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     April 19th, 2014 | 19th of Nisan, 5774      
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Sinai Temple - 10400 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90024 Phone (310) 474-1518 Fax (310) 474-6801
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10400 Wilshire Blvd.   Los Angeles, CA. 90024   Phone (310) 481-3273   Fax (310) 943-5414

 

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  about SiHi | faculty and staff | our programs | academic calendar | electives
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Danielle Kassin | Anat Gerber | Rabbi Guzik | Rabbi Fruithandler | Cantor Feldman | Matt Baram | Richard Weintraub | Lia Fischer | Prof. Saba Soomekh
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Danielle Kassin

Danielle Salem-Kassin

Danielle Salem-Kassin has had the pleasure of being the Religious School Director for the past 8 years. She attended Sinai Akiba Academy Day School, where she met her husband in the 4th grade. She was also confirmed at Sinai Temple. Sometime later, she returned and taught at Sinai Akiba Academy and Sinai Temple Religious School. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Comparative Religions from the University of California Riverside. She holds a double Masters Degree in Education Administration and Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism. Danielle has visited Israel many times and has led teenage groups on tours throughout the country. Her pledge is to make the Sinai Temple Religious School the best on the Westside, offering the highest level of Jewish Education through dynamic, challenging, and interactive programs.

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Anat Gerber

Anat Gerber (SiHi Coordinator)

Shalom SiHi!
My name is Anat Gerber and I am so delighted to be joining the team as your SiHi Coordinator! I am originally from Tel Aviv, Israel.  My first personal exposure to Jewish Education was working at summer camps as a young adult. It was there that I first learned how much I really enjoyed working with children, and sharing my love of our Jewish tradition and my passion for Israel. On moving to the states, I worked as a Religious School teacher for a number of years and also at Sinai Akiba Academy last year. I was fortunate to work with an amazing group of talented students as we put on a professional production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This was an experience that will always stay in my heart. My other passion is for the arts, from painting to writing, acting, directing, dancing, singing, and anything related to art, nature, animals, and spirituality. I am very excited to meet all of you and look forward to a productive, fun and creative year together at SiHi!

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Rabbi Nicole Guzik

Rabbi Nicole Guzik is excited to return to Sinai Temple where she served as the rabbinic intern for the last four years. At Sinai Temple, Rabbi Guzik had the pleasure of working under Rabbis Wolpe, Hirsch, Schuldenfrei, and Sela. She created Hazon He-ATID, the Friday Night Live prayer book, as well as Mahzor He-ATID, the ATID High Holy Day prayer book. Rabbi Guzik looks forward to growing and developing the Sinai Temple Israel Center, ATID, Torah in the Round, and Sisterhood communities. In addition, Rabbi Guzik has taught many SiHi classes, including our "girls class". Rabbi Guzik graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles, attaining a B.A. in Near Middle Eastern Studies and Languages. At UCLA, she served as the UCLA Hillel President. After graduation, Rabbi Guzik participated in the Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellowship at Indiana University, a program that strengthens Jewish identity on the college campus. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Guzik co-founded the lecture series: Visions of the Jewish Future. Rabbi Guzik was the recipient of awards in liturgy, philosophy, and Jewish codes and served as a research assistant for Rabbi Neil Gillman. Her other professional opportunities include an admissions internship at the JTS rabbinical school and rabbinic internships at The George Washington Hillel and Heritage Pointe.She is married to Rabbi Erez Sherman, assistant Rabbi at Shomrei Torah Synagogue. Rabbi Guzik is thrilled to rejoin her Sinai Temple community!

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Rabbi Jason Fruithandler

Rabbi Jason Fruithandler is excited to join the Sinai Temple community. Rabbi Fruithandler has just finished two years at congregation Bnai Jeshurun where he served as, Teen Coordinator, Graduate Intern, and Rabbinic Fellow. There he helped implement a mishpacha program combining adult education and family education with the already standing Hebrew School Curriculum. He also sent 46 teens on service learning trips in New Orleans and Santo Domingo.  He is proud to have been the Student Rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Israel in Kingston, New York.  Rabbi Fruithandler looks forward as well, to being a part of the STARS, ATID, and USY communities.

