spent more than $3 million on adult education, has programs to offer for all ages. In his first lecture, Professor Cline, whose primary fields of study are biblical


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archaeology, the military history of the Mediterranean world from antiquity to the present and the international connections between Greece, Egypt and the Near East during the Late Bronze Age (1700-1100 BCE), began with the question, “How were the Israelites able to take over Canaan and establish themselves in the land?” Professor Cline, who is an experienced and active field archaeologist, with more than 30 seasons of excavation and survey to his credit since 1980

Dr. Eric Cline provides insights on rise and fall civilizations.

in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Crete and the United States, theorized that numerous cosmopolitan civilizations interacted globally from presentday Afghanistan to present-day Crete.

One or more cataclysmic events over a 300-year period – drought, famine, earthquakes, invasions by “sea people” destroyed these civilizations that were independent but interacted with each other, he said. “We don’t know why, but we think a ‘domino effect’ brought down these of civilizations in a perfect storm or multiplier

effect,” Professor Cline explained. “Chaos prevailed and destroyed every civilization but Egypt. Then Egypt got weaker and gave up Canaan.” There are lessons for the present day to be learned from this collapse, according to Professor Cline. They involve the impact of climate change, famine, drought, earthquakes and rebellions. Since the identity of the “sea people” is uncertain, one should think about the factors leading to refugee populations and rebellions. “Recent news from the Middle East sounds like news from 1280 BCE,” Professor Cline said. “Israelites took over Canaan because of a power vacuum with the collapse of late Bronze Age powers and the rise of other powers such as Greece.” Many students of the Bible believe that Armageddon, the place where the cataclysmic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil will unfold, will take place in the very near future, according to Professor Cline. However, few know that Armageddon is a real

place — one that has seen more fighting and bloodshed than any other spot on earth. The name “Armageddon” is a corruption of the Hebrew phrase “Har Megiddo,” and it means “Mount of Megiddo.” Professor Cline, who is currently the associate director (USA) of the Megiddo Expedition, has been involved in the excavations at the site from 1994 to the present. Based upon his experiences there, and using material from his book that was awarded the BAS 2001 prize for “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” (The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age; University of Michigan Press, 2000), he presented an illustrated overview of the renewed excavations at the site and highlighted some of the discoveries made. He talked about unresolved questions including the palace, stables and other ruins initially attributed to King Solomon’s building activities and the extent of King David’s involvement at the site, as well as some of the numerous battles that have already been fought at Armageddon. Megiddo, which is near Jenin and the West Bank, is the site of the world’s first recorded battle, and 34 battles have been fought there. Twenty cities have been found inside the mound, and they may represent 30 phases. The area is at a crossroads, so that people would have to control the Jezreel Valley to control the region. “Ancient sites needed defense, water and food,” Professor Cline explained. “There were the original hills, and then cities were built on top of them, making them towering.” Four archaeological teams, beginning in 1903, have dug at Megiddo. They have found temples, stables and water systems that may date back to Canaanites from the Bronze Age, are often credited to Solomon but may have been built later. “The beauty of archaeology is that you never know what you’re going to find,” Professor Cline concluded.  For more information about OCCSP, call (949) 682-4040 or visit

Kosher oc Magazine // September 2016


Teen Bonding H a nna h F i s c h e r / C o n t r i b u t o r


his year the Maccabi Games were hosted in Stamford, Connecticut. The Maccabi Games are recognized as one of the largest Jewish teen events in the world. The 2016 Maccabi Games have given 1,500 Jewish teens — from around the world — the opportunity to come together over a course of a week to compete and bond with each other through sports, art and making lifelong friends. One part of Maccabi Games that is really unique to the experience is being able to be put up with a host family for your stay. It is such an incredible experience going into someone’s house with your friends or a fellow participant in the games. Through the week you really get to bond with the family and the

the local community in some other kids who are being hosted. way. For example, this year I One way that the participants get to bond with their host families is volunteered in a community through Host Family Night. Host center with children. Family Night is one night of the The Maccabi Games enable week where you just spend time Jewish teens to compete with the people who are hosting you. This allows the host My experience at the JCC family to do something fun with the kids being hosted Maccabi 2016 in Stamford, and to bond with them.

night. This year some of the social events included going car racing, “trampolining,” and the end-of-the-week dance, which is always a lot of fun. I love that every night each athlete and artist drops his or her competitive side to come together through different events and build relationships that will last a lifetime.

