(Song of Songs)
21st Century Shul
Chaplain DOV Cohen * Hazzan DEVORAH Gottesman
Music Director Rev. Gabbai Eli Shirim Lester
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.
ALL FAITHS WELCOME AT EVERY PROGRAM.
* * *
Our community thanks Johnny
Mathis for his insightful comments
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
Bring your favorite dairy or vegetarian
WAR VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES
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
War Veterans S. F. V. Post #603
Jewish War Veterans
Jewish War Veterans California Department
Korean War Veterans
Vietnam Veterans of America
Gulf War Veterans
Iraq and Afghanistan
VIP Post 1, Veterans In Prison
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
a Veteran" is our SHIR HaSHIRIM program matching a volunteer
our community with a veteran to encourage visits, friendship, letter writing,
acknowledgement and bonding. Can and will you devote 4 hours each month?
all it takes, really.
* * * * * * * * * *
Our MISSION STATEMENT
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.
Our HISTORY -
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
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
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
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
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,
- 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.
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
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
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."
IT IS AT SHIR HaSHIRIM
The Song of Songs Community.
SONG OF SONGS
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
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
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.
WAR VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Dr. Barry Schneider
Past National Commander;
Maxwell Colon, Past National Commander;
Ira Novoselski, Past National Ciommander;
Department of California Commander;
Chaplain DOV Cohen
Department of California Chaplain
and National "End Homelessness"
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
DEVORAH completed her 3,000 mile
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)
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
"JAMMIN' @ THE ONEG"
SPECIAL MUSICAL TALENT
always a part of our programs
Chaplain DOV reminds everyone that our
SHIR HaSHIRIM (SONG of SONGS)
Kabbalat Shabbat Interfaith Services
always begin at
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!
Enjoy our very own
SHIR HaSHIRIM ORCHESTRA
Eli Shirim Lester
Chief Niggunist on guitar
Fisherman Phil Bell;
Percussion, Michael Levy;
Shofar Maven, Gerry Owen;
and other surprise guests:
Ester Shifren, Fumani &
Mark your calendar.
We welcomed and honored
who produced the Hollywood Musicals
"America Salutes Our Veterans"
"We Have A Dream" and "The Beat Goes On."
Senior Star Power Productions
for more 2019 & 2020 attractions.
PINK LADY PRESENTS
All new and original "streaming" TV Variety
* * *
Pink Lady's new book,
"Get Up, Get Out, & Get A Life!"
is now available;
all proceeds to Senior Star Power Productions,
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
portion of the night,
with, yes, 18 guitars!
We look forward to seeing
John Zipperer and His Friends again SOON!
Veterans' Holiday Celebration,
December 3rd, 2017,
produced by Vet Hunters Project and their
Founder, Joe Leal. Chaplain DOV was Emcee.
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
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
for your continuing support.
It is our blessing to know each of you
count you among our friends,
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
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.
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.