Westwood Kehilla


5779 Sukkot Schedule

  1. Lulav & Etrog Pickup: Friday morning, September 21st.
  2. Reserve for Simchat Torah Dinner, Thursday evening, October 1st (see below).
  3. Preorder Hoshanos for use on Hoshana Raba (Sunday, September 30th) with Rabbi Stewart 

Sukkot Day I (Sunday Eve. & Monday, September 23-24)

Sunday Evening

6:31pm Candelighting (l’hadlik ner shel Yom Tov & Shehecheyanu).

6:30pm Mincha

6:45pm Short Shiur by Rabbi Stewart

7:00pm Maariv

Kiddush after 7:25pm (hagafen, mekadeish yisrael …. leishev, Shehecheyanu)

Monday Morning

8:45am Shacharit  (Hoshanot with Lulav & Etrog; Drash by Rabbi Stewart) Kiddush

Sukkot Day II (Monday Eve. & Tuesday, September 24-25)

Monday Evening

6:30pm Mincha

6:50pm Shiur by Rabbi Stewart   

7:05pm Maariv

7:23pm Candlelighting (with Shehecheyanu)(earliest time; light from an existing flame)

Kiddush order is hagafen, mekadeish yisrael, Shehecheyanu, leishev.  

NOTE:  Shehecheyanu is said before the bracha of leishev basukka. (No new fruit is needed.)

Tuesday Morning

8:45am Shacharit (Hoshanot; Drash by Rabbi Stewart)


Tuesday Evening

6:25pm Mincha

6:45pm Shiur

7:15 Maariv

7:24 Havdalah

Chol HaMoed (Wednesday-Friday, September 26-28)

Shacharit: 6:30

Mincha/Maariv: 6:25pm

Shabbat Chol HaMoed (September 28-29)

Friday Evening

6:23pm Regular Candlelighting  (“lihadlik ner shel Shabbat”)

6:25pm Mincha, followed by Maariv

Regular Shabbat Kiddush, adding leishev basukkah.

Saturday Morning (No Lulav & Etrog) 

8:45am Shacharit (Hoshanot for Shabbat; Reading of Kohelet; Drash by Rabbi Stewart)


Saturday Evening

5:55pm Mincha (At the Westwood Kehilla)

6:15pm Seudat Shlishit in the Sukkah (Rabbi Stewart will Speak)

7:05pm Maariv

7:17pm Havdala

Hoshana Raba (Saturday Eve. & Sunday, September 29-30)

  There is a custom to spend time learning on Hoshana Raba night.

Sunday Morning

Shacharit: 7:30am. Extended pesukeid’zimra, and extended Hoshanot with Lulav & Etrog.   Hoshanot for the Arava Beating ceremony will be available in the Shul for purchase on Hoshana Raba.

Shemini Atzeret(Sunday Eve. & Monday, September 30-October 1)

Sunday Evening

6:20pm Candelighting (l’hadlik ner shel yom tov and Shehecheyanu). We sit in the Sukkah for both night and day meals but do not make a bracha of leishev  basukkah. No Lulav and Etrog. Special Prayer is said as we depart from the Sukkah usually a bit earlier on Shemini Atzeret Afternoon. Many do not sleep in the Sukkah.

6:20pm Mincha

6:35pm Short Dvar Torah by Rabbi Stewart

6:45pm Maariv

Kiddush order is hagafen, mekadesh yisraelShehecheyanu.

Shemini Atzeret (Cont’d)

Monday Morning
8:45am Shacharit (Drasha by Rabbi Stewart; Yizkor at approximately 10:15am; Geshem [Prayer for Rain] is said at Mussaf)


Simchat Torah (Monday Eve. And Tuesday, October 1-2)

Monday Evening

6:20pm Mincha

Shiur and Auction

7:15pm Maariv

7:15pm Candlelighting (with Shehecheyanu) (earliest time, from an existing flame); Kiddush order is the same as for Shmini Atzeret

Hakafot, followed by Shul Dinner.  RSVP at avistewart@gmail.com for Shul Dinner by September 26th.


$23/nonmembers/ $10kids/$60/Family

If you have a credit card on file, the office will run your card based on the reservation. If sending in a check, please write Simchat Torah Dinner in the memo area.  

