Welcome Winter Sunset

What's Nu?

(Song of Songs)
A 21st Century Shul
Chaplain DOV Cohen * Hazzan DEVORAH Gottesman
Music Director Rev. Gabbai Eli Shirim Lester
Cantorial Soloists
Suzie Shiaman, Dana Stone-Goldberg
and Kimberly Haynes
Shofar Maven Gerry Owen 
 Niggun Master Phil Bell, Percussionist Mike Levy
Violinist Peter Kunstler; Mandolinist Jeffrey Fleck 

Veterans of Blessed Memory
Mort Schecter, Sadie Sonnenreich  
Poet Laureate of Blessed Memory, Irv Justman

Please check this site regularly for updates.
* * *
Our community thanks Johnny Mathis for his insightful comments
at our very first Erev Shabbat in our new chapel home. 
His recorded duet with Barbra Streisand, ONE GOD, and the
Holy Land montage as congregants entered, was magnificent.
Pot Luck Feast with delectible kugel, sushi and love;
Bring your favorite dairy or vegetarian dish.
American Legion Hollywood Post #43
American Legion Palisades Ronald Reagan Post #283
Disabled American Veterans 
Los Angeles National Cemetery 
Jewish War Veterans Tibor Rubin Post #786
Jewish War Veterans S. F. V. Post #603
Jewish War Veterans Post #617  
Jewish War Veterans California Department
WWII Veterans
Montford Point Marines
Tuskegee Airmen
Buffalo Soldiers
Washington Artillary
Korean War Veterans
Vietnam Veterans of America
Gulf War Veterans
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans 
VIP Post 1, Veterans In Prison (CIW Corona)
VIP Post 2, 3 & 4, Veterans In Prison (CIM Chino) 
Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)
Military Order of Purple Heart
Veterans of Foreign Wars 

"Adopt a Veteran" is our SHIR HaSHIRIM program matching a volunteer
from our community with a veteran to encourage visits, friendship, letter writing,
birthday acknowledgement and bonding. Can and will you devote 4 hours each month? 
That's all it takes, really.
* * * * * * * * * *
SHIR HaSHIRIM, literally the Song of Songs, the original Jewish Renewing community, (established in 1962, before Jewish Renewal was founded in the late sixties and early seventies) is an all-inclusive, welcoming participatory congregation that promotes spiritual growth and social responsibility. While honoring our rich Jewish heritage and melodies, our services and practices create a relevant, expressive, and joyous path for the 21st Century.  Music plays a most important role in our prayers and meditation.

 - Now in our 57th year
SHIR HaSHIRIM was founded in 1962 by Chaplain DOV Cohen, based on a vision of Judaism fused with spirituality. Initially, SHIR HaSHIRIM was a Jewish Chapel Program that had its roots at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas; a Makom Shalom, in Hebrew "Home of Peace." SHIR HaSHIRIM makes the commitment to coexistence with other religious traditions and to Jewish spiritual renewing, creatively updating traditional religious practices and making them more meaningful and relevant.  Our Christian, Muslim and Buddhist sisters and brothers have welcomed us to practice our faith alongside them; together we strive to make this world a better place for all.
This warm Jewish Renewing congregation's services and activities are accessible to everyone regardless of their knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew; Interfaith
couples and their families as well as Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians. Agnostics and others feel at home and welcome; SHIR HaSHIRIM members are actively involved together in Tikkun Olam, healing the world, by healing the communities in which we live while reaching out globally with our resources.
1) SHIR HaSHIRIM is a Jewish Renewing religious community, welcoming and integrating, regardless of one’s religious background, age, family, lifestyle, or level
of Jewish education.
2) To attain meaning and relevance, we explore diverse religious experiences and practices, make traditional Jewish practice new, and create new practices. We respect and learn from other spiritual paths. Furthermore, our services and activities are accessible to everyone regardless of their knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew.
3) To foster a sense of community, we encourage those who join us to participate fully in our activities, ranging from services to Tikkun Olam (actions to heal the world and correct injustices), to democratic governance and decision making, and to social activities. As a community, we promote and nurture personal and spiritual growth.
4) We are egalitarian in liturgy and leadership. Women and men are full and equal partners in every aspect of community life and worship. Our concept of the Eternal is not exclusively male or female.
5) We constantly experiment with a mixture of old and new practices designed to create an opportunity for connection with God. We assert that the spiritual quest is exciting and enthusiastic with an additional goal of helping individuals recognize, explore, and live their authentic selves.
6) We are aware that the world in which we live is in need of repair, and that our mission is to practice Tikkun Olam, a healing of the earth and of society. Therefore, we urge compassion, justice, respect, healing, and fair treatment toward all, and support and practice ecologically sound actions that are gentle to the earth.
7) Judaism and Torah are living and evolving. We study and teach these texts, wrestle with their content and meaning, and decide how best to draw upon these ancient yet viable lessons.
8) We support Jewish education for children and adults. Our teaching is neither authoritarian nor dogmatic; everyone is free to question, challenge, or accept what she or he will, without judgment from others.