However, Maccabi isn’t about just the sports or the arts. It’s about making a difference in the world through Tikkun Olam. One major component that the Maccabi Games emphasizes is giving back to the community. All athletes and artists are required to take part in JCC Cares. This is a group in which athletes participate in activities through different organizations in which they are helping out

This was the first year that my sister, Sarah, was able to go with me to compete at Maccabi Games. I loved that we had the opportunity to do this together. Next year will be my final year that I can compete. I know I am so fortunate that I have had this experience, and I look forward to staying in touch with my fellow Maccabi athletes and artist for years to come. 


in a sport, volunteer in the community and make friendships with fellow Jews from around the world. The Maccabi Games allow one to see how really universal the Jewish faith is, whether you are coming from the United States or somewhere across the sea, such as the UK or Australia. The Maccabi Games help one to achieve this goal by hosting social events every

Safety First Ro bi n S i lv e r - Z w i r e n / C o n t r i b u t o r

Speaker stresses awareness of surroundings and strategy when carjacked.


hose who attended the Bullets and Bagels outdoor program on August 18 experienced nothing more harmful than the desert heat. Learning how to use firearms from NRA instructors is always rewarding. They are always willing to show exactly how to hold and fire a weapon, which is essential. Having attended a few B & B events, the instructors are as familiar as the members. The club now has 150 members across Southern California and about 30 percent are female. The group meets monthly and

rotates between Orange County and the Valley area locations.

The special guest speaker for this event was Alon Stivi of Direct Measures Attack Countermeasures Training (ACT). Stivi, a former member of the Israel Defense Forces, now trains first responders and Navy Seals. He commented on how good it is to see Jews being trained on weapons and how important it is to protect ourselves from our enemies. Stivi said that the real weapon is not the gun but ourselves. He reiterated what we often hear that “guns do not kill; people do” and we must think

before we shoot. Unfortunately, there are those who do not. “Cars are not guns but kill more people than guns do.” Is anyone trying to make cars illegal? How many people drive while intoxicated, whether alcohol or drugs as opposed to how many people shoot to kill? Stivi stated that having a gun is a mindset, and it is unfortunate how not every gun owner has the right mindset. However, the addict mindset is not the most ideal either. Stivi came to the U.S. 30 years ago after serving in Lebanon. He has seen how the wave of terrorism is not just in the Middle East but everywhere. He has thought about how we all need to prevail to stop terrorism, to fight this violence. Being prepared is taking steps to doing our part. That is a major reason why he wrote the rebuttal for Proposition 63. Stivi recalled how as a young boy in elementary school he was taught to recognize a landmine, an IED. He believes that the U.S. government is not doing enough to


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prepare its citizens. We all need to become more aware of even little things, such as a backpack left in a hallway when no one claims it. (I got a chuckle out of the mom who dumped her bag in the middle of the lobby to rush to see her Olympic athlete daughter perform. Her bag was blown up. An Israeli company is in charge of the Rio Security, so this act may have surprised her but not me.) We must not just walk by but must think about whether it may be a bomb. We must take a second look if we see someone wearing a bulky coat when everyone else is dressed for the heat. Nowadays we never know where a suicide bomber may be. Certainly no one in Bakersfield expected to be targets. Our schools are not open to teach about terrorists, according to Stivi. That would be a “no-no.” That would be labeling, which is, heaven forbid, not allowed. Yet how can we teach U.S. citizens to prepare if we are afraid to state facts. When Stivi stated that the United States have to be more “united,” he got loud cheers from the group. This should be the interest of every citizen, no matter our race, creed or political affiliation.

The fact that 60 percent of the time an active shooter is less than 20 feet away is scary enough. That it takes less than 3 seconds for a shooter to kill only added to our anxiety level. Sitvi stated that there is no time for us to get into our stance, taking steps forward and back to look cool. We must just shoot. This needs training as it would be better to hit our attacker first. We need to train as if for combat, so we know exactly what to do. In Israel schools have security guards and even teachers who may have done army service. In the US this is not the case, so it is even more important for us to not only learn but to teach our children. Tunnel Vision Target Fixation is common and usual, according to Stivi. He demonstrated how it is important to be aware of our surroundings though, just in case of attack. Chances are that the active shooter would focus on the teacher’s desk or where the class bully sits. If someone turned off the light, the attacker would be confused and unable to aim. Then people could close in on either side of the shooter and disarm him/her. That is certainly a better option than lying in wait and something Stivi teaches to thousands of teachers and law enforcement personnel.

