August 17, 2023

Dear Community, 

We are pleased to showcase our affiliate – the Eretz Synagogue and Cultural Center and its illustrious leader,  Mr. Nader Ghiam.

I envision a future when the three centers of Jewish activities in Los Angeles hold programs open to all, and supported by all.  The three Centers are the Federation location in West Hollywood, the Eretz Synagogue and Cultural Center in the San Fernando Valley and the Nessah Educational and Cultural Center in Beverly Hills.  At a future date, we hope to coordinate our efforts as well with the dynamic IAJF – NY.

Happy Rosh Chodesh Elul. In the coming weeks, may you find out what your role is in improving the world.

Shabbat shalom.

M. Elie Alyeshmerni

Shoftim: The Greatness of Humility

شوفطیم: عظمت خاکساری

 At Mount Sinai, Hashem called upon the Israelites to be a holy people – namely a people that would use their bonds to create a world that yields justice for all. Now by the Jordan River, it is time for them to appoint judges and officers who will oversee and take action to achieve this greater justice. Hashem’s final worlds are tzedek, tzedek tirdof – or “justice, justice, shall you pursue” – and lays out five forms of justice in great detail to make sure that the foundation of Jewish society is structurally and morally sound. These details have guided our community to assertively make “justice” a constant in daily life rather than waiting for opportunities to do just things.

MISSIONERETZ Synagogue is a traditional Jewish congregation servicing its community for 40 years. Our mission is to provide an inclusive, warm, and welcoming community to find a spiritual path that deepens the bond with Judaism’s enduring traditions. 

We strive to strengthen the connection with our congregants to help them live a more meaningful and purposeful life through the teachings of Judaism. We help promote a sense of peace and unity within our community and beyond with our acts of loving-kindness and social justice. We pursue our mission through prayer, rituals, learning, music, and the other gifts G-d has given us.
Following an ancient tradition, those of us who comprise a segment of the Jews of Persia who left Iran in the aftermath of the 1979 Iranian Revolution to settle in the San Fernando Valley area decided to build a synagogue of our own.  Since there were less than ten thousand of us, we could have worshiped at the many synagogues in the immediate area.We felt we needed a place that would enable us to practice our faith and act as the focal point for our own particular Persian Jewish culture, which our families and ancestors developed over 2,500 years of living in the land of Cyrus the Great.
These include support for the State of Israel, assistance to the sick and the needy among our community members, the establishment of a center for our children’s religious studies, and more. There was a pivotal moment in this organization when an older generation who had planted strong traditional seeds started having children.  These new generations would evolve Eretz into the modern spiritual Jewish community that it is today.Now the Eretz founders’ children have grown up, and we are entering yet a new generation! For the past ten years, with the launch of new programs and the mystical teaching of the Kabbalah, it is these new generations who now make up the core of this modern-day spiritual community known as Eretz Synagogue.A new history and her story are in the making…
Nader Ghiam is the President of Eretz Cultural Center and leader of the robust ECC Kabbalah Program. Eretz holds a meaningful place in Nader’s heart, as his father was one of the synagogue’s initial founders. Nader has personally contributed to the growth of the ECC community and witnessed the transformation of the synagogue into the modern, family-focused center it is today. He and his wife, Anahita, were married at ECC, raised two children here, and Nader has volunteered his time by teaching Kabbalah here at ECC for the past 15 years.Born in Shiraz, Iran, Nader moved to Los Angeles after receiving his degree in Computer Engineering. Nader speaks Farsi and English, and also reads Hebrew. Eight years after he began studying Kabbalah with the acclaimed Rabbi Berg at the Kabbalah Center of Los Angeles in 1987, he recognized the distinct power and joy of sharing the teachings of Kabbalah. When his sister fell ill over twenty years ago, he would share Kabbalistic lessons with her and her friends. Gradually, he was asked to teach several small groups in intimate and informal sessions in living rooms throughout Los Angeles. Nader started teaching Kabbalah officially after his sister passed. Recognizing the same spark in people that mysticism compelled in himself, Nader feels that teaching Kabbalah elevates him, and he seeks to share that feeling with his students, both in personal and collective consciousness. It is his intention to support members in understanding and achieving a unique higher purpose in the world.Nader can be found teaching Kabbalah classes at ECC, where a group of over one hundred members often attends to benefit from his mystical and inspiring lessons. His positive energy and depth of knowledge are woven into each of his teachings and benefit the many members in regular attendance. On Friday nights and Saturday mornings, Nader leads, side by side with the ECC clergy, and introduces the Kabbalistic insights from the Parashah of the week, in shabbat services including the High Holidays. His infectious charisma and mystical insight, have contributed to a younger and more dynamic ECC congregation, with attendance reaching up to 1200 people. This staggering increase in congregants moved from a regular service at the ECC small Temple to the main sanctuary, which includes a significant number of women’s attendance than ever before. It is with great pride that ECC notes an attentive and engaged congregation, when Nader strives to clarify the deeper meaning and understanding of the Torah portion, as well as its important practices on a day to day basis.  

We are devastated over the loss of life and destruction of the Maui fires.Below is a way to partner with the Jewish Federations of North America
to help rebuild and participate in the mitzvah of tikun olam.

Jewish Federations Launch Hawaii Wildfire Fund


Excerpt from Consulate General of Israel Los Angeles’ Weekly Roundup – August 9, 2023




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