No Loyalty to Royalty
by Rabbi Ron Stern

The Jewish people had kings (and one queen) ruling over them for nearly 1,000 years. How many can you name?  Maybe you’d have David on your list, perhaps Solomon.  If you’re really a maven, you might mention Saul. But unless you’ve studied bible (perhaps in my class!) you’d have a hard time naming another of the nearly 50 kings that ruled over Israel and Judah.  (For a list and some background, look here.) It’s likely that all those kings actually lived and ruled; some are even attested to in the chronologies of other nations, not to mention the rather lengthy accounts in the Bible.  Some achieved glorious victories, accumulated wealth, built palaces, acquired many wives – a real Jewish Game of Thrones! — and yet we hardly hear about their exploits. 


The Wise School Gala auction opens up at 4:30 p.m. today! Some amazing items up for bid include an Annual Valet Parking Pass to Westfield Century City, LOL Gift Baskets for your little ones,
 24 Karat Gold Body wrap, a suite at a Clippers Game, Mammoth and Wine Country getaways and so much more.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have already purchased Wise School Gala tickets, you do not need to register again.


Rabbi Yoshi Guest Stars On Jewish Federation Podcast
When you listen to the latest episode of “Jay’s 4 Questions”, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles podcast hosted by CEO Jay Sanderson, you’ll recognize a familiar voice! Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback sat down with Jay to discuss the importance of community, Jewish education, and Jewish summer camp. Check it out to learn about his personal story (from Omaha to Los Angeles — with many stops in between!) and his vision for the Jewish community in the future.


Wise Temple Youth Visits LA Family Housing
Earlier this week, 8th graders in Wise Temple Youth visited the North Hollywood Campus of LA Family Housing. The field trip was part of their tikkun olam curriculum, exploring the themes of homelessness, food security, and health care. At LA Family Housing our students took a tour of the facility, learned about the services offered to the community, and served dinner to the residents. “It was truly inspiring to watch our teens step into this role,” said Director of Religious School Ashley Marx, “they served the meal and interacted with the residents with empathy and ease, making our staff extremely proud.” Special thanks to Rabbi Ron Stern, leader of Wise’s Center for Tikkun Olam, for helping to coordinate a visit that truly made meaning for our teens.



This Week’s Torah Portion: Mishpatim

6:15 p.m. | Shabbat Services | Sanctuary
Led by Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Cantor Emma Lutz

Watch live on Friday night: Facebook |

Shabbat Morning Services | Zeldin Hershenson Hall
9 a.m. | Lay-led Torah Study 
10 a.m. | Shabbat Morning Services 
Led by Rabbi Ron Stern and Cantor Nathan Lam
9 a.m. | Baby Playdate | Parenting Center | REGISTER HERE
10 a.m. | Tot Shabbat | Wise Woods | REGISTER HERE
Led by Rabbi Sari Laufer and Rabbi Josh Knobel


6:15 p.m. | Shabbat Services | Sanctuary

8 p.m. | Soulful Shabbat | Plotkin Chapel
Led by Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Cantor Nathan Lam

9 a.m. | Lay-led Torah Study | Sanctuary
10 a.m. | Shabbat Morning Services | Sanctuary
Led by Student Rabbi Zive and Raymond Zachary


Learning Opportunities with Clergy
Talmud Study with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback
: Wednesday, January 30 | 12 p.m. | Udko Annex
Bible Study with Rabbi Ron Stern: Monday, February 4 | 9 a.m. | Temple Conference Room


Kol Kavod

Kol HaKavod to Wise School alumna Naomi Zweiback who is part of Oakwood School’s “The Pad Project,” which was the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary by director Rayka Zehtabchi. The film Period. End of Sentence has been nominated in the Documentary Short category and tells the story of the Oakwood students’ mission to empower women in a rural village outside of Delhi, India. Ariela Zweiback is now bringing the project to her school, de Toledo High School.



Upcoming Events

Wise School Gala: TLV > WISE 
Saturday, February 2  | 7 p.m.

