"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.