Faces of the Community

Celebrations at
Temple Beth Emet

Temple Beth Emet in Anaheim will celebrate two special occasions in February.  The Conservative congregation, founded in 1956, will honor its rabbi and a number of its past presidents.

On Saturday, February 9, Rabbi Joel Berman will be formally installed by Rabbi Sheldon Kirsch, a family friend.  Rabbi Berman, who has served as the congregation’s spiritual leader for 1½ years, wants to move Temple Beth Emet forward by focusing on the future.

The rabbi has brought some innovations – opening his home “to get to know people as people, not just as congregants,” having outdoor Seudah Shlishit meals, revamping the Hebrew school, having parents and their children learning together and adding interactive Kiddush, Torah study and “Who Is a Jew” classes.  He wants services to go quickly, smoothly and attractively but maintain their meaning, and he hopes to implement a forward-thinking strategic plan that establishes Temple Beth Emet as “a modern and participatory congregation.”

According to Rabbi Berman, “People used to come to the synagogue to feel good about Judaism.  Many of the younger generation never learned that the community was a central part of Judaism even for those who are not really observant.  We want to emphasize that we’re open to all kinds of people and taking them from where they are.”

Temple Beth Emet will hold its 57th Anniversary Journal Brunch on Sunday, February 17.  The champagne brunch at the Marriott Anaheim Suites will honor past presidents who have provided inspiring leadership for the congregation and for Conservative Judaism.  The cost is $50 per person.

Jack and Elaine Finkelstein, founding members of Temple Beth Emet, were teenagers when they joined the congregation.  They often serve as the A-team hagba, the person lifting the Torah after the reading, and golelet, the person dressing the Torah.

Doris Jacobson, currently executive vice president, has dedicated her life to Jewish community work and to Temple Beth Emet.  She serves as director of community philanthropy at Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS).

Barry Klatzker has served in almost every office at Temple Beth Emet.  He was president of Men’s Club and the congregation’s representative to United Synagogue’s Pacific Region.

Ken and Nancy Levin are tireless volunteers in the Jewish and secular worlds.  Ken currently serves on Temple Beth Emet’s board of directors.

For more information on these events, contact Temple Beth Emet at (714) 772-4720 or tbe-anaheim@roadrunner.com.

Inspiring Teen

A brave 16-year-old is determined to bring attention to childhood cancer and is inspiring others at the same time.  As one of five St. Baldrick’s Foundation 2013 Ambassadors, Emily Magilnick of Long Beach is a face and voice for kids and teens with cancer.

At age 15, Emily began to feel pain in her shin.  In 2011 she was diagnosed with chondroblastic osteosarcoma, a cancerous bone tumor.  Emily has bravely endured a year of medical treatment, including chemotherapy and surgery to remove seven inches of her right tibia.  Her prognosis is positive, and she looks forward to being an example to newly diagnosed teens.  She loves spending time with friends, watching movies, traveling and cooking.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money to fund the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.  The five Ambassadors serve as the faces and voices of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation throughout the year and share its mission to conquer childhood cancers.  The Ambassadors are a reminder that cancer affects more than 175,000 children worldwide each year.  Every three minutes a child is diagnosed worldwide, and in the U.S. one in five kids diagnosed will not survive.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives, has awarded more than $100 million to support lifesaving research since 2005, making it the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants.  For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, call (888) 899-BALD or visit www.StBaldricks.org.

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