Today is December 7, 2021 -

1300 North Sepulveda Boulevard|Los Angeles, CA 90049|Phone: 310.476.2861


Leo Baeck Temple -
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Yom Limmud 2021 – Saturday, February 6

Join us for a day full of learning for all ages. There will be virtual learning sessions for adults and families alike, as well as a Virtual Day Retreat for our K-7th grade students complete with art, sports, snacks, Israeli dance, music and more!

Day-of Schedule / Yom Limmud at a Glance Session Descriptions/Bios
Register Now     Block A
K-7 Religious School Virtual Retreat @ Yom Limmud     Block B
    Block C
    Bonus Session

Day-of Schedule / Yom Limmud at a Glance


Join us for part of the day or the whole day! We will join together at 9:30am for a welcome and a time to connect before moving into our learning sessions.

Please fill out a separate registration form for each individual (teen and adult) attending Yom Limmud. Retreat @ Yom Limmud registration, for kids from K to 7th grade, is located at the end of the form.

Please note: We will be offering knitting all day long, so feel free to stop by our virtual lobby at any time!

Zoom links for each session will be sent to all registrants prior to Yom Limmud. Please be in touch with Betsy Krut at or 310.476.2861 ext. 200 if you have any additional questions.

We look forward to a wonderful day of learning together!

Session Descriptions/Bios

BLOCK A       10:00 – 10:50

A1 – Arabic as a Cultural Bridge
Presenter: May Arow

Come experience the power of language to open a door to Arab culture and society in Israel, where Jewish and Arab citizens still mostly attend separate schools, live in separate communities, and consume separate media. By introducing us to Arabic greetings, traditions and social customs, this session will give you a taste of Arab Israeli culture. Come learn how the study of Arabic language by Jewish Israelis – in courses May runs for newsrooms, municipalities, universities, and other key Israeli institutions – is helping to bridge the gap between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel and counter prejudice, intolerance and structural inequality.

May Arow is Director of the Language as a Cultural Bridge program of The Abraham Initiatives, an Israeli non-profit that works for full and equal citizenship for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens. May develops and implements Arabic language courses as an entry point to Arab culture and society for influential groups of Israelis, including in Hebrew-language media outlets, corporations, institutions of higher education, and local governments. May also played a key role in the development of The Abraham Initiatives’ Ya Salam Initiative, which trains and places Arab educators to teach spoken Arabic in Jewish schools and was adopted by the Ministry of Education in 2017. She is also a published children’s book author and translator (from English and Hebrew to Arabic), and a contributing writer to Ha’aretz of articles and op-eds that engage the Jewish public with Arab culture.

A2 – Getting the Garden You Want – From Delicious Farm to Table Food to Designing Your Luscious Landscaping
Presenters: Judith Farber Weissman & Steven Wynbrandt

Planning a landscape project or vegetable garden can be daunting! Yet, understanding the elements of and relationship between the various aspects of design, soil preparation, horticulture and composting, is possible.  Whether digging into a project, curious about the process, just about to break ground, or are currently growing a garden and have questions, join two seasoned LBT members, Judith Farber Weissman of Judith Farber Landscape Designs and Steven Wynbrandt of Wynbrandt Farms, who will offer years of cultivating insights and perspectives on each stage of joyfully working the earth, from discerning your preferences and interests to ensuring the health of your garden or plot for years to come.

Judith Farber Weissman received her BA in Education in 1964 from UCLA and, while raising her family, returned to UCLA Extension in Landscape Architecture/Design. For over 40 years Judith has completed primarily residential design projects including educational and religious institutions throughout Southern and Northern California and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work has been featured in Architectural Digest and published in Ruth, The Gardens of Ruth Borun. Her design philosophy considers the needs, desires, and values of each client, and strives to marry the architecture with the property, respecting the natural environment.  In addition to her professional work and earning an MSW from Smith College School of Social Work at age 74, Judith has raised two daughters, spends time with 6 grandchildren and volunteers in her community, including several leadership roles at Leo Baeck Temple since joining in 1965.