- SHIR HaSHIRIM has dedicated, warm and inspiring spiritual leaders.
- SHIR HaSHIRIM has an active membership that is in partnership with our Chaplain and Hazzan in creating a united spiritual and activist community.
- SHIR HaSHIRIM members of the congregation and the community at large provide financial resources to support our goals and objectives.
- SHIR HaSHIRIM has a democratic and cooperative form of governance that supports our values, where every member has a voice and is an “active participant.”
- SHIR HaSHIRIM community is egalitarian and inclusive, celebrating and supporting diversity.
- SHIR HaSHIRIM has an extended membership, including those who feel alienated from traditional Judaism or religion, and those who seek a deeper,
more meaningful spiritual life.
- SHIR HaSHIRIM with Kavannah (intention) is actively and regularly engaged in Tikkun Olam, challenging social inequities, beginning with our immediate community, expanding to the neighborhood, and continuing to the world at large.
- SHIR HaSHIRIM offers a variety of Jewish educational experiences as best serves our members.
- SHIR HaSHIRIM is committed to applying all these values and principles to the revitalization of our spiritual practices and to our community decision-making and actions; we are truly a Jewish Renewing Community, we are your community.
Hazzan DEVORAH Gottesman with Johnny Mathis
at our first Erev Shabbat in our SHIR HaSHIRIM Chapel at Bel Air Presbyterian.
We completed our 55th Edition Kabbalat Shabbat Siddur;
and our 50th SHIR HaSHIRIM Siddur for Yom TOV.

In EXODUS we find: "No stranger need lodge in the street (JOB 31,32)."
The Holy One does not reject a single creature. Rather, all are acceptable to GOD. 
"The gates are open at all times, and all who wish may enter."
The Song of Songs Community.