Less than two weeks to go! Join us for an incredible evening under the Tel Aviv sky as we honor Beth and Bryan Behar, Sherly and Kami Daneshgar, and Orley and Bobby Melamed. You won’t want to miss this celebration of our school and honorees, along with cocktails, dinner, DJ, silent auction, and much more! 
Unable to attend? Sponsor an ad for our honorees.



Tot Shabbat and Baby Playdate
Saturday, February 2
9 a.m. | Baby Playdate (12 months and younger)
10 a.m. | Tot Shabbat Service
Gather together with our community for a festive service! Our Clergy and song leaders lead our music- and story-filled service that introduces the youngest members of our community to the joy of Shabbat. Parents and grandparents will love it too!  Special for parents with newborns, we’ll have a baby playdate for an hour leading up to Tot Shabbat.



Center for Jewish Life presents
The Weight of Ink: Rachel Kadish in Conversation with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback
Tuesday, February 5 | 7:30 p.m.

The Weight of Ink is set in London of the 1660s and of the early 21st century. It is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an immigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love for Jewish history. This work of historical fiction is about women separated by centuries and the choices and sacrifices they make to reconcile the life of the heart and the life of the mind.
Rachel Kadish is author of the novels The Weight of InkFrom a Sealed Room,and Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story. She also authored the novella I Was Here.
$15: Stephen Wise Temple Members
$20: General Public

Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council


Wise Women presents
Pre-Event Reception for The Weight of Ink
Tuesday, February 5 | 6:15 p.m.
Enjoy a light wine and cheese reception for fellow bookworms among our Wise Women group. We will engage in a book club-style discussion of The Weight of Ink in advance of Rachel Kadish’s conversation with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback. This reception is free for women who are members of the Stephen Wise Temple and $18 for the general public.
Note: you must register for both events if you are planning to attend the Wise Women reception AND Rachel Kadish’s dialogue with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback.


Wise Women presents
Mahj and More
Wednesday, February 6 | 1 p.m.
Wise members and guests are invited to join other Wise Women for open play: Mah Jongg, Canasta, Bridge, or any other game you’d like on the first Wednesday of each month. Groups or single players and all levels (beginners to experts) are welcome and encouraged! If you have a Mah Jongg set, please bring it along. Snacks and light refreshments served. This is a free event. RSVP required.



Soulful Shabbat
Friday, February 8 | March 8 | April 12
Dinner | 6:30 p.m.
Services | 8 p.m.
Soulful Shabbat is a one-of-a-kind musical service, one of Wise’s most popular traditions. Join our clergy and our Soulful Shabbat musicians and singers for a spiritual evening featuring the rhythms and melodies our members have come to love.

Center for Tikkun Olam presents
Housing the Homeless: A Five-Part Series
Monday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m.
March: TBA
How is LA housing the homeless in your neighborhood? With over 50,000 homeless citizens on the streets of Los Angeles the voters of our city and county have made the decision to get a significant number of them safely housed in the next several years. Money has been allocated and plans are underway throughout the city to develop a variety of housing alternatives. Every city council district is committed to providing units. How will these decisions effect you? Wise will host a special series to answer questions that you might have about the housing options being considered. 
RSVP required

Center for Jewish Life presents
Raising Your Voice: Learning to Chant Torah

with Cantor Emma Lutz

Wednesdays: February 13, 20, 27 | 7–8:30 p.m.
After a brief history of cantillation (the systems of chanting from our Torah and other sacred texts), we will learn the basic tropes (symbols) for chanting Torah. This class does not require any prior knowledge of Hebrew reading or any singing experience. Together, we will explore and experience firsthand how music and chanting deepen our experience of reading our sacred texts.


Wise Years
Thursday, February 14
10 a.m. | Registrations Begins | Plotkin Foyer
10:30 a.m. | Program Begins | Plotkin Chapel
Rabbi Aaron Lerner will discuss Jewish life on the UCLA campus. Helen Dennis, a nationally recognized leader on issues of aging, employment, and “the new retirement,” will teach about successful aging. Film: The Art of the Shine, a PBS documentary about the lives of men and women who shine shoes.



