Debra Lynn Fine, Jordan Bennett and More Set for Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts' High Holy Day Services, 9/13
GAL LUSKY, CEO and Founder of Israeli Flying Aid (IFA), a non-profit volunteer group providing humanitarian life-saving aid and relief to communities in areas stricken by natural disaster or territorial conflicts, will travel from the war-town Syrian and Jordanian border where one million refugee children have fled from chemical bombings, to be one of four special guests of RABBI DAVID BARON at Yom Kippur High Holy Day Services on the Eve of Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) on Friday, September 13, 2013 (5774) at 8:00 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre; 8440 Wilshire Boulevard; Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Lusky is currently providing food and medical assistance to children on the Syrian/Jordanian border.
RABBI DAVID BARON, founder of the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts, the largest arts synagogue in the United States, which draws heavily from the entertainment community, said: "My special guests for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur this year will include: GAL LUSKY, CEO and Found of Israeli Flying Aid; Curt Lowens, a Broadway and Film Actor and Holocaust Survivor and Resistance Member who made his Broadway debut in "Stalig 17" as an S.S. Guard and as a 17-year-old Jewish-German resistance fighter he rescued two downed American flyers, Airman Second Lieutenant and Navigator, Reginald E. ("Mac") McNeil, and Airman, Radio Man and Gunner, Tom Wilcox during World War II in the Netherlands in 1944; STEVEN EMERSON, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a non-profit organization that serves as one of the world's largest storehouses of archival data and intelligence on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups and DEBRA LYNN FINE, a Leading Business Executive in Consumer Products and Media Companies who distracted a gunman who shot her multiple times in a mass shooting at Santa Monica College on June 7, 2013, saving the life of another woman. All of my guests have incredible personal stories to tell about how they have triumphed over adversity often under life threatening circumstances. Their stories of acts of humane kindness, courageous deeds and of hope and determination in the face of oppression are inspirational messages we all need to hear."
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year on the Jewish calendar; it is a day of prayer and fasting for Jewish people around the world. The Eve of Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) on Friday, September 13th, and Yom Kippur on Saturday, September 14th represent the end of a 10-day period of repentance and introspection, which begins with the Jewish New Year 5774, Rosh Hashanah, on Wednesday evening,September 4th continuing on Thursday, September 5th.
The Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts is now celebrating its 21st Anniversary. The temple was founded and incorporated on November 5, 1992.
The creative services will feature Broadway performers, Ilysia Pierce and Jordan Bennett, both of whom serve as cantors, along with the temple's choir comprised of singers from the Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, led by the temple's Music Director and Composer, SHARON FARBER. Celebrity Service Participants will include: Ashley Bell, Michael Bell, Mike Burstyn, Corky Hale, Mary Hart, Leonard Maltin, Sela Ward, MARYAnn WilliamsON and others to soon be announced.
High Holy Day Services will conducted in the WINNICK AUDITORIUM on the ornate HAROLD KAPELOVITZ bimah, given as a gift from MRS. LEE KAPELOVITZ, in memory of her late husband. The bimah design was envisioned by Rabbi David Baron, with the assistance of his wife Adrienne Baron and Bruce Ryan. The goal was to create a dramatic living Jewish message of faith and peoplehood. Through the Rabbi's efforts the temple secured the exclusive rights to recreate the magnificent tapestry of the legendary artist, MARC CHAGALL, entitled "The Journey of the People." The original evocative work of art depicting the history of the Jewish people from Moses to King David hangs in Knesset in Jerusalem. The art deco elements of the temple's proscenium were incorporated into the design of the pillars, Holy Ark and pulpits. Six backlit panels present 18 (chai) word concepts of Jewish faith and belief taken from the Torah.
The High Holy Day Services will include:
- The sounding of the Shofar on the first of the High Holy Days, the Eve of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year 5774 on Wednesday, September 4th at 8:00 p.m., believed to be the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.
- On Kol Nidre (the Eve of Yom Kippur), on Friday, September 13th, Special Guest, Gal Lusky will speak. The service begins at 8:00 p.m.
- On Yom Kippur, Saturday, September 14th, the Yizkor Memorial Service (memorial service for the departed) will be held at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Introduction of Rabbi's Special Guests, followed by screenings of Steven Emerson's documentary film "The Grand Deception," which traces the roots of Islamism inside the United States, examining the extent of Islamist influence highlighting the danger posed for all Americans, and the West Coast Premiere of "Honor Diaries," a short documentary film by Paula Kweskin that exposes the denial of basic human rights to women in the Islamic world, with a musical score composed by Temple of the Arts music director Sharon Farber from 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. A Panel Discussion will be held from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., followed by the Closing Mincha/Neilah/Havdalah Service at 5:45 p.m.