Rabbi Fruithandler graduated from the Joint Program between the Jewish Theological Seminary’s List College and Columbia University.  He received a B.A. In Talmud and Rabbinics and a second B.A. in Sociology.  Rabbi Fruithandler completed his M.A. in Jewish Education at JTS’s Davdison School of Education and recently finished his ordination at the JTS’s rabbinical school.  He is proud to have been a part of the first cohort of cross-denominational Schusterman Rabbinic Fellows.  As part of the fellowship Rabbi Fruithandler focused on the intricacies of non-profit work, reaching out to Jews on the periphery, and re-envisioning synagogues for the next generation.

Rabbi Fruithandler has a wife of five years Jessica Fruithandler and a beautiful baby girl Liba Shifra Fruithandler.

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Cantor Marcus Feldman

Cantor Marcus Feldman - A native of Los Angeles, Cantor Marcus Feldman trained in opera as a Baritone / Tenor and graduated from the University Of Southern California in 2007 with dual degrees in Vocal Performance, B.M. and Business Administration, B.S. (concentration in Real Estate Finance). While at USC, Cantor Feldman was a member of the university's top choral ensemble and sang leading roles in two of the main stage operas. Cantor Feldman began the study of hazzanut privately with Cantor Nathan Lam in 2005. While a student he served as Cantor of Sun City Jewish Services in Palm Desert, California and lead monthly Shabbat services and High Holy Day services with Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin. In 2010, as part of his cantorial studies, Cantor Feldman spent a semester in Jerusalem studying hazzanut with the renowned Cantor Naftali Herstik. Ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion in May of 2011, Cantor Feldman holds a Masters of Jewish Sacred Music from the same institution. Cantor Feldman was appointed to be the Second Cantor of Stephen S. Wise Temple in 2011, serving alongside his mentor and long-time friend, Cantor Nathan Lam. Additionally, Cantor Feldman regularly appears as a guest cantor throughout the state of California. Cantor Feldman is both excited and honored to join Sinai Temple as its Senior Cantor. He looks forward to following in, and adding to, the long and impressive tradition of cantors and music directors at Sinai Temple. Cantor Feldman views the cantorate as a sacred vessel for the seamless transmission of Jewish musical heritage throughout the ages. He strives to honor and preserve the rich traditions of the past while also always looking forward to the new gateways of the present and future in order to best serve the Jewish community in the 21st century.

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Matt Baram (SiHi Teacher)

Shalom SiHi!
I’m so excited to be Sinai Temple’s new Youth Director as well as a teacher at SiHi! Growing up in Connecticut, my teenage years were tough on me just like everybody else, but USY and Yachad (a program similar to SiHi that I attended) provided an amazing escape – a place where I really found myself as a leader, a friend and a Jew. After high school, I attended Boston University where I studied advertising, served on the Hillel board, played intramural basketball, starred in multiple theater productions and played guitar in a Jewish rock band! Meanwhile, I staffed a ton of USY conventions, dances, encampments and summer programs and taught at a Boston synagogue. In addition, I’m also a die-hard NBA fan, watch a movie almost every weekend and love nothing more than a good debate! I’m so excited to meet you all and have an amazing year together at SiHi!

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Richard Weintraub (SiHi Teacher)

Teacher, Teacher's Teacher, Legal Education Consultant, Psychotherapist, Author, Police Administrator, Motivational Speaker and Communications Specialist. In addition, the only constant in my life has been being a Confirmation and Post Confirmation Jewish Educator for more than 30 years.

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Saba Soomekh

Professor Saba Soomekh

“I am very excited to be back at Sinai Temple! Sinai is my home away from home…. It was at Sinai Akiba Academy that I attended pre-school to eighth-grade, where I not only received my Jewish education but also learned to love Judaism, Israel, and my community. As a college professor, I teach hundreds of students every year about Judaism, religious studies, and the Middle East. I wanted to bring this expertise back to my own community! I look forward to getting SiHi students excited about learning, and preparing them for all of the amazing and challenging courses they will have the opportunity to take in college.”