Lunch Bunch: Caring for the Stranger
Tuesday, February 19 | 5:15 p.m. 
Help our Lunch Bunch care for the stranger by assembling lunches for residents at LA Family Housing’s Valley Shelter.
If you have questions, email Diane Kabat or call 818.981.5485


Center for Jewish Life presents
The Empire and the Five Kings: America’s Abdication and the Fate of the World
with Bernard-Henri Lévy

Thursday, February 21 | 7:30 p.m.
Bernard-Henri Lévy asserts that the United States was once the hope of the world. Nations looked to America to stand up for the values that created the Western world, and to oppose autocracy and repression.
This evening, Lévy shares his thesis that America is retreating from its traditional leadership role. In its place come former empires eager to exercise power and influence— Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, and the Sunni Arab world—which are taking steps to undermine the liberal values that have been a hallmark of Western civilization.
Lévy reveals the stakes as America retreats, a process that did not begin with Donald Trump’s presidency and is not likely to end with him.
The resolution will require the West to find a new way forward if its principles and values are to survive.
Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, activist, filmmaker and author of over thirty books including The Genius of Judaism, American Vertigo, Barbarism with a Human Face, and Who Killed Daniel Pearl? Lévy has served on diplomatic missions for the French government.
$15: Stephen Wise Temple Members
$20: General Public


Wise Women presents
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Tuesday, February 26  | 3:00 p.m. (LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE!)
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first-ever retrospective about the famed associate justice and American cultural icon. It offers a visually rich, entertaining, yet rigorous look at RBG’s life and work. Woven throughout the exhibition are excerpts of briefs and other writings by RBG, including some of her most famously searing dissents. In addition, the exhibition also brings to light how her childhood, teachers and professors led her to pursue the law and be so committed to the nation’s highest ideals.
Join Wise Women for lunch, followed by a private group tour at the Skirball Cultural Center.
Cost: $36 for Wise Members, includes lunch, admission and group tour. 
This event is for Wise Members only. Unfortunately we cannot offer refunds once registered. 


Wise Jams
Wednesday, February 27 | 8 p.m.
Jam with Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback, the Maestro David Kates, and other musicians and singers in our community! Are you an ace on the bass? Get your kicks on the sticks? Bring your axe, your sax, your vox, and your chops. We’ll supply the mics, amps, sheet music, and a rockin’ good time!


Center for Jewish Life presents
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin in Dialogue
with Rabbi David Woznica

Thursday, February 28 | 7:30 p.m.
This evening we probe the mind of one of the most influential authors of Jewish books of our time. We will explore Rabbi Telushkin’s thoughts on a wide range of issue including Israel, God, the role Judaism can play in shaping our interpersonal and familial relationships, Jewish humor and what it teaches about the Jewish People, and the use of words in private and public discourse.
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin was named by Talk Magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States. He has authored 18 books, among them Jewish Literacy and A Code of Jewish Ethics, which won the National Jewish Book Award as the Jewish book of the year. His book Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History, was a New York Times bestseller. His latest book, Words that Hurt, Words that Heal, was published in January 2019.
$15: Stephen Wise Temple Members
$20: General Public


Jewish Women’s Theatre presents
Chutzpah & Salsa

Tuesday, March 5
6 p.m. | Pre-show reception 
7 p.m. | Performance
Jewish Women’s Theatre’s Chutzpah & Salsa presents a cultural collage on stage: personal and mostly true stories of Jewish immigration to South and Latin America from Europe, Syria, and other lands that were not “Jewish-friendly.” These stories, written by Latino Jews, reveal funny, poignant, and pivotal moments in their lives as they share what it means to have a Latino heart and a Jewish soul. Powerhouse writers of these stories include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario, Fulbright Scholar Ivonne Saed, MacArthur Fellow and poet Ruth Behar, and Award-winning author Barbara Mujica.
Our gratitude to Susan and Mel Plutsky for their generous sponsorship of our pre-show reception.