Thank you Ahavat Torah Rabbi Miriam Hamrell
and Executive Director, Linda Badger, 
for joining us at Veterans Holiday Celebration 2018
and for Ahavat Torah's year round efforts
collecting clothes, new shoes and buying new toys for our
veterans, active duty and their children.
And, very special welcome to
Terri Lynn Scrape.
Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Greg Lee, JWV California Department Commander
California State Commanders Veterans Council 
Thanks for sharing our
Kabbalat Shabbats,
now in our 56th year.
16 year Past Commander PAUL COHEN, Commander Chuck Schwartz
and HY ARNESTY of Post #603.
Condolences on the passing of our friend, MORT SCHECTER
Veteran of the Year.
Dr. Barry Schneider
National Commander;
Jerry Blum,
Past National Commander; 
Maxwell Colon, Past National Commander; 
Ira Novoselski, Past National Ciommander; 
Greg Lee
Department of California Commander;
Chaplain DOV Cohen
Department of California Chaplain
and National "End Homelessness" Chair;
Founder, with Chaplain Steve Sterry,
CIW Veterans In Prison Post #1
CIM Veterans In Prison
Posts #2, #3 & #4. 
 Resident Cantor Devorah Gottesman's
 "Wounded Warrior" CD now on iPhone and 
all music outlets.  Please listen and download.
 DEVORAH completed her 3,000 mile bicycle ride
 From Hollywood, California to Jacksonville, Florida,
for The Wounded Warrior Project.
Check this site often for updates.
provides veterans services at CIW
California Institution for Women (Corona)
and at
California Institution for Men (Chino) 
and conducts religious services
and veteran programming  
at the California Institution for Women. 
VIP Post #1 (Veterans In Prison) Programming
(Veterans who served honorably and then became "justice involved." )
8 AM every other Saturday at
California Institution for Women (Corona)
2014 Installation of Officers was performed
by California Secretary of Veterans Affairs,
Major General Peter Gravett;
2015, 2016 & 2017 Installation by Chaplain DOV.
2018 Installation by Vet Hunters Project Founder, Joe Leal,
Veterans Holiday Celebration President, John Powers.
Special Guest Speaker Kristine Stanley. 
always a part of our programs
Chaplain DOV reminds everyone that our
Kabbalat Shabbat Interfaith Services
always begin at
7 PM
Dairy Pot Luck;
bring your favorite dish
(no meat or shellfish, please)
Dairy and salads always correct.
Do you bake Kugel? Kichel? Knishes?
Bake or Buy and Bring! 
Thank you.
Enjoy our very own
Music Director,
Rev. Gabbai 
Eli Shirim Lester
on keyboard;
Chief Niggunist on guitar
Fisherman Phil Bell;
Percussion, Michael Levy;
Shofar Maven, Gerry Owen; 
and other surprise guests: 
Suzie Shiaman, 
Dana Stone-Goldberg, 
Kimberly Haynes,
Arlene Shapiro,
Ester Shifren, Fumani &
Elmer Armstrong.

Mark your calendar.
We welcomed and honored
"PINK LADY" Jackie Goldberg, 
who produced the Hollywood Musicals
"America Salutes Our Veterans"
"We Have A Dream" and "The Beat Goes On."
Senior Star Power Productions are SRO!
Watch for more 2019 & 2020 attractions.
All new and original "streaming" TV Variety Shows.
Watch at PinkLadyPresents.com
* * * 
Pink Lady's new book,
"Get Up, Get Out, & Get A Life!"
is now available;
all proceeds to Senior Star Power Productions, Inc. 
(Order them at www.seniorstarpower.org and on AMAZON) 
Our performers rang out the year, well past midnight,
on a grand note with John Zipperer and His Current Band.
Many friends brought instruments for the
"Jammin" portion of the night,
with, yes, 18 guitars!
We look forward to seeing
John Zipperer and His Friends again SOON! 
We enjoyed our
25th Annual
Veterans' Holiday Celebration,
December 3rd, 2017,
produced by Vet Hunters Project and their
Founder, Joe Leal.  Chaplain DOV was Emcee. 
Sharing this wonderful event,
we honored our
active duty servicemen and women,
respected veterans, their families, 
care-giver staff and crew,
who brought holiday cheer to our veterans. 
On December 8 & 9, 2018
we produced our 26th Annual Event. 
On December 8, 2019, we will return for our 27th year
on the West Los Angeles VA Grounds with  
Hand-Crafted gifts (afghans, quilts, pillows, hats and embroidered toys)
presented to all families of deployed, active duty servicmen and women  
made by the VIP Post #1 (Veterans In Prison)
of the California Institution for Women (Corona.)
Thank you Carol Taylor and Ronnie Shupe from CIW
for working with us throughout the past 7 years. 
Thank you Linda Badger, who serves as Chair,
 and Rabbi Miriam Hamrell
with the Ahavat Torah Synagogue Volunteers
for your integral part these past four years
collecting and distributing clothes, new toys and VIP gifts. 
Thanks for your continuing support.
It is our blessing to know each of you
and count you among our friends,

