Judaism is the oldest of the three major monotheist religions, but you’ll find no televised mega-temples with star rabbis comparable to Joel Osteen.
Instead, Jewish congregations in the US have faced steady erosion due to cultural assimilation. I see it in my own family. Two of my nephews are Jewish, and although they are growing up in New York City, a center of Jewish life in the US, they are not being raised within a faith.
Twenty-four years ago, Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald founded the National Jewish Outreach Program as a way to offer a positive, educational community Jewish experience. In 1997, the group started “Shabbat Across America” an annual event of eating, drinking, debating and celebration that now reaches well over a million Jews in 39 countries worldwide.
You can participate in this gathering here in Venice on Friday evening, March 4 at the . Rabbi Eliyahu Fink invites everybody who is interested to a catered Shabbat dinner at the synagogue, located at 505 Ocean Front Walk.
Friday night services will begin at 5:15 p.m. followed by dinner. The cost is $25 per person or $45 per couple with a reduced rate for children. RSVP by Feb. 25 by calling (310) 392-8749.
In a world that too often makes assumptions about us and what we believe, it’s good to be reminded of the culture and religion from which we spring.