Historic Agreement of 1000+ Rabbis Against Flawed Iran Deal

Stop Iran Rally July 26, 2015 LA-2Jewish Leadership Across Denominations Call for a “Better Deal”

Over 1000 rabbis across every major denomination are calling on Congress to reject the nuclear deal with Iran. In an open letter to Congress, the rabbis urge members to reject the proposed deal and call on the administration to return to the negotiating table in pursuit of a better agreement.

This show of unity by rabbis is unprecedented in American Jewish history.

The letter was written jointly by Rabbi Kalman Topp, Senior Rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation, Beverly Hills and Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, Co-Founder of Pico Shul, Los Angeles.

“[W]e are deeply troubled by the proposed deal, and believe this agreement will harm the short-term and long-term interests of both the United States and our allies, particularly Israel,” the letter states. “[W]e agree with the assessments of leaders and experts in the United States, along with virtually all Israeli voices across the political spectrum, that we can, and must, do better,” they added.

Among the letter’s signatories are the President of Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox), the President of Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative), and the immediate past president of Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform)— highlighting cross-denominational opposition to the Iran deal.

“This letter represents the sentiment of a broad breadth of the American Jewish community that this is a flawed deal that will not stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” Rabbis Topp and Bookstein said. “Instead, this deal provides Iran with vast financial resources that it can use to further destabilize the region.”


Want to take action? Call your senator TODAY and tell them to vote against the deal

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A Kabbalist’s Feast: New Edition of the Tu B’Shevat Seder

Years ago in the ancient city of Safed, a group of Kabbalists uncovered the mystical secrets of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish holiday referred to as the “New Year of the Tree.”

The secrets this group revealed were compiled in the 18th century into a ritual ceremony patterned after the Passover Seder and observed on the night of Tu B’shevat, the 15th of the month of Shevat, which coincides with the full moon.

The seder features four cups of wine, a ritual text, various fruits, cakes and other delicacies. In place of the story of the Exodus from Egypt the Tu B’Shevat seder uncovers the inner dimensions of reality as revealed in nature. In place of matzah and chicken soup with matzah balls, there are a dozen kinds of fruit. In place of Seder plates, there are plates piled high with fruits.

What you will need for your seder: Red wine, white wine, beer, cake, olives, dates, grapes, figs, pomegranates, walnuts, almonds, carob, apples, pears, and if you can, candied etrog rind. In addition, bring other fruits with inedible shells or peels, fruits with edible skins, but have seeds, fruits that are totally eaten, and fragrant fruits. Use as many different kinds of fruit as you can find, especially exotic fruit that you rarely eat.

How to make it happen: Gather a group of friends, and ask each to bring something for the feast. Set the table with a fine tablecloth, candles, flowers etc. Have a good time – there is really no “wrong” way to do the Seder. You can use my Seder guide as a roadmap and feel free to improvise, make additions, sing and dance!


Contact me if you have any difficulties with the download and we will email it to you!


Creating the Foundation for a Healthy Marriage

Spiritual-RelationshipRabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein’s Pre-Marriage Class
Creating the Foundation for a Healthy Marriage
A Class for Engaged Couples and Newlyweds
Sun. June 2, 16, 23 at 8pm Free

Mazel Tov! You are engaged to the love of your life, you are walking on cloud 9 and have to slap yourself twice a day just to be sure you are awake and not dreaming! Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein and JConnect present this 3 part class to help you build towards the successful marriage you want and deserve. This course includes three, ninety-minute classes with Rabbi Yonah, PLUS a one hour one-on-one counseling session w/ Rachel Bookstein for each couple.

So why are you asking yourself these questions?
Who gets to make decisions about the wedding?
How do we resolve differences?
What does honoring my spouse mean?
Why is being engaged so hard?
What is marriage for anyway?
Is there such a thing as work/life balance?
Will we still have fun after we are married?
Will I loose myself to my partner?
How do I talk about intimacy without hurting feelings?
What do I call my in-laws?
How do I integrate Jewish spirituality into my marriage?
When do we talk about kids?
and MANY more topics…

Don’t let the stress of planning your wedding make you forget that it is every day after the wedding that counts. If you are spending hours each day thinking about flower arrangements, or weighing the benefits of Ivory over True White for your china, or you might consider spending time on the questions that will fundamentally make a difference in your life in the long-term.

This class is free, Suggested Donation $180
Make checks out to “BETH EL”
Space is limited
Eventbrite - Creating the Foundation for a Healthy Marriage

Balance in Balance

Exploring the 17th Day of the Counting of the Omer “Tiferet in Teferet” discussing kabbalah, Pirkei Avot, Parsha of Metzora. The class is given once a week in the Pico Robertson section of Los Angeles. To attend send an email rabbiyonah @ CLICK HERE TO LISTEN