Chaplain DOV
Resident Cantor
DEVORAH Gottesman
We are blessed to share, with more than 50 faith groups from throughout Southern California, great musicians, wonderful vocalists, challenging speakers  and a gathering of dedicated and committed activists.
In September 2011, we were joined by our Musical Director, Maestro Rev. Eli Gabbai SHIRIM Lester, who leads our SHIR HaSHIRIM Orchestra and the Jewbilation Choir, enhancing our worship with spirited song and melodies that uplife and refresh each and every gathering.  Our magnificent Cantorial Soloists, including Suzie Shiaman, Kimberly Haynes and Dana Stone-Goldberg, excite and warm our time together; our Chief Niggunist, Phil Bell, introduces us to the beginning of Shabbos Peace; our Master Shofar Maven, Gerry Owen, begins and ends each service with highlights to bring us back again and again.  Every Shabbat Service began with our senior Woman Army Veteran, Sadie Sonnenreich, of blessed memory, who blesseed our Shabbos Candles to open each service.  We are most fortunate, indeed, to have such depth of spirit.  Sadie was interred at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.
Our Resident Cantor, Hazzan DEVORAH Gottesman, a fifth generation cantor, beautifully leads and enhances our musical programs and Erev Shabbat services whenever she visits Los Angeles while continuing "PENNIES 4 PATRIOTS" her RIDE ACROSS AMERICA, riding her bicycle (accompanied by chase car) across this entire country to raise awareness and attract funding for our wounded United States servicemen and women.  In the summer of 2010, DEVORAH rode the 1st leg of her journey from Washington State to Los Angeles.  To continue the 2nd leg of her ride, she left Columbus Day, 10/10/11 from American Legion Hollywood Post #43 to Jacksonville, Florida, the National Headquarters of Wounded Warrior Project.  We officially welcomed DEVORAH to SHIR HaSHIRIM on August 26th, 2011.  After the ride, Hazzan DEVORAH assumed the full time mantle of Resident Cantor here at SHIR HaSHIRIM; and will lead the Great Shofar Blowout and High Holy Day Services here in Los Angeles.  Special Guest to welcome DEV was our friend, Johnny Mathis, whose Kol Nidre we have been playing since 1962 at all Kol Nidre Services.
Join DOV and DEVORAH and follow our marvelous Resident Cantor as she brings her unique style of spirited musical talent to synagogues, temples, churches, mosques, VA Medical Centers and military stations across the country.  Our Cantor shares her God-given talents with more than 5,000 worshippers during the 9/11 weekend, commemorating the memory of those who lost their lives to terrorists.  It is truly our TIKKUN OLAM.
Chaplain DOV Cohen began his Chaplaincy 56 years ago, in June 1962, with the United States Air Force as an Acting Jewish Chaplain during the Vietnam War, serving for more than four years in Texas, France, Spain, Morocco and Libya, leading Torah Convocations in Berchtesgaden, Germany, and concluding his active duty tour at Eglin AFB, Florida.  DOV has served as JWV Deputy Chaplain for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, conducted Jewish and Interfaith programming throughout California and New England at Soldiers' Homes and VA Medical Centers and produced Veterans Day and Memorial Day projects for veterans and their families.  DOV case managed returning OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan) veterans, working closely with young PTSD survivors.  He currently serves as Department of California (State) Chaplain of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America and one of only two California delegates to the JWV National Executive Committee.  He is JWV National Chair of the "End Homelessness" Commission;  JWV California State Chair of the "End Homelessness" Campaign; and serves as Commander of the JWV Tibor Rubin Post #786, named after Holocaust Survivor and distinguished Medal of Honor Recipient who passed in December 2015.  Tibor Rubin's medal was 50 years in coming for service during the Korean War.