Tickets for the services begin at a tax-deductible donation of $350. Young Adult seating for ages 20 to 35 are available for a donation of $150. Children's services, led by Karen Abrams, will also be held on the morning of Rosh Hashanah on Thursday, September 5th at 10:00 a.m. and on the morning of Yom Kippur on Thursday, September 14th at 10 a.m. For more information, please call Kasey Carter at 323-658-9100or log on to www.templeofthearts.org. Street parking restrictions have been lifted for the areas adjacent to the Saban Theatre. The Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts also broadcasts its Yom Kippur service for the homebound on DIRECTV, Comcast, Time Warner and other cable channels through JLTV (Jewish Life Television). JLTV can be viewed locally in Los Angles on Time Warner Channel 177. For more information, please visit the website, www.jltv.tv.
Some Comments From Gal Lusky, CEO and Founder of Israeli Flying Aid:
"Our organization is obligated to civilians who need us. No militia and no government will get in our way. We operate in countries where there is usually a total ban on bringing in aid, in countries where the regime is hostile to its citizenry, places where aid packages sent from around the world do not get past the ruling government and never get to those who are really in need. As a result, we often operate in areas where the United Nations can't get to, or reaches but at the latest possible time. I want to be there immediately, when they need me.
"The way I work is I first arrive to a disaster area and see with my own eyes what the local population needs. This way, we know what type of aid to administer. Our goals when we get to a disaster area are usually defined. If we are talking about a place where I can be in one place, and there is no clear and present danger to my safety, we erect a center to distribute food, a camp for medical aid, and we also provide post-traumatic treatment. But in dangerous areas, much like our mission in Myanmar after the cyclone, the goal is to move around from place to place so we can distribute food and medicine."
"I feel as if I'm on a mission whenever I work in places where people are taught that Jews and Israelis have sharp ears and teeth and are evil. Our organization's logo does indeed bear a red Star of David, but we also have shirts with a picture of a globe in place of the Star of David. When we operate in hostile territory, like in Muslim Kashmir, we come with a cover story. I see huge importance in our work for Israeli public relations. At the end of a mission we undertook under false pretenses in Indonesia, I gathered all the people in our camp and told them who we were. I said we were from Israel, and that I hope that they learned who Israelis really are, rather than what they heard from the mullahs. The adults were in shock, and they could not look us in the eyes but the children burst out in screams and embraced us. Of course, immediately after we revealed our identities we quickly left for the airport and left the country.
"As a woman who loves her country, a Jew who knows about the tragedies of the Holocaust, and a sister with a brother wounded in war, I see my team's mission to bring aid wherever it may be needed as doing our small part to bring about Tikkun Olam, the Jewish ideal of fixing (or, in this case, healing) the world. Though the mission seems too great for me at times, as a mother, I feel it is my responsibility to leave the world a more tolerant place than when I found it."
More About Israeli Flying Aid:
Israeli Flying Aid (IFA) operates in places where local regimes prevent entry to international humanitarian organizations and focuses on countries that lack diplomatic relations with Israel, working to transcend differences, prejudices, race, nationality, religion and creed. Gal Lusky founded IFA more than 15 years ago, following the severe wounding of her brother in the Lebanon War. Born on a kibbutz, Lusky served as head of an entrepreneurial fishing company in Africa and is an accomplished diver. She is frequently invited to lecture before Israeli and international audiences and has addressed former U.S. President Bill Clinton and European parliamentarians. She holds degrees in Marketing and Tourism from Bar Ilan University and studied Alternative Medicine.
IFA is a non-governmental aid group comprised of volunteers from a variety of professions including doctors, psychologists and social workers. Lusky and her team of activists have succeeded in supplying aid to victims in areas where even the United Nations and Red Cross have struggled. Lusky has led missions to assist flood victims of Georgia, earthquake victims of India and Kashmir, tsunami victims in Southeast Asia, and most recently victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.
IFA has fearlessly ventured out to the most remote corners of the world in an effort to bring about the global Tikkun Olam revolution. Lusky and her organization operate under the guidepost that every life is worth saving. Regardless of the conflict, danger, politics or governmental blocks IFA will not shy away from providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in need, no matter the circumstances.
To learn more about Israel Flying Aid, visit the website, www.tapuz.co.il/ifa/defaultEng.asp.