Professor Saba Soomekh was born in Tehran and raised in Los Angeles. She teaches Religious Studies, Women’s Studies and Middle Eastern history courses. She received her BA in Religious Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and her PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She teaches and writes extensively on World Religions, Women and Religion, and the geo-politics of Israel and Iran. She currently teaches courses on Judaism, World Religions, Women and Religion and the History of The Middle East. Professor Soomekh is the author of the book "From the Shahs to Los Angeles: Three Generations of Iranian Jewish Women between Religion and Culture.” Her book was awarded the Gold Medal in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Award in the Religion category. Dr. Soomekh is an Executive Board Member of Loyola Marymount University’s Jewish Studies Advisory Board and a member of the Iran Task Force for the American Jewish Committee. Besides giving numerous scholarly and public presentations on the Iran, the Jewish community and women in the developing world, she is also a member of the city of Los Angeles’ Human Resource Commission where she is involved in numerous interfaith and intercultural projects. Dr. Soomekh was the Exhibition Coordinator of the exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA entitled: Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews. She was a consultant and participant for PBS’ documentary “Iranian Americans,” which aired on PBS on Dec. 18, 2012.

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Lia Fischer

Lia Fischer

Lia Fischer has the pleasure of joining the Sinai Temple community after a long history in the Jewish Community. Some of the highlights include working for Birthright Israel NEXT, serving in Membership and Special Event Planning where she created and recruited for hit food and culture events like Table for 20 and Improv Comedy Bash. For Birthright Israel NEXT, she had the pleasure of leading interactive tours of Israel to groups of 40. Currently, she serves as the head of YALA Entertainment Cluster at the Jewish Federation, a position she absolutely adores as Lia is also a professional Actor. Lia attended The University of Colorado at Boulder for a BFA in Theatre, and then studied and performed Improv at the prestigious Second City Chicago. She’s been a main cast member at The Chicago Comedy Company, cast member in The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and has been cast in Commercials now in in Los Angeles. She has a long history with teens, as she has taught Improv, Comedy, and directed over 50 plays to teens at different Equity Theatres, Comedy Houses, and Jewish Institutions for the past 10 years. She also is a Jewish Camp “lifer,” as she went to Jewish Camps from the time she was 3, to then becoming a camp counselor at the JCC for four summers. In addition, Lia has a passion for teaching at risk youth, as she headed an Intergenerational Improv program, partnering Seniors and “At Risk Youth” for a dynamic “breaking down barriers” Improv experience.

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torah This Week's Torah Portion:
candle lighting Friday Night Candle Lighting: 7:15p
havdalah 8:10p Havdalah (42 min): Saturday, April 19th, 2014
holiday Upcoming Holiday: Pesach V (CH''M) is on Saturday, April 19th, 2014
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Sinai Temple is a partnership between its clergy, staff, lay leaders and devoted members who are committed to supporting the tradition and vision of Sinai Temple. Your gift to Sinai Temple will enable us to continue these holy tasks for years to come. Thank you for helping us to bring our history, our beliefs and our promise to a new generation.
We are a member of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs. We aim to provide a framework within which men can broaden their knowledge and understanding of the history and values of our people and in which they can make tangible contributions of their talents and treasure in an environment of good fellowship.
Our goal at Sinai Temple is to create a Bar/Bat Mitzvah program that is a spiritual and religious experience counseling child and family to God, the Jewish people and to each other.
The Sinai Temple Israel Center is the first synagogue center that provides programmatic resources and avenues for Los Angeles Jewry to establish cultural, professional, spiritual, and economic ties to the land of Israel.
Sinai Temple's 20's & 30's Community
Torah in the Round regularly meets on the third Shabbat of the month, usually located in Kohn Chapel. 
We are ready to commit to Torah—through reflection, persistence, and study. Are you? Welcome to Torah in the Round!
A warm, traditional lay-led family friendly service. We meet weekly, beginning at 9:30am and finishing at 12 noon with a scrumptious kiddush. Come join our family!
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