Chaplain DOV resided in Boston before moving to Los Angeles in 1970, returning to Boston in 2002 for 9 years.  When the new Veterans Home of California (West Los Angeles) known as CALVET (WLA) opened June 14, 2010, and the first residents arrived in October, DOV relocated again from Boston and, on December 17, 2010, became the 15th resident (of a projected 396 when fully occupied.)  The following week, on Christmas Day, our Chaplain Dov, attired in his snappy Santa Claus suit, complete with wig, boots, cap and spectacles, visited and distributed more than 600 gifts provided by the JWV "Gift for a Yank" Program that began in 1946 by Eddie Cantor, one to every patient in the Wadsworth Hospital (known as VA Building 500) thanking each for his and her service to our country.  As Santa, he repeated this effort in 2015 and 2016.  Chaplain DOV chairs California's "Gift For A Yank" for 2017 and 2018.  Dov's dedicated service to veterans continued with speaking engagements honoring Black History Month; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; eulogies for CALVET (WLA) residents; conducting funerals at the Los Angeles National Cemetery; participation in Easter Services at the Hollywood Bowl and the annual Buddha Birthday Ceremonies and Regional Celebrations in San Dimas; he performs weddings requested by the County of Los Angeles, and programs at the King Fahad Mosque.  DOV helped create and served as Publisher for the CALVET (WLA) KALEIDOSCOPE Magazine.
Chaplain DOV served as Chair of the Los Angeles County ACCESS ParaTransit CAC in 2015 and 2016; is Vice President of the Los Angeles National Cemetery Support Foundation; Chairman of the Board of the Veterans Holiday Celebration, (providing holiday dinners, gifts and entertainment for more than 5,000 veterans, now in its 26th year); serves as Chaplain at the California Institution for Women (Corona) and conducts Interfaith Passover Seders at the Maryvale Catholic Orphanage, at the Veterans Home of California (WLA) and at the King Fahad Mosque. In 2014, Chaplain DOV founded (with colleague Chaplain Steve Sterry) VIP Post #1 (Veterans In Prison) bringing services and support to honorably discharged veterans now "justice involved" and incarcerated and to those veterans employed in these institutions. In 2016, Chaplain Sterry and Chaplain DOV founded three VIP posts in the California Institution for Men (Chino).  From 2015 through the present, DOV serves as Jewish War Veterans Chaplain for the State of California, appointed by State Commander, Greg Lee.  And, in 2017, JWV National Commander, Colonel Carl Singer, appointed Chaplain DOv to become the National Chairman of the JWV "End Homelessness" Commission for the United States.
Secular action is central to both DOV and DEVORAH and to SHIR HaSHIRIM; their affiliation with BIG SUNDAY, BIG WEEKEND (Mitzvah Days) and Founder David Levinson is a highlight of that commitment.  Watch for BIG NEWS about BIG SUNDAY. And, watch for Hazzan DEVORAH's further adventures as she continues her exhilarating, good will bicycle "Ride Across America" benefitting disabled veterans as national TV and Radio, print and the Internet report on her journeys.
DOV and DEVORAH have reached into Southern California communities and number many clergy and their congregants from the Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi and Zoroastrian communities among their colleagues and friends.  SHIR HaSHIRIM regular Musical Interfaith Kabbalat Shabbat Services occur as scheduled, along with High Holy Day and numerous other programs. This year, pre-High Holy Day Services at the California Instiution for Women (Corona) will be held Friday, September 7th at 5 PM.  2018, Rosh HaShanah High Holy Day Services commence Sunday, September 9 at 7 PM. Kol Nidre begins at 7 PM, September 18; it's never too early to call and reserve your 2018 complimentary tickets; space for Services and our Break-the-Fast is limited.  (617) 605-7750.
