From the President


I have to admit, I’m not really a cheese pizza fan.  I prefer a combination of toppings, many of which cannot be mentioned in the publication of a Jewish religious institution.  But I had some really good cheese pizza recently.  It wasn’t from one of the big pizza chains, but it was from a major seller of fresh-baked pies — Costco.  Yes, Costco is one of the largest pizza chains in the United States.  And while you may not get a choice of thick or thin crust, pan or hand-tossed, it is one of the few pizza spots you can pick up a jumbo package of paper towels or a dozen croissants.

The particular cheese pizza that greatly impressed me was served in our own Blum Hall and marked the return of Pizza Night after an absence of more than two years.  One of our newest members of the Board of Directors, Felicia Van Dyk, along with our very active Religious School Parents Association members felt it was high time (Chai Time?) to bring back this beloved monthly event, which brings together our Temple family prior to Shabbat services.

Pizza Night kicks off a month of resurgent activity at Temple Beth Emet.  On Sunday, December 11, from Noon to 2:30 PM, our Sisterhood brings back their Hanukkah Boutique, featuring Judaica from the Sisterhood Gift Shop and vendors selling jewelry and unique Miss Fortunes funny fortune cookies including both Hanukkah and Christmas themed creations.  The sale will also feature some collectable die-cast NASCAR cars and collectables, as well as a bake sale.

On December 18 our Religious School will be holding their Hanukkah celebration with a special talent performance at 11:30 AM, and everyone is welcome.  That evening we will be holding a brief Hanukkiyah lighting at the Burbank Town Center at 6:00 PM (yet another returning activity) before returning back to Temple at 7:00 PM for an outdoor celebration featuring lighting out giant Hanukkiyah, singing, and an appearance by our own Adult Choir.

This month’s activities are big steps toward restoring our Temple as our community center for social and religious activities.  It is Hanukkah, which means “dedication,” and we are finally and fully re-dedicating ourselves as an active house of gathering, worship, and study.

While we are mindful of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases locally, as well as the “tripledemic” of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) being reported, it appears that with proper precaution, including vaccination and mask wearing indoors, we feel comfortable bringing back some of the activities we have had to forego the past couple of years.  If there is anything in particular you have been missing, or if you have any ideas for something new we can do together, please let us know.  Ralph is in the Temple office Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and you can always leave a message or email.

Wishing each and every one of you a very Happy Hanukkah and a wonderful 2023.


— IRA L. GOLDSTEIN, President