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Rabbi Aaron and Cantor Kliger "Shave for the Brave"

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Rabbi Jonathan Aaron and Cantor Yonah Kliger joined more than 95 clergy members nationwide by shaving their heads in support of federal funding for cancer research. The “36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave” campaign was launched to heighten awareness that only 4% of federal funding is earmarked for all childhood cancers , and has so far raised over $500,000 for this essential research. The initiative is conducted in memory of “Superman” Sam Sommer, the 8-year-old child of husband and wife Rabbis Phyllis and Michael Sommer, who died of AML (acute myelogenous leukemia) in December 2013.  

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After having their heads shaved by Peter Ishkhans of Meche Salon in Beverly Hills, both clergy members spoke at an open assembly attended by the students of Temple Emanuel Academy Day School (TEADS) to explain why they participated in this event, and emphasized the importance of helping others and visiting the sick.  Also joining the assembly were Rabbi Laura Geller and a Temple parent with his five year old son, who is a cancer survivor and current Religious School student.  

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In addition to sharpening the focus on childhood cancer research, the Temple Emanuel Clergy want to publicly dedicate their synagogue to those confronting illness as a community that will embrace and support them.  According to Rabbi Aaron, “Many of our congregants have faced cancer and other serious health conditions.  We want our synagogue to be a place to where they can turn when they need comfort, a range of resources — whether help getting to medical appointments or home-cooked meals — or simply friendship.”  Some of this outreach is already being done by Temple Emanuel’s “Mitzvah Circle,” the active arm of its caring community, and it will also be creating a short-term task force to explore other ways the synagogue can assist congregants at theses challenging times. 

Money raised through sponsors of individuals and teams participating in “36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave” goes to St. Baldricks, a volunteer-driven charity which funds more childhood cancer research grants than any organization in the country, outside of the U.S. Government. 

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 UPDATE: Read about this event in the Beverly Hills Courier!

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Guest Wednesday, 24 May 2017