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Beverly Hills Temple Offers Free Holy Day Services For Striking Writers, Actors – Deadline


The Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre, the largest arts and entertainment synagogue in the U.S., is offering complimentary seating to striking members of the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA and their immediate families for its High Holy Day Services on Rosh Hashanah (September 15 and 16) and Yom Kippur (September 24 and 25). Tickets for non-Temple members for both services normally cost $500 each.

“As an arts and entertainment industry synagogue, we feel it is our moral duty to support writers and actors in our community and pray for a quick resolution to their current strikes,” said Rabbi David Baron.

Guests for Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, will include Christiano J. Zeledón, a former U.S. Marine who will recount how he was wounded during a Russian missile strike in Ukraine while providing volunteer humanitarian aid there; Aron Bell, 96, who will share his story of how he and his late brothers, Tuvia, Zus and Asael – known as the Bielski Partisans – saved the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, as depicted in the film Defiance; and Jonny Daniels, head of From the Depths Foundation, who will discuss the discovery of a 70-plus-year-old Torah Scroll in Filipów, Poland, which is now being rewritten by Holocaust survivors.

The Yom Kippur services will also feature Broadway performer Ilysia J. Pierce and renowned cantor and voice teacher Hazzan Nathan Lam.  Service readers will include former Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart, film critic Leonard Maltin and Airplane! actress Julie Hagerty. At the musical helm will be the temple’s music director, Grammy-winning composer Sharon Farber. Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services this year will feature a 12-member choir composed of singers from Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and four instrumentalists.

On the afternoon of Yom Kippur, Rabbi Baron will lead discussions with his High Holy Day special guests, and vignettes from West Coast touring production of Wendy Kout’s play Survivors, which will be presented by Arts For Change. The play teaches Holocaust history and tolerance through the enacted testimonies of 10 Holocaust survivors, portrayed by a diverse cast of Latinos, Asians and African-American actors.

The Yom Kippur services also will include a screening of Adi Eshman’s 10-minute short film Anne, as seen through the eyes of two girls from different racial background, both of whom identify with the diary written by Anne Frank. Following the presentation of the play vignettes and the short film, former SAG President Barry Gordon, who along with Ilysia J. Pierce – who were the first cantors of the Temple of the Arts when it began 30 years – will speak about casting actors who aren’t Jewish in Jewish roles in film, television and in stage plays. John A. Mirisch, the former mayor of Beverly Hills and current Beverly Hills City Councilman, will speak on “Standing Up to Anti-Semitism.”

SAG-AFTRA and WGA members in good standing can reserve complimentary seats by contacting the temple to speak with Edgar Tarango at (323) 658-9100 or by emailing him at edgar@templeofthearts.org

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