 Tuesday Morning

8:45am Shacharit (followed by Hakafot)

Kiddush at approximately 9:45 am

 Tuesday Evening     

6:20pm Mincha, followed by Neilat haChag

7:05pm Maariv

7:12pm Havdalah

Weekday Schedule, Wednesday – Friday, October 3-5)


Wednesday and Friday, 6:45am

Thursday, 6:30am

Mincha: 6:20pm

Posted in: Holidays, Simchas Torah, Special Events/Shabbatons, Sukkos

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High Holiday Schedule & Halachic Guide

Erev Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, September 9)

7:30 am     Selichot/Shacharit/Hatarat Nedarim
12:49 pm   Chatzot – Midday (Many people fast until this time)
6:50 pm     Mincha
6:49 pm     Candlelighting (if later, light from an existing flame)
Short Drash by Rabbi Stewart
Followed by Maariv

Rosh Hashanah, Day 1 (Monday, September 10)

8:00 am     Shacharit
10:45 am   Shofar
Kiddush Following Services at about 1pm
6:50 pm     Mincha
7:05 pm     Shiur
7:30 pm     Maariv
After 7:45 pm   Candlelighting (earliest time, and light from an existing flame); preparation for evening meal after this time.

Rosh Hashanah, Day 2 (Tuesday, September 11)

8:00 am     Shacharit
10:45 am   Shofar
Kiddush Following Services at about 1pm
(Afternoon)    Tashlich at the Meyers – 10592 Wilkins
   6:50 pm    Mincha
7:10 pm    Shiur
7:30 pm    Maariv
7:45 pm    Havdalah


Tzom Gedalia, (Wednesday, September 12)

5:22 am     Fast Begins
6:30 am     Selichot/Shacharit
6:25 pm     Mincha
7:35 pm     Fast Ends

Thursday, September 13

6:15 am    Selichot / Shacharit
6:40 pm    Mincha

Friday, September 14

6:30 am  Selichot/Shacharit

Shabbat Shuva (Fri.-Sat., September 14-15)_

Parshat VaYelech

Friday Evening:

5:43 pm  Earliest Candlelighting
6:42 pm  Regular Candlelighting
6:45 pm  Mincha
Short Drash by Rabbi Stewart
Followed by  Maariv 

Saturday Morning:

8:45 am  Shacharit
11:15 am  Kiddush
   6:15 pm  Mincha (At Westwood Kehilla)
   6:35 pm  Seudat Shlishit
7:37 pm  Maariv
Followed by Havdala

Sunday, September 16

8:00 am    Selichot/Shacharit
6:40 pm    Mincha

Monday, September 17

6:15 am   Selichot/Shacharit
6:40 pm   Mincha


Tuesday, September 18, Erev Yom Kippur­­­­­

6:30 am   Selichot/Shacharit/Hatarat Nedarim
3:00 pm  Mincha (With Viduy)

Yom Kippur (Tues.-Wed., September 18-19)

Tuesday Evening:

6:00 pm  Tfilat Zakka
6:30 pm  Kol Nidre
6:37 pm  Latest Candlelighting, and Fast Begins
6:45 pm  Drash by Rabbi Stewart, followed by Maariv

Wednesday Morning and Afternoon:

9:00 am    Shacharit
11:30 am  Yizkor/Drash, followed by Mussaf
4:45 pm     Mincha
6:05 pm     Short Drash by Rabbi Stewart
6:15 pm     Neila
7:31 pm     Fast Ends; Maariv/Shofar
Followed by Havdalah/ Kiddush Levana


Thursday, September 20

6:30 am   Shacharit
6:40 pm  Mincha


Friday, September 21

6:45 am  Shacharit


An extremely important custom during the entire High Holiday period is to be extremely patient, forgiving, and sensitive to others.  Anger should be unheard of during this period.  How can we deign to beseech our Creator for forgiveness, compassion, and patience, if we do not behave in a similar fashion?  It is our love and sensitivity for each other which arouses His love and sensitivity for us.


SELICHOTSelichot begin at 8:00 am and are followed by Shacharit and Hatarat Nedarim.  There is a prevalent custom to fast until midday, which is at 12:49.  Many men go to the Mikvah in preparation for the holiday.

