Three Los Angeles rabbis from the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform branches of Judaism will celebrate an upcoming Jewish holiday with an unusual study session on the Ten Commandments.
"It's rare for Jews from the different movements of Judaism to study together," said Rabbi Lavey Derby, director of the sponsoring Council on Jewish Life. Most Orthodox rabbis are strongly critical of the selective observance of Jewish law by most Reform rabbis and some Conservative rabbis.
"This event is intended to show that although we may have diverse views about what Jewish life is about, we all read Torah," Derby said. Torah refers to the first five books of the Bible, but it also has the general meaning of Jewish law in the Scriptures.
The rabbis taking part in the Tuesday program are Perry Netter of Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel (Conservative), John Rosove of Temple Israel of Hollywood (Reform) and Simcha Weinberg of B'nai David Judea Congregation (Orthodox). The program, which starts at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public, will be held in the board room of the Jewish Community Building, 6505 Wilshire Blvd.
Each rabbi will give a 20-minute presentation on his understanding and interpretation of the Ten Commandments with a discussion following.
The program was planned to commemorate the two-day Jewish holiday of Shavout, which marks the giving of the Torah to Israel. Shavout begins at sundown May 18.
The Council of Jewish Life, which has sought to foster mutual respect and dialogue among clashing religious groups within Judaism, is part of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles.
The Rev. Aidsand Wright-Riggins III, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Los Angeles and known as "Ace" to clergy colleagues, is expected to become executive director this summer of the American Baptist Churches' Board of National Ministries. Wright-Riggins, 40, will be nominated for the post--usually tantamount to acceptance--at the denomination's June 16-17 General Board meeting in Charleston, W.Va. General Secretary Daniel Weiss praised Wright-Riggins' ministry as being marked by commitments to evangelism and church growth as well as to "ministries of peace and justice, and the empowerment of women." Wright-Riggins has been at Macedonia Baptist Church since 1988 after directing Peace With Justice Ministries for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Los Angeles for five years. He also was pastor at Garden of Gethsemane Baptist Church in Los Angeles from 1978 to 1985.
Rabbi Avraham Toledano of Jerusalem, appointed in late March as the successor to the late Rabbi Meier Kahane as the head of the radical-right Kach movement in Israel, made a brief appearance in Los Angeles this week, repeating the group's demands that Arabs must be removed from Israel. The Kach party was barred from Israeli elections in 1988 and suffered another blow when Kahane was assassinated in New York City on Nov. 5. The Moroccan-born Toledano spoke Wednesday night at Congregation B'nai David Judera and left Thursday for San Francisco to continue a fund-raising and promotional tour of North America.
A two-day conference marking 100 years since the death of Madame H.P. Blavatsky, whose esoteric writings gave substance to the Theosophy movement, will conclude Sunday in Harbeson Hall at Pasadena City College. Following registration at 8:30 a.m., the program will include readings, music and lectures by Southern California enthusiasts from different strains of the movement that combined Eastern and Western religious philosophies.
A legislative issues briefing will be held next Saturday at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles' Wilshire District by the California Council of Churches, which represents in Sacramento the interests of the ecumenical councils based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. General sessions with legislators and workshops are planned on issues such as housing, health care and the severe budgetary problems of the state. Registration is $25.