Elai Levinson's Bar Mitzvah

Facebook_ElaiLevinsonShalom. My name is Elai David Levinson, and I will be called up to read from the Torah as a bar mitzvah this Shabbat, May 6.

I am a 7th grader at Claire Lilienthal Alternative School. During my free time, I can be found drawing, writing, editing my movies, drumming with my band, Planet 17, and reading. Some of my favorite subjects to draw are maps, political figures, stadiums, landscapes, and monsters. My interests include politics, geography, comedy, history, film, religion, and more.

Throughout the year, I have been studying my double parshiyot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, with my tutor, Noa Bar, as well as with Rabbi Glazer and many more. Both parshiyot are from the Book of Leviticus (Vayikra). Acharei Mot is about Aaron purifying the people by sacrificing a goat, and sending the other goat to Azazel, as a scapegoat. This parsha is also where the term “scapegoat” originates from. In Kedoshim, G-d demands that Israel will be holy, and demands the people also be holy.

I would like to thank my parents, Rami and Vered, for guiding me along on this extraordinary journey of becoming a bar mitzvah and participating in the tradition of my ancestors. I would also like to thank my sister, Yarden, for always being there for comfort and company. Additionally, I thank my many relatives and friends in Israel and the U.S. Next, I would like to thank Henry Hollander, for always being supportive and friendly, and Noa Bar, my tutor, for being such a wonderful teacher and helping me learn to leyn my parshiyot in a relatively short amount of time. Lastly, I would like to thank Rabbi Glazer for inspiring me and helping me understand my parshiyot.

Todah Rabah v’Shalom.

Jewish Film Institute Winterfest

CBS is delighted to co-present two films
included in the Jewish Film Institute's Winterfest!

winterfest-web-logo-21 The Jewish Film Institute's 2017 WinterFest edition will be held on the weekend of March 4–5, 2017, in San Francisco. Saturday’s program will take place at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater and Sunday’s events at the Roxie Theater.

We encourage you to check out as many of the movies as you can. If you can only catch a couple of the screenings, we recommend the two that we're co-presenting.

Music meets the mob in this biographical documentary, narrated by Steven Van Zandt, about the life and career of Bert Berns, the most important songwriter and record producer from the sixties that you never heard of. His hits include "Twist and Shout," "Hang On Sloopy," and "Piece of My Heart."

Berns helped launch the careers of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond and produced some of the greatest soul music ever made. Featuring interviews with those who knew him best including: Ben E. King, Keith Richards, and Paul McCartney. During the screening of BANG!, Director Bob Sarles and music journalist/historian Joel Selvin will be present. (USA; 2016; 94 minutes)

Screening location & date:
The Roxie Theater | Sunday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.


Womens-Balcony-16x9 THE WOMEN’S BALCONY
An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men.

Already a hit on the festival circuit, The Women’s Balcony is a rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power. Directed by Emil Ben Shimon; in Hebrew with English subtitles. (Israel; 2016; 96 minutes)

Screening location & date:
The Roxie Theater | Sunday, March 5, 5:20 p.m.


Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration

Facebook_RabbiGlazerLiorBenHurSolTevel_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016Yesterday afternoon, the Achshav Yisrael committee of CBS, in partnership with the Jewish Community Federation, presented its sixth program, a celebration marking Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day).

After kicking Israel's 68th birthday party off in Koret Hall with some of Rabbi Glazer's always-thoughtful remarks and a first-rate rendition of Hatikvah by Congregation Anshey Sfard's hazzan, Avyatar Alfassi, the crowd danced, noshed, and schmoozed as the popular singer-songwriter Lior Ben-Hur and his band Sol Tevel performed. The music was both soulful and fun; it was a hit with all assembled.

Outside, in Eva Gunther Plaza, congregants of all ages added personal aspirations and prayers to an amazing replica of the Western Wall made by the CBS Family Preschool Pre-K class. The students were inspired by photos of the Western Wall as well as memories and stories shared by children in the class who have visited the actual wall in Jerusalem. (The notes added to the replica wall yesterday will soon be carried to the actual Western Wall and placed there!) Nearby, families enjoyed cookie decorating, making Israeli flags, and face and hand painting activities.

Other attendees headed into the SF Schoolhouse space to watch Dancing In Jaffa, a documentary about Pierre Dulaine, four-time ballroom dancing world champion, fulfilling a life-long dream when he takes his dance program, to his city of birth, Jaffa. From the film's press release: "For generations, Jaffa has been a city divided by two communities that continue to grow increasingly apart. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together. The film explores the complex stories of three children, all of whom who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation, and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy."

CBS heartily thanks the Achshav Yisrael committee for its work on this program, and the Jewish Community Federation for it's generous support! Check out some photos from the program below, and visit the CBS Facebook page for more.

ABOUT ACHSHAV YISRAEL: Achshav Yisrael’s mission is to provide quality programming about Israel to Congregation Beth Sholom and the broader community. Achshav Yisrael programs are open to all age groups and will occur on a regular basis. We intend to create a safe space at CBS for community exploration of Israel.
Achshav Yisrael Steering Committee Members: Eileen Auerbach, Becky Buckwald, Sandra Cohen, Betsy Eckstein, Eva-Lynne Leibman, Ephraim Margolin, Lucia Sommers

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