CANDLELIGHTING: The brachot for lighting the Yom Tov candles are Lehadlik ner shel Yom Tov and Shehechiyanu.  Most Sepharadim do not recite Shehechiyanu at candlelighting.  If one has such a custom, he/she may still recite Shehechiyanu.


GREETING:  It is customary to wish each other a good year after the evening service or upon arriving home from shul.  The proper greeting can be found in the Artscroll Machzor (p.90) and in the Soloveitchik Machzor (p.96).

SYMBOLISMS: See the Artscroll Machzor (p.96) and the Soloveitchik Machzor (p.102) for prayers (Simanim) recited over the following symbolic foods after Hamotzi:  fenugreek or carrots; leek or cabbage; beets; dates; gourd; pomegranate; fish; and head of a sheep (or fish).  Kindness and a pleasant disposition throughout the day are also considered a Siman with symbolic effect.

The Rav explains (Soloveitchik Machzor (p.102-3) that the custom of Simanim comes from the Talmud (Horayos, 12a).  There it is mentioned that kings of Israel were anointed at a spring, linking the hope for long rule with the characteristic of the spring in continually brings forth water.  One commentator cited in the Talmud observed that, based on this idea, omens can be significant, and therefore on Rosh Hashana we should eat specific foods whose designation implies a good year to come.  The Rav observed that since Rosh Hashana is linked to judgment by G-d as King, we engage in symbolic actions linked to a day of judgment by the King.

KIDDUSH:  Shehechiyanu is added (Women who made it during candle lighting should not repeat Shehechiyanu in the event that they are making Kiddush).

MEALS:  Rosh Hashana is a holiday and a celebration.  We toast the Creator as King and Master and rejoice that we are privileged to be His subjects.  Yet, the meals should be tempered with a degree of solemnity. This tension is reflected in the notion that we do not say Hallel on Rosh Hashana.  Torah discussions, in particular regarding teshuva, refining one’s midot and belief in Hashem, should be the focal point of the meal.  One should be especially careful not to speak Lashon Hora, for this grave character flaw enables the “Prosecuting Angel” to speak Lashon Hora about us.  If we refrain from speaking Lashon Hora, Hashem, in His great benevolence, will not let anyone speak ill about us during our day in Court.


THE PRAYER SERVICE:  A leading theme is the kingship of Hashem.  The blowing of the Shofar represents G-d’s entrance and his presence in our midst, and also our crying out to G-d. (Soleveitchik Machzor, 440).  The Shofar is sounded before Mussaf (preceded by the recitation of Psalm 47 seven times), three times during the Chazzan’s repetition of the Mussaf Shemona Esrei (preceded by references to G-d’s Kingship, Role in History, and Presence with the Shofar), and during the Kaddish following the Chazzan’s repetition.  With the exception of the Avinu Malkeinu (“Our Father and King”), which is said at the conclusion of Shacharit and Mincha, there is virtually no reference to sin or forgiveness on Rosh Hashana.  There is no recitation of Selichos or of Vidui.

KIDDUSH: The Kiddush for Rosh Hashana day is Tik’u Bachodesh Shofar, found in the Artscroll Machzor (p.594) and the Soloveitchik Machzor (p.660).


CANDLELIGHTING: The brachot for lighting the candles are again lehadlik ner shel yom tov, and shehechiyanu.   When reciting shehechiyanu one should have in mind that the bracha is also being made for the new fruit eaten during the meal.

KIDDUSH & NEW FRUIT: Shehechiyanu is again added.  A new fruit should be on the table and the shehechiyanu recited at the time of Kiddush (or candlelighting) should incorporate the new fruit.  Most wait until after Hamotzi to eat the new fruit. R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach would recite the Bracha on the new fruit before Hamotzi (as he was concerned with an interruption between the Shehechiyanu and the new fruit).  If one has no new fruit one should still recite the Shehechiyanu.


TASHLICH: Many recite Tashlich on Rosh Hashana.  In reality, Tashlich can be recited any time between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.  Some even recite it as late as Hoshana Rabba.  Tashlich can be found in the ArtScroll Machzor (p.630) and in the Soloveitchik Machzor (p.700).  (The Westwood Kehilla will have a community Tashlich at the home of the Meyers this afternoon.)


KIDDUSH: Standard Shabbat Kiddush.

