“There are so many Jews up here in Idyllwild, we should get together and say some prayers,” Trudy Levy remembers saying more than a year ago.
Levy began planning how and where to create a spiritual home for Idyllwild’s Jewish community. “What we wanted was to create a center for our community that would make everyone comfortable and to embrace Jews of all backgrounds.”
The result is Har Shalom, Mountain of Peace, a spiritual center to host monthly Sabbath or Shabbat services as well as High Holy Day services and celebrations. Last month, more than 30 people attended Shabbat at Caine Learning Center, where all future services are currently planned.
Rosh Hashanah services will be held at Caine at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 25, 2014, followed by a potluck dinner. Shabbat services will be held once a month.
Levy said the board employed Julian King, a Rabbi in training, to conduct services. King and the Har Shalom board will also host classes to expand understanding of Jewish principles and practices. Classes could include Torah study, classes to help understand the meaning of certain prayers and ones to explore the mysticism of Kabbalah.
“Kabbalah is an ancient wisdom that reveals how the universe and life work. On a literal level, the word Kabbalah means ‘to receive.’ It’s the study of how to receive fulfillment in one’s life,” the definition from The Kabbalah Center.
Levy said organizers are exploring ways to give back to the greater Idyllwild community: Tzedkah in Hebrew is a plan to assist those in need on the Hill.
Har Shalom is supported by the Jewish Federation of the Desert and operates 100 percent on donations. Anyone interested in learning more can contact Levy at (951) 659-9548, email [email protected] or visit the community’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HarShalomIdyllwild.JewishCommunity.
Board members include Levy, Jeffrey Cohen, Pam Goldwasser and Patricia Schnetzer.