Center for Jewish Life presents
Museums with Mario
The Getty

Tuesday March 12 | 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
With a collection this important you start with a single picture in pastel seen through the eyes of a practicing artist. We will focus on Manet and his use of black.
$15: Stephen Wise Temple Members
$20: General Public

Parking $15 per car


Center for Jewish Life presents
How to Read the Bible: A Class for the 21st Century
with Rabbi Ron Stern and Rabbi Josh Knobel

Thursdays: March 14, 21, April 4 | 7:30–9 p.m.
We will explore sections of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) through the lens of modern scholarship. Using the latest insights into the origins and historical context of the Bible, we will discover how understanding the texts in their cultural milieu, along with the added perspective of archeological research, allows us to gain even richer appreciation of the motives and wisdom of our ancestors. This unusual and cutting-edge reading of the Bible will lead to a deeper relationship with the texts and an awareness of how these texts speak to us in ways never considered by scholars from our ancient past.
The Bible is our sacred text because our ancestors have handed its wisdom to us through the centuries and because countless interpreters have shepherded it into our hands. This class returns after a successful debut last year with a look at new texts. Join us as we continue this exciting journey into our past that will radiate wisdom into our lives today.


Wise Guys presents
Men’s Ski Trip to Mammoth
Friday, March 29 – 31 
Join Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback and Rabbi Ron Stern on the Wise Guys men’s trip to Mammoth Mountain. Winter sports, camaraderie, good food, Shabbat! Cost of the trip includes lodging, two catered dinners, snacks, some wine, and self-prepared breakfasts (lift tickets not included). 


Jewish World Watch presents 
13th Annual Walk to End Genocide

Sunday, March 31 | 10 a.m. | Pan Pacific Park (google map link)
The Walk to End Genocide is a community event that brings together advocates of all ages and backgrounds in one united voice to say: “We will not stand idly by while genocide and mass atrocities occur.”  The Walk helps to raise awareness of ongoing atrocities in Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Funds raised from the Walk allow Jewish World Watch to continue its work to educate, advocate, and support projects in these conflict-affected areas.  
Please join the Wise Walks Team! 
For questions, contact Team Captain Diane Kabat (Email:, phone: 818.501.1836)



Community Calendar

UCLA’s Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies Presents
The Rise of Ethnic Nationalism

with Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami
Tuesday, February 5 | 6:30 p.m. | UCLA School of Law
Despite rapid globalization over the last few decades, nationalism has re-emerged as a powerful force triggered in recent years by economic insecurity and inequality as well as fears of social and demographic change. In his talk, Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami, former Israeli Foreign Minister and Co-Founder of the Toledo International Center for Peace, will discuss the global forces that have led to this resurgence of ethnic nationalism, the implications of this growing phenomenon.

IsraAID Presents
The Day After The Disaster: The Next Steps of Humanitarian Aid

Thursday, February 21 | 6:30 p.m.
Location in West Los Angeles provided upon RSVP
IHPN is an international program for training professionals in disaster response and deploying them around the world. Members receive expert briefings, emergency-preparedness training, enrichment with field leaders, and priority access to voluntary deployments on IsraAID missions. Right now, the program is actively recruiting for health professionals, mental health experts and engineers.

Lifecycle • Yahrzeits

We remember with love those who died in recent days and weeks:
Marion Cohen, Marjorie “Margie” Lipson, Ruth Orbuch, Nemat Shadgoo, Linda Sue Sokol, Joy Tanzman, Martin Weil

We observe the yahrzeits of:
Massih Ahdoot, Evelyn Auerbach*, Jean Barbush*, Max Becker*, Ida Berger*, Bella Berkman*, Nelson Berr*, Mary Berton*, Norma Besen, Selma Besen, Miriam Bick, Bernard Brown*, Sidney C. Caine*, Alex Chaplan, Jennie Cloobeck*, Hyman Cohen*, Gertrude Conrad*, Jerome Ettinger, MDFACS, William Faber*, Dr. Nathaniel Fenmore*, Ida Feuerzeig*, Henry Fidler*, Bella File*, Harry Gagerman*, Davene Ginsburg*, Pauline F. Goldstein*, Florence A. Goldstein*, Alan Gottschalk, Lilyan Greenwald, Murray Greenwald, Rachel Hammer*, John Stanley Horn*, Evelyn Ruth Igdaloff*, Marvin E. Kalin*, Bernie Katz*, Pnina Katzin, Harry B. Koch*, Rayda Kramer*, Herbert Kuskin, Solomon Landsman*, Florence Lavine*, Floyd S. Levy*, Evelyn Loder, Walter Maier*, Liza Marmet, Morris L. Mendelson, Celia (Cece) Merlis*, Barbara Fast Mezoff, Lois Helen Miller*, Violette Mizrahi*, Stanton Mylon*, Louis Newmark*, Sol Nudelman*, Bennet Olenick, Marsha Kelback Olivier*, Ilona Paul*, Shirley Reizner, Eva Tabak Rosen, Jane B. Rosenfeld*, Lillian Dundon Roth, Rose Sarnoff*, Max Schlamm*, Loretta Schwartz Berger, David Shore*, Betty Silvermintz, Leslie Stein, Dolores Rae Taub*, David Lewis Taub*, Elinore Trachtman*, Alan F. Walshin*, Melvyn Walton*, Jean I. Winston, Robert Wolfson*

