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Observant Jews around the world welcomed Judaism’s...

Observant Jews around the world welcomed Judaism’s New Year in Rosh Hashanah eve services Friday night. Southland synagogues were expected to be filled for additional services today at the start of the 10-day introspective period.

A total of 68 congregations in the Los Angeles area will also hear the annual appeal for Israel Bonds during the High Holy Days. Worshipers will be asked to buy an extra bond this year to provide housing and job opportunities for increased numbers of Soviet Jews arriving in Israel, said Rabbi Jacob Pressman, general chairman of the bond drive for Los Angeles.

On Sunday, the Creative Arts Temple led by Rabbi Jerry Cutler, with the help of some celebrity guests, will go to Los Angeles’ Skid Row to host an afternoon “block party” of entertainment and food for the homeless. The food, to be distributed at the Fred Jordan Mission, will be provided by a catering company whose president is Joann Roth, executive vice president of the synagogue.

Traditional second-day observances for the High Holy Days will be held at many synagogues, including Sinai Temple in Westwood. One rite there will be the tashlich service, at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, in which members throw bread crumbs into running water, symbolically cleansing themselves of misdeeds committed in the past year.

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For Rosh Hashanah and the culminating Yom Kippur rites on Oct. 9, the Southern California Board of Rabbis’ chaplaincy commission has arranged special services and visitations at many hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and juvenile halls.

CONFERENCE

The Dalai Lama, exiled spiritual and political leader of Tibet, will take part next week in discussions in Newport Beach bringing together diverse specialists in psychology and spirituality. The programs, involving academicians and Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Islamic teachers, will run Monday through Saturday at Le Meridien Hotel and the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel. The sponsoring EastWest Foundation, based in Fullerton, contends that mutual understanding in these disciplines will be broadly beneficial. “Psychospiritual approaches rooted in compassion, wisdom and forgiveness--the very values taught by the world’s great religions--are required to produce the deep healing needed to reverse our global slide toward destruction,” said Ronald Wong Jue, foundation president.

ACADEMIC

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The Claremont Graduate School has approved a Women’s Studies in Religion program, which would grant a master’s degree in studies that examine women’s roles and experiences in religious history and contemporary life. School officials said it is only the second such program in the country, following one established at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass. The co-coordinators are Karen Torjesen of Claremont Graduate School and Ann Taves of the independent School of Theology at Claremont. The program is expected to be launched fully next fall, aided by an endowed professorship donated by Margo L. Goldsmith, a Pasadena real estate executive.


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