Simhat Torah at IKAR was incredible. It reminded me that the Jewish community is not dying. We are not disappearing, we just need to be met at a place that is comfortable and challenging. You have found that crux and I am so thankful for it. It was a very special night, but then again most days at IKAR are very special.
My family is so fortunate to have found Ikar. We begin every weekend by going together on Saturday mornings. The day starts with an inspirational joint session with the whole community. Then children go to religious school and parents participate in services and adult programming, followed by a kiddish lunch. Our school director is a treasure. It is a wonderful routine to wake up to on Saturday. My kids love Judaism, religious school, Shabbat and holidays. Everyone knows my children's names at Ikar and it is a 2nd home for them.
I am a proud, engaged Jew thanks to Ikar. I like to be there. My children like to be there. It's our family's second home. And the Rabbi challenges me to be a better person. It's part of the fabric of my life.
I honestly didn't know it could be like this. I was looking for a place for my kids and realized there could be something in it for me, too. I'm constantly challenged, in a good way.
My husband, my 86 year old father from England, and I came to LA last week with the sole purpose of sharing an IKAR Yom Kippur. Our daughter had told us how amazing it was and we really wanted to experience it for ourselves. There were many times during the 25 hours that I personally was so moved. To mention just a few – Rabbi Sharon’s explanation of Unsaneh Tokef really resonated with me. Being able to stand in front of the ark at Neilah was particularly wonderful. My grandfather always had the honour of opening the ark and standing by it at neilah and as a female, growing up in an orthodox community I never thought I would have that opportunity. When we came into the service on Kol Nidre the atmosphere, with the humming was magical and the feeling continued for the whole 25 hours. Reading through the Minyan Tzedek literature was so awesome. Ikar has an extraordinary Rabbi, and an incredible group of people who have created something so very special.
Do you remember those overzealous friends in High School that ran for student government? The speeches that started off with: "If I am elected Senior Class President, I will ensure that there are vending machines in every classroom. You've got my word - There will be NO homework on weekends and NO school on Fridays!" Even then nobody really believed that could happen - but we appreciated the thought! IKAR is like that dream - turned reality! When Rabbi Brous and the amazing founders of this community began their quest to establish a vibrant a, they dreamed big and made those seemingly ludicrous promises a reality! If you're looking for a welcoming and vibrant place to call your Jewish home - IKAR is it! If you have become increasingly disconnected from your Judaism and still have nightmares of the horrific place we all remember as "Hebrew School" - fret no more! THIS AIN'T YOUR BUBBE'S JUDAISM!! Come check it out - you won't be disappointed!
I am a Second Generation Angeleno. My family has always been involved in Jewish and Jewish Family life. I, like many, as an adult went from temple to temple searching for the perfect fit. My kids turned me on to Ikar more than four years ago. I came and new by the first shabbat this was the place for me. The services reminded me of the incredible experiences I had at Camp Ramah in Ojai in my youth. I cannot express in words how Rabbi Brous' words elevate my spirit and soul. May she always be blessed with the great strength, wisdom and compassion she now commands. Cantor Hillel Tigay is rapsodic in his singing. Everyone attached to Ikar is magnificent. Guess I'm home.