Home May 2020 JLife Extra: New Normal

JLife Extra: New Normal

JLife ExtraOnline offerings abound at local Jewish organizations

By Ilene Schneider

Because of COVID-19, many Jewish organizations have gotten creative. They have put classes, services and other options online to keep the community connected.

Here is a selection of events taking place during the first week of May. Many of the events, including online Shabbat services, pre-services and Havdalah celebrations, will continue for as long as the quarantine continues.


The Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP) Distance Learning Program will offer a “Zoom Class” with Prof. Daniel Matt entitled “Elijah The Prophet: The Man Who Never Died” on Monday May 4 at 12:30 PM. According to CSP, “In the biblical book of Kings, Elijah the prophet is transported to heaven in a fiery chariot. According to rabbinic tradition, he was transformed into an immortal angel. Ever since his ascent, he has appeared on earth again and again—not only at ever Seder and every circumcision, but whenever people are in need or when they seek spiritual guidance or enlightenment. In this session, Daniel Matt (who is writing a biography of Elijah) will trace his transformation from a biblical zealot to his second career as a compassionate Jewish superhero.”

Daniel C. Matt, a teacher of Jewish spirituality, is a leading authority on Kabbalah and the Zohar. He has been featured in Time and Newsweek and has appeared on National Public Radio and the History Channel. He has published over a dozen books


The Merage Jewish Community Center (JCC) will offer News and Views, a discussion group on local and world issues, on Monday, May 4 at 10 AM. Join the Zoom meeting (Meeting ID: 956751980 Password: ShalomJCC).

The JCC will offer a class on the iPhone Camera on Tuesday, May 5, at 1 PM. Please register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0vdu6hqzkuGtODC5Q3OM1RXaS3VjbYNWbz. (Meeting ID:992-1795-2407 Password: shalom).

Also on Tuesday, May 5, at 6:30 PM, the JCC will present Yale Strom, Scholar and Musician. Please register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwtduisrDssG9JNQNUkxycSroWdzeivdl7r. (Meeting ID: 980-1142-0616 Password: shalom).

A JCC class on iPhone Photos will happen on Wednesday, May 6 at 1 PM. Please register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJctcOmhqT8uHNX6WbjM5M_JAAdTHn_BvEpJ. (Meeting ID: 930-7097-4461 Password: shalom).


For Mother’s Day, the Laguna Playhouse will offer a one-time-only, live-streamed broadcast of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, the immigrant songwriter who gave America a voice, on Sunday May 10, at 5 PM. The cost is $50 per household and is tax-deductible. It can be viewed on Smart TV, computer, smartphone or tablet. Experience some of America’s greatest songs in the context in which they were written! From “God Bless America,” to “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “White Christmas,” “Always” and so many more… in a musical event that has been performed in theatres throughout the nation and abroad. For details, go to info@lagunaplayhouse.com.


Working Wardrobes, Orange County’s foremost career development nonprofit, announced the launch of its Rebuilding Careers initiative to help people hone their skills so they are workforce ready in these challenging times. Rebuilding Careers is a series of video workshops covering a wide range of informative career development topics, including important job search strategies, helpful resources to develop a winning resume and skillset, techniques to nail that job interview, tips to create a personal brand, professional networking instruction, employer panels, and more. Rebuilding Careers workshops are free to the public and are conducted online each Tuesday and Thursday to help jobseekers land their next opportunity and get back on their feet.

For more information about Rebuilding Careers, or to register for an online workshop, visit https://workingwardrobes.org/rebuilding-careers/.


Since the quarantine began, Beth Jacob has been holding pre- and post-Shabbat virtual Zoom sessions and daily minyanim, as well as classes and check-ins. For details, inquire at info@bethjacobirvine.org.

On Erev Shabbat, May 1 (22nd Day Omer/Iyyar 7), there will be a virtual minyan at 6:30 AM, virtual daily dose with the rabbi at 12:30 PM and virtual Kabbalat Shabbat at 6:30 PM. Candle lighting is at 7:18 PM.

On Shabbat, May 2 (23rd Day Omer/Achrei Mot-Kedoshim/Iyyar 8, there will be Havdalah at 8:18 PM and Musical Havdallah (Virtual) at 8:30 PM.


Congregation B’nai Israel will virtually hold HAL’LU Kabbalat Shabbat with Rabbi Adam Greenwald on Friday, May 1, at 6 PM. Join Rabbi Adam Greenwald, Ba’alat Tefillah Amy Robinson Katz, along with Carl Cedar and Leeav Sofer for Kabbalat Shabbat from home via https://youtu.be/Hm5W-8EaY-0.

On Saturday, May 2, there will be a Saturday Morning Shabbat Service with Amy Robinson Katz and Rabbi Spitz. Join it at https://youtu.be/3XyGNxkEUdY.


Shabbat services will be online only until further notice. They will be live-streamed at https://www.facebook.com/congbnaitzedek/. Torah Study and Talmud 101 will be hosted via a Zoom meeting. Please contact the office at (714) 963-4611 for more information.


Temple Bat Yahm is doing its services and classes via Zoom. Get the password at www.tby.org/.

On Friday, May 1, at 6 PM, there will be Friday Shabbat services via Zoom. Digital prayerbooks are available on the website. On Saturday, May 2, at 9 AM, there will be Torah Study with Rabbi Gersh Zylberman and guests, followed by services at 10 AM, via Zoom.


Temple Beth El will have online options for worship and study during the quarantine. For information, check the website, which is updated daily: https://tbesoc.org/interim-plans-in-response-covid-19/.

There will be Spiritual Preparation for Shabbat With Rabbi K’vod Wieder, “The Living Torah: A Shabbat Discussion with Rabbi K’vod,” on Friday, May 1, followed by a Shabbat service at 6:45 PM, remotely. Torah Study will be held on Saturday, May 2, at 9 AM, as will the Conservative Shabbat Morning service.


On Friday, May 1, at 9 AM, Temple Beth Sholom will have Torah Tots, remotely. At 11:30 AM there will be Preschool Shabbat. The Shabbat Evening Service (K-2 Religous School Shabbat/Teacher Appreciation) will be at 6:30 PM. On Shabbat, May 2 (8 Iyar 5780), at 9:15 AM, there will be Torah study via Zoom for Parashat Acharei Mot-K’doshim. For details, check the website (www.tbsoc.com).


Temple Beth Tikvah (https://tbtoc.org/online-community-events/ will stream ECLC Shabbat on Friday, May 1 at 9 AM. At noon there will be a Virtual Lunch with Friends, and at 6:30 PM, there will be Shabbat Services.

On Saturday, May 2, Torah Study will be at 9 AM, followed by services at 10 AM. Havdalah will be at 7 PM.



On Friday, May 1, at 7 PM, there will be a special musical program with singer/songwriter, Daniel Nahmod. His poignant and profoundly emotional words and melodies always touch our hearts, connecting us more deeply to our own compassionate and loving souls. Just go to the homepage at www.universitysynagogue.org and click the orange button that night at 7 PM or after.


Also, sign up for American-Israeli comedian Joel Chasnoff – live from Israel in a special performance on Zoom for University Synagogue – next Wednesday, May 6, at noon (the deadline is next Tuesday, May 5, at 5 PM). Celebrate Israel’s 72nd birthday week with laughter, joy and a respite from the pandemic. We all need a good laugh these days.

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