Stivi and one of his instructors gave us an extremely worthwhile lesson on what to do if carjacked. Scenario One: If an attacker gets into your passenger seat, get out of your car. Let the insurance deal with it, but it is better than losing your life. The fact is that 80 percent of people who stay in the car with an attacker will not survive. Another scenario is one in which someone points a weapon at you while you are in the driver’s seat. Slide into the passenger seat and make your exit. The attacker will be preparing to drive and can’t shoot while adjusting mirrors and/or holding the steering wheel. Stivi did mention that stick shifts are less likely to be carjacked than automatic vehicles. Of course, if you have a loved one in the car with you, the scenario is totally different. If you are still in the driver’s seat, let the attacker in the passenger seat and drive erratically. Chances are that the attacker did not stop to put on his or her seatbelt. If you hit a pothole or ditch, the attacker’s airbag will then deploy. If the attacker is now in the driver’s seat, try to hit him in the neck. Another option is to keep a sharp-edged weapon like a knife or even extra key in the car, so you can be better

prepared for any carjacker. At one time 9-11 operators may have said not to attack, but that is no longer the case. Better safe than sorry. Bullets and Bagels is not a group of people out to kill aimlessly but a group wanting to learn how to aim knowingly — people who believe it is not only a right but a necessity to know how to protect oneself and loved ones. The event was sponsored by OC Guns. Other vendors were Cannae ProGear, City Girl Preppers, Laguna Herbals, Leica Sports Optics, OC Gunsmith, Pelican, Peltor Headsets and the NRA Information booth. It was wonderful to check out all the products, many proudly made in the USA.  For more information: Bullets & Bagels: Alon Stivi: -

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Experience the New Year in a New Way Ko s h er OC S ta f f / C o n t r i b u t o r


he Jewish Collaborative of Orange County (JCoOC) will host a full High Holy Day program entitled Experience the New Year: A Festival of Renewal in Newport Beach. Programming for Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah days 1and 2, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur will feature an array of clergy and lay leaders and will include traditional services as well as a wide range of experiential alternatives for adults, children of all ages, teens, families and young adults.

place with us. We are especially excited about some of our specialized programming, like a ‘Wonders of Creation’ hike in Laguna Canyon and a dedicated community conversation on Yom Kippur afternoon for LGBT community members and allies.”

Erev Rosh Hashanah programming, including an optional, pre-paid dinner, will be held at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 2200 San Joaquin Hills Rd., in Newport Beach. Rosh Hashanah Days 1 and 2, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur will The special guest speaker for be held at the Newport Beach this event was Alon Stivi “The LDS Temple, 2300 Bonita JCoOC High Holiday program Canyon Dr., in Newport Beach. will feature a variety of options Reservations are required to plan for appropriate seating JCoOC will hold High Holiday and food.

“Festival of Renewal” for all ages in Newport. for experiencing the Days of Awe, focusing on prayer and play, music and movement, reflection and renewal,” says Rabbi Marcia Tilchin, JCoOC’s founder and spiritual leader. “Our goal is to ensure that any Orange County Jewish resident or family who does not yet have somewhere to join with community and usher in the New Year will find their 16

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The Jewish Collaborative of Orange County (JCoOC) creates communities of interest centered on worship, volunteerism, study, artistic expression and spiritual exploration, independently and in partnership with local and national Jewish organizations, for Orange County Jewish residents and their families who seek non-traditional and creative-traditional pathways to

meaningful Jewish experiences. We envision an Orange County in which every Jewish resident has the opportunity to “feel the joy of Jewish.” Visit our website at www.jewishcollaborativeoc. org for more detail on the New Year Experience, its leaders and all programming, as well as a reservation form. 

Jewish Events in OC September 2016

Plan your month with our September 2016 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite picks. Submit your events:

Kosher oc Magazine // September 2016


New Beginnings I l ene S c h n e i d e r / C o n t r i b u t o r

Elul gives us a month to prepare for the coming year.


o matter when the Jewish holidays fall, there is always a certain newness about the fall. It is the beginning of the school year, full of new friends, new teachers, new classes, new challenges and probably new clothes and new supplies. In many places the air turns crisp and invigorating, making us feel ready for the new season of beginnings. In Jewish Orange County there are new people, new organizations and reinvigorated organizations, as well as familiar faces in new roles. Things are happening non-stop, and we are still a month away from the New Year. Our tradition tells us to take time away from the mad frenzy and take stock of ourselves. Why is Elul so special, and why do we need a whole month to prepare for the High Holy Days? Why should we take advantage of every chance we get to reflect and reinvigorate? “Elul is traditionally a time of introspection and stocktaking — a time to review one’s deeds and spiritual progress over the past year, and prepare for the