Dubbed “King of Compost” by The L.A. Times, and “Brother Earth” by the Jewish Journal, Steven Wynbrandt is a soil and food growing tzadik and savant. Steven is the founder of Wynbrandt Farms, est. 2009, a mini-farm that has become a one-of-a-kind gem of urban agriculture in Los Angeles. Celebrated locally by many of L.A.’s most esteemed garden professionals and connoisseurs as “the highest expectation of health, vitality and intensity,” Wynbrandt Farms is known for the fertility and results of its compost, signature growing techniques, both the quality and the quantity of its vegetable production, and the wildly passionate “Kompost Kid” behind it all – Steven!

A3 – Judaism 2021: Looking for Joy in All the Right Places
Presenters: Ken Chasen, Lisa Berney, Benjamin Ross

The Talmud teaches that during the Hebrew month of Adar, joy increases. Join Rabbis Chasen, Berney, and Ross for a conversation about finding hope and joy in this new year as they reflect on the changing landscape of North American Judaism and explore our tradition’s wisdom for navigating challenging times.

Rabbi Ken Chasen became the Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in 2003. Prior to joining Leo Baeck Temple, he served as the Associate Rabbi of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York, where his tenure was marked by significant innovation in the areas of religious worship and lifelong Jewish education. Upon commencing rabbinical school in 1993, Rabbi Chasen was awarded the highly selective Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Rabbi Chasen holds a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), where he received rabbinic ordination in 1998. He was the recipient of numerous honors and awards throughout his studies, culminating with the Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize for attaining the highest overall academic standing in his ordination class.

Rabbi Lisa Berney is the Associate Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning at Leo Baeck Temple. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Rabbi Berney received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Jewish and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Afterward, she attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles, where she earned her rabbinic ordination, a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, and a graduate certificate in Jewish Nonprofit Management. Rabbi Berney remains passionate about community building, social justice, family education, and engaging Jewish learners of all ages.

Rabbi Benjamin Ross was raised in Newton, MA, refined in Brooklyn, NY, and received a B.A in Comparative Religion from the University of Rochester. From 1996-2011 Benjamin worked as a community organizer in Harlem and Brooklyn and directed national leadership initiatives in the Jewish community for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. While at HUCJIR he interned at East End Temple in NYC, Kol Ami in White Plains, and Beth Ha-Sholom in Williamsport, PA, and was mentored by rabbis and congregants alike. In addition, Benjamin founded, connecting hundreds of Israeli, Americans, and Jews around the globe in one-to-one online learning, and conceived and directed HUC-JIR’s Smashing Idols Fellowship, to engage college students to strengthen progressive Jewish life on campus. Benjamin is married to Liz Bennett and they have two boys, Reuven and Zeke.

A4 – Chakra Awakening Yoga
Presenter: Natalie Bennett

Have you been feeling less vital and energetic or are in an emotional funk? It’s possible that you have a chakra that is clogged or stuck! There are seven chakras in the human body that act as the energetic conductors of our being which our energy flows. Sometimes the energy can become blocked in times of stress, uncertainty, and situations beyond our control. This blocked energy can lead to illness and unrest when not treated. Join Natalie in awakening the chakras with this all-level, yet invigorating, yoga practice. No prior experience necessary, just bring an open mind and wear comfortable clothes!

Natalie Bennett has been an avid yoga practitioner since 1995 starting off in Hatha Yoga and then gravitating to her passion of Ashtanga Yoga. She completed her Level 1 (200-hour) and Level 2 (300-hour) teacher training certifications at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks. Natalie has also completed a 12-hour Anusara Yoga for Pregnancy Teacher Training at Bini Birth and a certification course in Yoga Anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff. While she is no longer teaching public yoga classes, Natalie enjoys giving privates and teaching workshops in anything from yoga flow, yoga alignment, restorative yoga, pre-postnatal yoga, Ashtanga-based yoga and yoga for therapy.