This Shabbat is called “Shabbat Shuva” because of the Haftorah which begins “Shuva Yisrael”, “Repent Israel”. Sometimes it is referred to as Shabbat T’shuva, i.e the Shabbat that falls within the Aseret Yimei Teshuva.


This fast, one of the four fasts revolving around the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and the subsequent exile, is observed the day after Rosh Hashana.   The fast commemorates one of the most tragic events in our history.  When the Babylonians destroyed the first Beit Hamikdash, they allowed the farmers to remain on the land to continue cultivating this very fertile country.  The Babylonians appointed a Jew, Gedalia ben Achikam, as Governor.  Another Jew assassinated Gedalia and the remaining Jews, fearing retribution from the Babylonians, fled the land, thus completing the exile.


A shortened version of Selichot is said in the morning. Avinu Malkeinu is recited, but Tachanun, Lamnatzeach and Mizmor L’Todah are not. Those who did not do Hatarat Nedarim on Erev Rosh Hashana do so today.

There is a mitzvah to have a Seudah (festive meal).  Some have one Seudah in the morning and another after Mincha. Men go to the Mikvah after midday. Kapparot are performed, either with chickens or with money.  There will be baskets in shul for Kapparot  money, which is distributed to the poor for Yom Tov.  The text of Kapparot may be found in the Yom Kippur Artscroll Machzor (p.2) and the Soloveitchik Machzor (p.2).


Yahrzeit lamps are lit for one’s parents before Yom Kippur. It is customary to bless the children before Yom Kippur. The blessing may be found in the Artscroll Machzor (p.32) and the Soloveitchik Machzor (p.38).    One comes early to the synagogue to recite the special prayer known as Tefilah Zakah wherein he expresses forgiveness to those who wronged him.

CANDLELIGHTING: The brachot for candle lighting are lehdalik ner Yom HaKippurim, and shehechiyanu.  Women who live far from shul and wish to drive after lighting candles should have in mind while lighting that they are not yet accepting Yom Kippur.  They should also not recite shehechiyanu while lighting and should wait to recite it until Kol Nidrei when the Chazzan recites this bracha.

RESTRICTED ACTIVITY: The five prohibited pleasures on Yom Kippur are: eating and drinking; washing; anointing (perfumes, etc.); marital intimacy; and leather shoes.

PRAYERS OF REPENTANCE.  Yom Kippur is designated as a day set aside for repentance.  Vidui (confession of sins), notably the “Ashamnu” and “Al Chet”, is recited in the private Shemona Esrei at Mincha on erev Yom Kippur, and both in the private Shemona Esrei and in the Chazan’s repetition of the Shemona Esrei from Maariv on Tuesday night through Neilah late Wednesday afternoon.  Selichot (prayers asking for forgiveness) led by the Chazzan in his repetition of the Shemona Esrei on Yom Kippur, most notably the “Shma Koleinu”, introduce the Vidui in each service. Many beautiful Piyyutim (liturgical poems) are recited only once a year on this day.

YIZKORYizkor (remembrance of the Departed) is recited before Mussaf.

HAVDALAH: The bracha of Borei Meorei Haeish during Havdalah must be recited on a flame which was burning and “rested” during Yom Kippur.



Many have a custom to do a little Succah building or fixing right after Havdalah in order to start the New Year with a mitzvah.

Shana Tova U’metuka; K’tiva V’chatima Tova!

Posted in: Halacha, Holidays, Learning Library, Rosh Hashana, Shul Anouncements, Yom Kippur

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Rosh Hashanah: Judgement Day

Watch as we explore the historical basis of the Day of Judgment, as well understand what and who are being judged.

If you have trouble with the video, try the podcast below:

The first in a  series of three classes that will assist us in guaranteeing a successful and good judgment on Rosh Hashanah.

Join us at Westwood Kehilla or on Facebook Live the next two Tuesdays, Sept. 12 & 19, at 7:30 pm.