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upcoming ‘Days of Awe,’” according to “Chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi likens the month of Elul to a time when ‘the king is in the field,’ and, in contrast to when he is in the royal palace, ‘everyone who so desires is permitted to meet him, and he receives them all with a cheerful countenance, showing a smiling face to them all,’” the site explains. As Judaism 101 (www.jewfaq. org) explains, “According to tradition, the month of Elul is the time that Moses spent on Mount Sinai preparing the second set of tablets after the incident of the golden calf (Ex. 32; 34:27-28). He ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul and descended on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, when repentance was complete. Other sources say that Elul is the beginning of a period of 40 days that Moses prayed for G-d to forgive the people after the Golden Calf incident, after which the commandment to prepare the second set of tablets was given.” Perhaps the best explanation of Elul is an article written by Rabbi Harold Schulweis z”l, an activist, author and rabbi of Congregation

Valley Beth Shalom (www.vbs. org) and presented on Jewels of Elul (, a treasure trove of thoughts to prepare people for Rosh Hashanah: “Think ought. Not what is a Jew, but what ought a Jew to be. Not what is a synagogue, but what ought a synagogue to be. Not what prayer is, but what prayer ought to be. Not what ritual is, but what ritual ought to be. Focus from is to ought, and our mindset is affected. Is faces me toward the present; ought turns me to the future. Ought challenges my creative imagination and opens me to the realm of possibilities and responsibilities to realize yesterday’s dream. Ought and is are complementary. Without an is, the genius of our past and present collective wisdom is forgotten. Without an ought, the great visions of tomorrow fade. Ought demands not only a knowledge of history but of exciting expectation. Is is a being,

ought is a becoming. Ought emancipates me from status quo thinking. Ought is the freedom of spirit. Ought we not Ought?” 

New Items for the New year I l ene S c h n e i d e r / C o n t r i b u t o r


he High Holy Days are later in the secular calendar this year, but the Golden Dreidle, Orange County’s one-stop source for Judaica, Jewish ritual items, Jewish books, ketubot, chuppah rentals and other wedding essentials, has been preparing for many months. In addition to elegant displays in the store, the Golden Dreidle’s well-organized, easy-to-use website has hundreds of new products. Whether you need a house gift for a Rosh Hashanah dinner, a beautiful new tallit for your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a groom’s glass to break at a wedding,r a new book or toy for your grandchild, a cookbook or a calendar to color yourself, you can find it at the Golden Dreidle. The Apple Blossom Honey Set by Quest is a sweet way to bring in the New Year. Hand painted enamels highlight the beauty of the apple blossom and spoon. The base is polished aluminum. The set measures 10.75” x 10.5” and is made in the U.S. Explore the ancient and enduring spirit of Jewish tradition with an exquisite sixteen-month coloring calendar. Jewish artist Adam Rhine has created intricate Judaic

motifs such as Menorahs, Stars restaurants to provide recipes of Davids, designed with Hebrew that are easy to prepare for any calligraphy for you to bring to day and every day. In addition life to vivid and stunning life to more than 100 familywith the colors of your choice. Each illumination is paired The Golden Dreidle helps with verses from the Torah, bring on the holidays. Psalms and the Prophets, to enlighten the reader and encourage further study into the friendly recipes, the authors meanings of the carefully selected share fascinating vignettes about themes. The 2016-2017 Coloring today’s most popular kosher chefs Your Jewish Year Wall Calendar and eateries.  features line illustrations of Visit of contact the Golden Dreidle the significant Jewish Holy at 2626 Dupont Dr. #40, Irvine, CA 92612; (866) 493-6700 or (949) Days, such as Rosh Hashanah, 955-0900; contact@GoldenDreidle. Chanukah and Pesach. Printed com. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 on paper designed specifically for p.m. Monday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to coloring, this gorgeous calendar 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. features Wire-O binding for an improved coloring experience.


From Bangkok to Brooklyn, from Miami to Melbourne, Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes offers easy-to-prepare recipes, tips, and behind-the-scenes looks from more of your favorite eateries, cafés, grills, and restaurants. The original Secret Restaurant Recipes invited people into the kitchens of the world’s finest kosher restaurants, bringing home entertaining and elegant dining to a new level. Now, in Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes, the authors visit more cafés, takeout spots and Kosher oc Magazine // September 2016


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