Please join us at SHIR HaSHIRIM, hear DOV's drasha, sing along with our Hazzan DEVORAH and with Music Director, Eli Lester and Chief Niggunist and Guitarist, Fisherman Phil Bell, and Cantorial Soloists Suzie Shiaman, Dana Stone-Golderg and Kimberly Haynes and then become "active participants" in "JAMMIN' @ THE ONEG" immediately following our concert worship.  Oneg is a fellowship and social engagement, with superb traditional foods that include, but are never limited to, tantalizing pastries, DOV's Parisian apricot kugel, Susan's grapenut pudding, Mordecai's herring in wine or sour cream sauce, Barry's geshmacht crunchy new half sour pickles and piquant green sour tomatoes, Gerry's chopped liver, Roz's chopped herring, Arthur's Brooklyn corned beef & pastrami, Seymour's bagels and lox with shmears, . . . . well, you get the idea.  If you bake (or buy), please bring your best "sweets" and "treats" and don't forget sugar-free for those who prefer such.  Our Annual Kugel Kook-off in October with 3 categories is always a big hit:  we judge sweet, savory and non-kugel for prizes and bragging rights.  Our perennial non-kugel winner is chopped herring won by Roz Shraiar.  Sponsor an Oneg?  It's a real mitzvah.  Please inquire how.
Your ideas, energy and support are most welcome; remember, this is your shul, is an independent shul, and we can and will make accommodations for our collective interests.  Sukkot Under the Stars with Ahavat Torah?  Pesach with Craig Taubman at the Pico Union Project?  Channukah Safganeot Decorating at Temple Aliyah with Hazzan Mike Stein?  Purim Shpeil and Hamentaschen Bake at Beth Shir Shalom? 
We are so very blessed to have wonderful clergy in Greater Los Angeles; please know that from time to time, we visit other dynamic Houses of Worship. Please make it a refreshing stop on your Shabbat Travels to visit Rabbi Amy Bernstein at Kehilith Israel, Pacific Palisades.  Her warmth, welcoming and kavanah shared with our congregation is what will guarantee Judaism flourishing.  Thank you so very much Rabbi Amy.   We also recommend 1st Friday at Synagogue for the Performing Arts with Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and Cantor Judy Fox; 2nd and 4th Friday at Makom LA with Hazzan Danny Maseng; or Fine Arts Temple with Rabbi David Baron and Cantor Alysia Spector, on 2nd Friday of every month; please do join us there.  On 3rd Friday, don't miss Blue Grass/Country or Shabbat in Swing Time Erev Shabbat at Temple Aliyah with Rabbi Stewart Vogel and Hazzanim Mike Stein and Mimi Haselkorn.  Another wonderful and meaningful worship opportunity is found every Shabbat at Beth Shir Shalom in Santa Monica with Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels.  And, please visit Rabbi Miriam Hamrell at Ahavat Torah for Shabbat morning services in Brentwood and visit Greg Metzker at Kol Tuv Congregation in the San Fernando Valley for yet another marvelous way for Shabbos worship.  AND, never, ever miss Craig Taubman at the Pico-Union Project; truly amazing - always.  And, 4th Shabbat morning of each month at the California Instituion for Women (Corona) with Fisherman Phil Bell.  But, please, reserve Final Friday for SHIR HaSHIRIM with our veterans and active duty personnel; we'll miss you if you don't. 
Our SHIR HaSHIRIM Community shares programming with the King Fahad Mosque; St. Paul Apostle Catholic Church; Foursquare Church on the Way; Village Lutheran Church; Hope Lutheran Church; Trinity Episcopal Church; FAME First African Methodist Episcopal Church; and many more synagogues, temples, churches and mosques.  We could not do what we do without your support; working together, we can and we do change the world for the better.  Tikkun Olam.  Make your voice heard and your action felt; join us at SHIR HaSHIRIM (Song of Songs) today and thanks for visiting LetsGoToShul.com.

Thank you for visiting our SHIR HaSHIRIM website; for more personal information, please call Chaplain DOV Cohen at (617) 605-7750, ChaplainDOV@aol.com.
We invite you to visit us and become a vital and dynamic active participant within our community.  After all, our community is you.
Have a life cycle event soon:   birthday, simcha, anniversary, yahrtzeit?  Please let Chaplain DOV or Hazzan DEVORAH know at (617) 605-7750 so they may acknowledge you
during one of our programs.  Want your loved ones named in our Book of Remembrance?  Send email to ChaplainDOV@aol.com or call (617) 605-7750.