Posted in: Education, Holidays, Learning Library, Rabbi Avi Stewart, Rabbi's Blog, Rosh Hashana, Speakers

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Pesach Schedule, 5777, 2017

Parshat Tzav: Sahbbat haGadol April 7th -8th

Candle lighting:
Earliest 6:00
Regular Candle Lighting 7:01
Mincha 6:45

Shacharis 845
Latest Shemah 9:44
Kiddush 11:30
Shabbos haGadol Drasha 12:00
Luncheon 12:45
Mincha 1:45
Seudah Shlishit at home

Sahbbos ends at 8:02
Maariv at 8:15 at Westwood Bet Knesset

Sunday, April 9th
8:15 am Shacharit
7:05 pm Mincha / Maariv
Bedikat Chometz – after 7:58PM

The “Bitul Chometz” formula is said after the Bedikah; this can be said in English. (The “Bitul” can be found at the beginning of most Haggadahs.)

Monday, April 10th, Erev Yom Tov
5:11am – Fast of the First Born begins
6:30 am – Shacharit
7:15 am Siyum
Breakfast for Bechorim after the Siyum at Westwood Bet Knesset

7:00-11:00am – Burning the Chametz
Community Burning of Chometz @ 8906 W. Pico Blvd.
Final Eating of Chometz – 10:21 am
Final Burning of Chometz – 11:37 am

Say the “Bitul Chometz” formula after the chometz burning
Before 11:37 am

7:02 pm – Candle Lighting
7:05 pm – Mincha
Short Dvar Torah by Rabbi Stewart
7:35 pm Maariv
Kiddush & Seder should not start before 8:05 pm
12:54 am – Halachic Midnight (chatzos). The Afikomon should ideally be eaten at the Seder by this time.

First day of Chag: Tuesday, April 11th, 1st day Yom Tov
9:00 am Shacharit

Tefillat “Tal” (Prayer for Dew) is said during Mussaf. This Mussaf is the last time we say “Mashiv HaRuach u’Morid HaGeshem.” Beginning with Mincha it is omitted.

6:45 pm Pre-Mincha Shiur
7:05 pm Mincha
7:20 pm Shiur by Rabbi Stewart
Shiurim by Community Members
7:50 pm Maariv
8:06 pm Earliest Candle lighting and Seder preparations

One does not prepare on one day of the Chag for the next day.
Counting of the Omer should begin at the Seder for those who did not count it at Maariv.

Wednesday, April 12th, 2nd day Yom Tov
9:00 am Shacharit
7:10 pm Mincha
7:35 pm Shiur by Community Members
8:00 pm Maariv
8:07 pm Havdalah
Start saying “Vitein Bracha” in the Maariv Shmona Esrei

Thursday-Friday, April 13-14, Chol HaMoed
Shacharit: 6:30 am
Mincha (Thursday): 7:15 pm

Friday Evening
6:03 pm Earliest Candlelighting
7:07 pm Regular Candlelighting
6:45 pm, Mincha
Short Drash by Rabbi Stewart
7:15 pm, Maariv

Shabbat Morning
8:45 am, Shacharit
9:30 (Approximately) Reading of Shir HaShirim

Shabbat Afternoon
6:50 pm, Mincha
7:10 pm, Seudat Shlishit
8:08 pm, Shabbat Ends

Sunday, April 16th, Erev Yom Tov
8:00 am Shacharit
6:05 pm Earliest Candle lighting
7:08 pm Regular Candle lighting
7:00 pm Mincha
Short Dvar Torah by Rabbi Stewart
There is no Shehecheyanu blessing said during Candle- lighting
or Kiddush on the last two days of the holiday.

Monday, April 17th, 7th Day Yom Tov
9:00 am Shacharit
6:00 pm Mincha
6:15 pm Shiur
6:30 pm Maariv
7:08 pm Regular Candle Lighting
Repeat Shemah after 8:05 pm

Tuesday, April 18th, 8th Day Yom Tov
8:45 am Shacharit
10:15 am (Approximately) Yizkor
6:40 pm Mincha
7:00 pm Neilat HaChag (Dvar Torah and Singing)
8:05 pm Maariv
8:12 pm Havdala

Please wait until 9:00 to eat the Chometz you have sold via the Rabbi

Davening Times, Wednesday – Friday, April 19-21
Thursday, 6:30 am
Wednesday, and Friday, 6:45 am

Mincha, 7:15 pm

Posted in: Holidays, Learning Library, Pesach

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Haggadah Workshop

Prepare to engage everyone at your Seder.

Become a Master Seder Leader!

Part I:

Part II:

Posted in: Education, Learning Library, Pesach, Pesach Resources

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