BLOCK B        11:00 – 11:50

B1 – Music as the Mirror: Reflecting on Jewish America through music
Presenter: Dr. Lorry Black

Throughout our history, Jewish culture has intersected with other cultures to create something new and beautiful. It is these cultural interactions that have made Judaism the rich and diverse tapestry that it is today.  From Bluegrass (or Jewgrass) to experimental jazz, classical music to hip-hop, klezmer to Ladino music, join us as we explore how American Jewish music has developed into the vast world that it is today and what it reflects about the American Jewish experience.

Dr. Lorry Black is the Associate Director of the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, as well as a percussionist, pedagogue, Jewish music scholar. Deeply rooted in the Los Angeles performance scene, Dr. Black has performed with various orchestras and chamber ensembles.   As a freelancer in Los Angeles, he has had the privilege to perform under the baton of many great conductors including John Williams, Alan Silvestri, David Newman, and James Conlon, as well as recording for various artists.  Active in the Jewish community, he is readily found performing in synagogues as a conductor and percussionist, often arranging the works as well.  Dr. Black holds a Masters in percussion and a Doctorate in Sacred Music from the USC Thornton School of Music, and a BA in Music Performance from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

B2 – Isaiah Berlin: Do Ideas Shape History?
Mark Green, Ph.D.

Is history a battle of ideas?  What ideas shaped the 20th century and where did they come from?  What ideas do we need for the 21st?  Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997), who witnessed the Russian Revolution in St. Petersburg, experienced most of the 20th century and left a message for the 21st.  A brilliant philosopher and historian of ideas, he thought deeply about pluralism, what liberty is, and how people with different values might live together. Stretch your mind a bit and learn about this remarkable and very relevant thinker.

Dr. Mark Green is Distinguished Research Professor of Mathematics at UCLA.  A former Bar Mitzvah rebel, he is interested in thinkers who challenge the way we think about Judaism—people like Einstein, Spinoza, Maimonides, Moses Mendelssohn, and Philo.  He writes poetry about how our lives unfold as part of the overall story of the Jewish people and the universe.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

B3 – Jewish Cooking around the World
Presenter: Rabbinic Intern Scott Goldberg

For our cooking hour, we will be baking sfratti, traditional Italian honey-walnut cookies. These cookies bring forth memories of both the pain associated with 16th century Jewish expulsion from Renaissance Italy and the small, yet critical, amount of joy the Jewish people still enjoyed while baking cookies in the safe haven of the Italian countryside.

Click here to read about the materials needed and preparation/recipe.

Scott Goldberg is a Jewish educator, multi-instrumentalist, outdoors enthusiast, and fourth-year rabbinical student at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, from where he also received a Certificate in Jewish Organizational Leadership from the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. Currently, Scott serves as rabbinic intern at Leo Baeck Temple, focusing on deepening relationships through small-groups community organizing, grief support, and mindfulness programming. Raised as a fifth-generation Nebraskan, Scott graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a BA in Economics and minors in Italian and Music. Scott’s hobbies include playing recreational team sports and baking with his sourdough starter, still unnamed.

B4 – Storytelling workshop: for the stories we need to tell in these times
Stacie Chaiken

Writer Stacie Chaiken will introduce a group-process designed to help you find a compelling way to explore and share memories that stick with you, even if you don’t know why.  If you write, want to write, or are terrified of the whole idea of writing, this workshop will give you a way in. To get the most out of this short session, please bring half a page of writing about anything that means a lot to you. Questions? Feel free to contact Stacie  310-713-8841

Los Angeles-based writer-performer Stacie Chaiken facilitates an ongoing workshop – What’s the Story? – for writers and performers who want to make compelling stuff, based on personal material. Formerly on the performance faculty of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, Stacie holds Masters degrees in theatre, performance, and creative writing (creative non-fiction and poetry). Her solo plays include The Dig: death, Genesis + the double helix (2017 Los Angeles Stage Raw Theatre Award; 2019 UCLA premiere with original music by Yuval Ron); What She Left; and Looking for Louie (forthcoming 2021, from NoPassport Press).  Her audio memoir, Remember Rwanda: A Rainbow of Broken Glass, Like Teeth is set to be released next year, as well. Solo plays Saint Vibiana, PRAY4US and Don’t Flinch !! are studies for Yovaar : Porciuncula : Terrain Vague, imagined as a site-specific performance/public art project about the history of one square block in Downtown LA.