*Designated on our memorial walls

Lifecycle • Mazal Tov

Shehechianu Moment
Do you have a milestone birthday or anniversary approaching? We’d like to celebrate your special day on the bima during Friday evening Shabbat Services! Invite your family, join your Wise community, make it a “shehechianu moment” – a time to give thanks for life, health, and the blessings that enable you to reach this great moment in your life. Let us know by emailing Arlene Spiegelman or calling 310.889.2272 and she’ll make sure to schedule a date that works for you. We’d love to share your celebration!

Mazal Tov to:

Shideh and Frank Ghadooshahy on their daughter Emmily Ghadooshahy becoming Bat Mitzvah
Margie Marenus on her daughter Rachel Marenus becoming Bat Mitzvah

Lifecycle • Condolence

We reach out as a community and offer our support and deepest sympathy to those among us who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

Leah Weil and Fred Schulcz on the loss of Leah’s father Martin Weil

Lifecycle • Tributes

We honor our loved ones, our family simchas, and our communal losses through charitable giving. To give in honor or in memory of a cherished family member or dear friend, please visit

Rabbi Ron Stern, for his help in the unveiling of Alex Chaplan on Sunday

Barbara Fast Mezoff, by Beth, John, Lindsay, and Billy Wilson


Massih Ahdoot, by The Ahdoot Family: Melinda, Susan, David, Julie, Courtney and Brendan


Massih Ahdoot, by The Ahdoot Family: Melinda, Susan, David, Julie, Courtney and Brendan


Selma Besen, Norma Besen, and Leslie Stein, by Randy Weinstein
Jack Chap,
by Linda and Jeff Resnick, and Family 


Jerome Ettinger, MDFACS, by Virginia Ettinger and the Ettinger Family
Loretta Schwartz Berger
and Eva Tabak Rosen, by Michele Zwillinger and Family


Rosita Tyberg’s birthday, by Fernando and Karen Tyberg


Alex Chaplan and Betty Silvermintz, by the Saghebs, Chaplans, and Fidlers


Alan Gottschalk, by Joan and David Gottschalk
Bennet Olenick,
by Jackie and Erin Harrell
Evelyn Loder,
by Bea Fisher and Family
Herbert Kuskin,
by Robert, Christine, Mark, and the Kuskin Family
Lillian Dundon Roth,
by Rabbi Harry Roth and Family
Marvin E. Kalin,
by Ruth Kalin and Family
Melvyn Walton,
by Lynda Robbins
and Lilyan Greenwald, by Philip and Linda Greenwald
Shirley Reizner,
by Joel and Tammy Steinman
Stanton Mylon,
by Lillian Mylon

Thank You

We appreciate our wonderful volunteers:

Lunch Bunch
Tammy Steinman (inadvertently omitted 12/20/18)

Center for Jewish Life Volunteers:
Susan Firestone
Freda Moscowitz
Barbara Sampson

Tammy Steinman

Nosh Volunteer:
Susan Firestone

Gift Shop Volunteers:
Terrie Baumann
Rochelle Fox
Lori Rubin
Carol Sookman

A Welcoming Community
Have a great idea? Share it with us by submitting it to our online suggestion box.

Do you want to reach us? 

Are you having a lifecycle event? Or would you like to be added to this email list? 

Would you like to get involved? Check out upcoming Temple and School events. 

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Stephen Wise Temple | 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive | Los Angeles, CA 90077
Shabbat Shalom