Religion Notes

JEWISH EDUCATION: Jews for Judaism will teach a class, “Counter-Missionary Survival Seminar,” which will cover topics such as missionary tactics and the Jewish view of sin and salvation. The class will be taught from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Temple Aliyah, 6025 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills. The cost is $36 and includes lunch. Information and registration: (310) 854-3381.

SPEAKERS CHOICE: Susan Singh will moderate a program, “Annual Soapbox Sunday,” where participants are invited to speak on the topic of their choice, “sacred or profane, ridiculous or sublime,” for up to three minutes. The program is meant to celebrate freedom of speech. It will begin at 10:45 a.m. Sunday at Sepulveda Unitarian-Universalist Society, 9550 Haskell Ave., North Hills. Free. Information: (818) 894-9251.

SEPHARDIC FESTIVAL: A Sephardic Arts Festival featuring music, arts and crafts, storytelling, museum exhibits and films will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Sepulveda Pass. Sephardic refers to Jews whose origins can be traced to Spain and Portugal before the Inquisition. The cost is $8 and free to members and children under 12. Information and reservations: (323) 655-8587.

OPEN HOUSES: Several open houses will take place on Sunday:


* B’nai Ami Synagogue will host an open house for prospective members from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the synagogue, 10824 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Chatsworth. Information: (818) 700-4732.

* Temple Ramat Zion will host an open house with tours of the facility from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the temple, 17655 Devonshire St., Northridge. Information: (818) 993-6655.

* Ami Havurah, a congregation affiliated with United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, will host an open house at 4 p.m. at Rabbi David Vorspan’s home. Information and directions: (818) 884-6042.

ROSH HASHANA LECTURE: Em Habanim Northridge and Cal State Northridge’s Hillel will sponsor a lecture by Rabbi Zvi Hollander on “Preparing for Rosh Hashana” from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday at CSUN’s Hillel House, 17729 Plummer St., Northridge. Free. Information: (818) 995-0315.

SPECIAL FAMILY SERVICES: Tender Mercies, a ministry to parents of children with special needs, will host services offering encouragement, discipleship, counseling, fellowship and resources from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays in room 276 of Grace Community Church, 13248 Roscoe Blvd., Sun Valley. Free. Information: (818) 909-5519.

PRE-SHABBAT MEETING: Likrat Shabbat, an informal pre-Shabbat gathering featuring a discussion by Rabbi Robert Kraus, will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday at West Valley Jewish Community Center, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. The discussion is followed by the lighting of the candles, Kiddush and the blessing of the bread. Free. Information: (818) 464-3300.

CHINA ADOPTIONS: A free workshop for prospective parents and others seeking information about adopting a child from China, “Great Wall Adoption,” will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 7 at Church of the Canyons, 28050 Sand Canyon Road, Canyon Country. Information and registration: (818) 349-4099.

News and announcements for this column can be sent to Religion Desk, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311.