BLOCK C        1:00 – 1:50

C1 – Jewish Music Through the Years
Cantor Linda Kates and David Kates

Join Cantor Linda and David Kates as they journey through Yiddish songs, early songs of the state of Israel and songs we sing today.

Cantor Linda Kates is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in the San Fernando Valley most of her life. Growing up, Cantor Kates sang in school and temple choirs and eventually found herself on staff at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley in 1983. From there she was sent to Stephen Wise Temple where she stayed for 25 years, studying with the renowned teacher of Hazzanut, Cantor Nathan Lam. In 1995, Cantor Kates was certified by the Cantors Assembly of Conservative Judaism as a Master of Cantorial Studies and given the title of Hazzan. She continued to spread both her talents and her love of the cantorate by co-chairing the Western Region of the Cantors Assembly for the last ten years, organizing workshops and conferences, as well as serving on their Executive Council from 2003-2006.

David Kates

David is the Director of Music and Music Education at Stephen Wise Temple and Schools. He has composed music for Video games As well as film and TV.  Being the proud husband of Cantor Linda Kates he is as close to perfect as he’ll ever attain. 

C2 – Parenting Through a Pandemic
Presenter: Cheryl Karp Eskin, M.A., MFT

How much screen time is “too much?”  Will my kids ever believe the world is “safe” again?  When will they go back to school?  I’m worried my teen is depressed…and I might be too.  2020 (and 2021!) have brought unprecedented challenges and questions. In this workshop, we will explore many of these concerns as well as learn tips for improving communication and mental health.

Cheryl Karp Eskin is the Program Director at Teen Line, a teen to teen hotline where teenagers can talk to a trained teen listener about any problem, no matter how big or small.  She is also the co-chair of the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Network.  Cheryl started her mental health career at the age of 14 as a Teen Line listener.  She has been licensed as a marriage and family therapist since 2002.  She has worked with adolescents in a variety of settings, including nonpublic school, private practice, and community mental health.  Cheryl is an LBT member and parent of a teen and tween.

C3 – Save the Memories, Not the Mess!
Alicia Wagner

Physical photos, family histories and memories can be easily lost or accidentally damaged. Photos are also subject to fading, tearing, and even disintegration over time.  Many of us are encountering the dilemma of choosing how to find, sort, organize and consolidate family images & videos (and let us not forget vital documents) into one manageable library that is easily accessible, sharable, and safely archived.   Alicia M. Wagner, a Westlake Village based photo solutions and visual storytelling professional, has a firm grasp of how to engage with the process and will introduce five steps; Goal, Collect, Sort, Save and Share opening the door to successful safekeeping for our life stories and records.

Alicia M Wagner is a Certified Photo Organizer and founder of Alicia M Wagner Photo Solutions and Visual Story Telling based in Westlake Village, CA. Alicia helps her clients organize, edit and back up their printed and digital photo and video collections as well as create photo books, gallery walls and all other ways of sharing their photos.  She wants her clients to have easy access to their family photo treasures since they are a gift that keeps on giving and appreciated by generations to come.

C4 – Hate in the Age of Pandemic: The New and Disturbing Forms of Anti-Semitism and Racism
Presenter: Dr. Steven Windmueller

We are living through an unsettling moment in American history.  Among the outcomes we are experiencing is a heightened level of racism and anti-Semitism.  In history, hate accompanies pandemics, just as it is present during challenging economic periods and uncertain political times. This session will explore the dynamics of all three.

