From the President

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – September 2023

Late last month our sanctuary was transformed into a comedy cabaret.  Our own Jennifer Larkin put the evening together.  The performers included the cast of the streaming TV series Barbee Rehab, the acts Landry and Summers, Future Ancestors, Nervana & Tackelbox.  Individually, these people are Vanessa Bednar, Derek S. Orr, Christian Cintron, Shaun Landry, Hans Summers, Chris Compton,Stephen C. James, BJ Lange, Josh Tarriff, Mirage Thrams, Michel J. Siedlaff, Lauren Alvaraz, Bruce Locklear, and Amanda Joy Marshall.

While their material is not generally family-friendly, the troop kept their material Temple-appropriate will still being creative, entertaining, and funny.  We enjoyed two hours of comedy skits and improv, including audience participation.  Rabbi Mark, who is a card-carrying SAG member and no stranger to secular performance even took the stage, as did some of our children.

Character actor Edmund Gwenn is often credited with the deathbed statement, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”  Anyone who has stood up in front of an audience and tried to elicit a laugh will attest to that.  If comedy is hard, improvisational comedy is even harder!  All of us at Temple Beth Emet thank the professionals who donated their talents (and the swag bags, AND the raffle prize baskets!) as well as the members of the audience who bravely joined in the performance.

We also thank the members of the Sisterhood and the Board who provided snacks, sweets, soda, and water.  It was a hot day, and while the air conditioning in the sanctuary worked, the unit in Blum Hall took the day off (thanks to an unlatched cover).  A couple of fans kept thing tolerable.

Finally, a great big thank you to everyone who attended the fundraiser.  Not only were we able to bring our diverse Temple family together for an afternoon of fun, but we also raised some money.  In fact, it was one of the most successful fundraising events we have held!

Now that August is over, we turn our attention to the High Holidays.  Robyn and the Temple Beth Emet La Sha Na Na Tova Choir have been practicing for weeks, Ralph in the office has been fielding inquiries about tickets and we will all be ready to welcome everyone to another warm and haimish High Holiday season.  If you know someone in need of a place to spend the holidays, please have them call the office.

Selichot is Saturday, September 9, at 7:00 PM.  This service is a spiritual “tune-up” for the Holidays and the night we change the covers on our Torahs to their High Holiday whites.  Rosh Hashanah begins the following Friday night, September 15, at 8:00 PM.  The entire schedule of services appears on the first page of this month’s Chai Times.

I encourage everyone to make their submissions to the Scroll of Remembrance memorial book using the online form at to assure the accuracy of your entries.

On behalf of myself, my family, the Board, and the staff at Temple Beth Emet of Burbank, “L’shana tova tikateivu.”  May we all be inscribed for a good year.

— IRA L. GOLDSTEIN, President