IKAR

Rating: 4.76 stars   38 reviews

Issues: Religion

Location: 5870 West Olympic Blvd Los Angeles CA 90036 USA

Mission: To promote Jewish spirituality, education and social action.

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

"The Rabbi is very dynamic and entertaining, however, there have been issues concerns and complaints. There have been issues surrounding the parishioners. Some have cited that many of the participants are weird, strange and off-beat. There have been concerns surrounding overt and covert rampant discrimination Jew or non-Jew alike against those the established officers do not fit their criteria. There have been complaints that the leadership does not properly background check those that monitor the children." There is also a bigger question and nobody seems to know or concerned how their monetary contributions are being used. There does not seem to be any accountability.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

This is last hold out of the Reform and Conservative Movement. Sadly, IKAR is representative the last gasp and breath of the Reform and Conservative Movement is being played out in death throes. My father taught no offshoot of Orthodox Judaism last more than a few generations. Unless they adopt proper halacha their is no continuity or future for this group

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 1 stars  

If you do not fit into their clique you will be discriminate against I was humiliated outside by the Rabbis Father who did not like the way I was dressed. I am not even Jewish and came in a suit but a group of them insisted that I should come in pajamas. There is class warfare and economic jealously occurring with this group and the leadership. I sensed anger, resentment and jealously amongst some of the members because I do not think they are able to make a living. Rabbi was very polite though. I choose to go someplace else because personally I choose to soar with the eagles rather than run with the Turkeys.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No clue where to begin

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Somewhat badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

IKAR ignites a fire in my soul, spirit and drive to do the work that needs to be done in our community and beyond. Rabbi Brous constantly challenges me to question my place in this world and how we can change the injustices in the world in a truly authentically Jewish way. We found IKAR after searching for a spiritual and passionate community for a long time. IKAR was like a light at the end of the tunnel and there was always a smiling, welcoming face to usher us in. It is now a home to our family.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the davening, spiritual ferver, and acts of social justice and change

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

our nurturing and passionate community members, opportunity to participate in a variety of projects to support both our community and the community at large, constant learning

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate, incredibly hard and selfless workers

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

find itself a home to work on spiritual, social and equality causes; hire more staff to assist with the extraordinary work that takes place in IKAR

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

IKAR offers what few Jewish organizations can - a spiritual, intellectual, and practical home in which to explore a personal relationship with Judaism without judgement or pressure.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the joy and satisfaction I feel attending life cycle events and Jewish holidays with this community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Ikar is a very special place where our family has always found a close connection to God through its strong and vibrant community that is not only involved in matters of the soul but also of the world. It is a place where your mind and body are challenged to become involved in your community and your heart and soul inevitably follow. Before Ikar, synagogue life for us primarily consisted of personal spirituality and individual soul searching--but through Ikar and Rabbi Brous' teachings we have learned that the purpose of personal healing within the synagogue walls is to go out into the world and do what ever we can to help heal it...at what ever capacity we can, big or small. If you are looking for a place that will bring meaning to your life and those around you, Ikar is for you. You want to be there.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the truly spiritual and joyous services that lift the soul and the heart into mindful living.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Ikar has been an amazing place for our entire family. It is a place that engages and challenges in the best way in terms of spirituality, social action, and community. Our 2 teenage children were b'nai mitzvahed here and continue to stay connected to both Ikar and their Jewish identities. Every member of the family, all with differing interests and needs, gets so much from Ikar.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Figure out how to keep us in better financial shape.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...change the world even more than it already is doing!

Ways to make it better...

...we had more money. Then I wouldn't have to worry so much!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financial.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Every cent that goes to Ikar is incredibly well used.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I grew up in war-time and post war Sweden in a community with 50 Jewish souls. My school years were spent in an orthodox school in England, and my married life centered around a conservative community in the Valley. It took over 60 years for me to find my spiritual home. IKAR was the answer to my lifelong yearning for spirituality merged with joy and social activism. Thank G-d for Rabbi Sharon Brous, IKAR's passionate, warm, inspiring spiritual leader, who has opened up Judaism to so many people, young and old. IKAR is Judaism with joy not guilt!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The ability of Rabbi Brous and the IKAR community to embrace everyone - traditional, non-traditional, alienated, newly minted, inquiring, young and old alike, as well as the just curious. This is Judaism in action, not as spectator sport!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extraordinary!! Melissa Balaban, an IKAR founder, is a dynamo, always there, making things work. Maya wears countless hats & is tirelessly devoted to IKAR and its service to the community. All staffers & volunteers are devoted, reliable and passionate.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Establish a pre-school for the rapidly growing population of its members' children. Hire an assistant rabbi (or two) to help Rabbi Brous in her extraordinary work. Expand IKAR's outreach and aid to the homeless, hungry and disenfranchised.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

Words can't really express how wonderful i think this community is...i grew up orthodox in England, lived in NYC for six years and finally settled in LA two years ago. IKAR is one of the reasons that i will stay! It feels like the community i have always been searching for...the overall vibe is open and welcoming, a true "by the people, for the people" feel...the music and the soul and the sense of spirit that emanates from services every week never ceases to amaze me and as i'm sure everyone notes, Rabbi Sharon is just a gift of a leader. Her sermons are grounded and real and uplifting and lofty all at the same time. I live in Venice, over a half an hour drive away and there is no question that it is worth the commute. The mix of social justice, intellectual inquiry and soulful singing communal singing and dancing is exactly what i think Judaism is and should be all about. My parents came from Chicago and my grandfather came from England to experience Yom Kippur at IKAR this year and said that from now on, wherever they are in the world, they will always endeavor to come to LA to come IKAR for Yom Kippur. That's how moving and wonderful they found it and i concur!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

i've found the spiritual and religious life that i always wanted inside but had not found. A grounded, community driven welcoming group that feels like home.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

attending friday night services...beautiful, uplifting and grounding all at the same time...i've really enjoyed becoming a part of this community...when i first attended i knew no-one, now i feel like part of the fabric.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

welcoming, hard-working, inspiring and amazing people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

probably heal the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Ikar is the antidote to what's been wrong with Jewish practice for some time. It's about uniting spirituality with social action. The services find a new way to stir your soul and the community outreach program lets you live out the values we believe in. The rabbi rocks. The folks are friendly. It changed my outlook on Judaism.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

so many ways, both personal and in the greater LA community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a new facility to provide for all the services and programs.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The authenticity of intention in this community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate, young and determined.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy a new building and put money into community outreach and social justice.

Ways to make it better...

more people provided financial support and the congregation had the funds to grow.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financial solvency in a down economy.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I'm not usually so enthusiastic about my religious life, but ikar has found its way into my heart... and soul.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

IKAR is the most welcoming community where every one feels important. Experiencing the sincerity of Rabbi Sharon Brous is so refreshing and learning Torah from her is enlightening. Learning that praying is hard work and being a part of the prayer experience is so fulfilling. Every member of the IKAR davening team including Hillel Tigay, Ross Levinson, Lizzi Heydemann and others share their skills and talents and allows you to be a participant. IKAR is so apecial, I recommend this community for everyone.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Community and Learning

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Knowledgable and friendly

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Alleviate hunger, improve education, and refurbish or build a new facility that is worthy of the tasks needing to be accomplished.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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