Dr. Steven Windmueller is the Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Studies at the Jack H. Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. Prior to coming to HUC, Dr. Windmueller had served on the staff of the American Jewish Committee (1969-1972), directed the Albany (NY) Jewish Federation (1973-1985), and the JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Committee) of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation (1985-1995). During his tenure at the College, Dr. Windmueller served for ten years as the Director of its School of Jewish Nonprofit Management and in 2005 was named to the deanship of the LA campus (2006-2010). The author of four books and numerous articles, Professor Windmueller holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Steven is editing a volume for USC, to be published this summer, examining the “Impact of Donald Trump’s Presidency on American Jews.”


Clash of the Chai-tans! A Jewish Gameshow
Ken Chasen, Allison Lee, Billy Grundfest and Scott Greenberg

Want to laugh, learn, and root for your favorite LBT contestant? Come watch a rabbi (Ken Chasen) a rebbetzin (Allison Lee), and a comedian (Billy Grundfest) battle each other for meaningless points and glory as they answer Jewishy questions and attempt to impress host/judge Scott Greenberg. A Yom Limmud tradition that’s not to be missed!

Rabbi Ken Chasen became the Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in 2003. Prior to joining Leo Baeck Temple, he served as the Associate Rabbi of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York, where his tenure was marked by significant innovation in the areas of religious worship and lifelong Jewish education. Upon commencing rabbinical school in 1993, Rabbi Chasen was awarded the highly selective Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Rabbi Chasen holds a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), where he received rabbinic ordination in 1998. He was the recipient of numerous honors and awards throughout his studies, culminating with the Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize for attaining the highest overall academic standing in his ordination class.

Allison Lee is the Chief Development for TIME’S UP, the organization founded in 2018 to combat sexual violence in the workplace and to bring about a world in which work is safe, fair and dignified for all women. Prior to joining TIME’S UP, Allison served as the Vice President, External Affairs of Bet Tzedek legal services. She has more than 25 years of nonprofit organizational experience and is Leo Baeck Temple’s resident congregational trip coordinator, rugelach maker, and happy hour aficionado. In this battle, she intends to show no mercy to her husband and LBT senior rabbi, Ken Chasen.

Billy Grundfest is perhaps the only Yeshiva graduate who is also a Golden Globe winning writer-producer-performer, with three Emmy nominations.  He is also the creator of NYC’s Comedy Cellar, widely considered the leading comedy club in the country. His work Spans genres ranging from classic network sitcoms (“Mad About You”) and drama to edgy cable fare (Showtime’s “Pryor Offenses”) to Viacom LGBT comedy series “Exes and Ohs”. His work includes Academy award, Emmy and Grammy telecasts. He is married and a father of two teenagers and seven animals.

Scott Greenberg is a professional speaker, writer, and business coach who helps leaders and teams improve their performance. He’s given presentations in all 50 states and throughout the world to clients such as McDonald’s, Allstate, RE/MAX, Nike, the US Air Force, and countless others. He’s the author of the new book, The Wealthy Franchisee, published by Entrepreneur magazine. He’s also highly judgmental and looks forward to watching Ken, Billy and Allison attempt to impress him.

Please note: We will be offering knitting all day long, so feel free to stop by our virtual lobby at any time!

K-7th Grade Retreat @ Yom Limmud

Yom Limmud is not just for grown-ups! For the sixth year in a row, kids in K-7th grade are invited to join us for our Retreat @ Yom Limmud, a special day of programming geared just towards them! Retreat @ Yom Limmud will run parallel to Yom Limmud, and will have activities for everyone including art, music, dance, sports and more! Campers will break for lunch at 12pm. All of our Zoom sessions will be run by our religious school staff.

Programming Hours:
K-2nd Grade: 9:45am-12pm
3rd-7th Grade: 9:45am-2pm (with a break for lunch from 12-12:45pm)