FAQ

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Are you a synagogue or what?

Whether you call us a synagogue, shul, or spiritual community, IKAR is where you can tap into the rhythm of the Jewish week and year through Shabbat and holidays, and maybe even challenge yourself to learn more, act more, dream more, and connect more. Check out our Events page and Calendar to see what’s going on.

What movement are you affiliated with?

We want to think expansively about what it means to be Jewish today, and draw upon inspiration from across the Jewish spectrum (and beyond). As an unaffiliated community, we hope everyone — Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist,”just Jewish,” unaffiliated, not Jewish, frum, faithful, disconnected and skeptical — will feel comfortable.

Do I have to be a member to come to IKAR?

Not at all. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to join us for services, learning, or social justice. If you’re coming for the first time, be sure to introduce yourself so we can show you the secret handshake – and maybe rope you in to help pour scotch. And let us know you’re coming!

Are you open to interfaith families?

Absolutely. IKAR families come in all imaginable configurations. Really – we challenge you to imagine one we don’t have.

What if I don’t know Hebrew?

No Hebrew? No problem. Many IKARites neither read nor speak it. There’s a lot of Hebrew in the service, but also a lot of music and spirit, and you don’t need Hebrew to get swept up in both. Humming and lalalas are highly encouraged. Come see for yourself.

Do you keep kosher?

In their homes, IKARites have all different kinds of practices, but all meals served at IKAR are vegetarian and are brought in from either hekshered (kosher certified) or vegan joints.

What do I wear to IKAR?

Jeans, or Prada. Or something in between. Our services are not about your clothes, they’re about your spirit. That said, you shouldn’t feel awkward in a suit if that’s how you roll.

Do your rabbis do weddings, baby namings, movie premieres, etc?

One of the blessings of being in community is that we move through the ups and downs of life together and our rabbis are honored to officiate at these occasions for IKAR members, when their schedules allow. Not a member? Come check out if IKAR is right for you.

What, exactly, is Minyan Tzedek and why are you always talking about it?

We believe that the active pursuit of justice and dignity for all is a core expression of our Jewish selves, and we integrate that belief into everything we do at IKAR. Minyan Tzedek is how we harness the organizing power of our entire community to work toward the world as it ought to be. Our goal is 100% participation through one of our four Minyan Tzedek paths.

Does IKAR want its own building?

Sure, have any leads? We’ve been searching for a site within our current geographic area that has room for an inspiring, sacred space for davening, lectures, screenings and learning, a center for exploration in Jewish art, music, and culture, a coffee shop, and a space that will house Limudim and our Early Childhood Center. It took Moses 40 years to find his way to the Promised Land – we’re hoping to wrap this search up in a fraction of that time.

How does IKAR membership work?

At IKAR, membership is more than just a $ contribution (though that matters, too). When you join IKAR, you sign our membership brit. This brit is an expression of your core commitments and a way to expand your own Jewish horizons through learning and spiritual growth. So, in addition to a financial commitment, each person is asked to make concrete commitments to Torah (learning), to Kehillah (volunteering and supporting the community), and Tikkun (justice).

We belong to another shul/ we live out of town, but we love IKAR. What should we do?

We love you, too. We have an associate membership for people who want to support the community but aren’t around as regularly. Associate memberships have everything a full membership has, except IKARds (tickets) for the High Holy Days. Talk to us.

What if I can’t afford membership?

We never want financial constraints to get in the way of participation at IKAR, so we have a few different membership models to fit different needs. If our membership rates feel out of reach, you can email ezra@ikar-la.org and we’ll have a confidential conversation to figure out what level of contribution is both doable and meaningful for you. Alternatively, you can fill out the “Ezra” portion on our membership form.

Do you have adult education?

Sure do! We strive to be a community of learners (see our membership brit) and have many learning opportunities no matter how much or little Jewish education or background you have. You might find yourself learning with our rabbis in your neighborhood, at a Q&A with artists and actors, or studying with the great scholars of our time.

How am I supposed to meet people?

New spaces can be hard, and we want to make it easy for you to find a way into the community. One way to connect is to just start showing up. You’ll meet folks. Come to Shabbat services or join a house party in your ‘hood. Volunteer as a Shabbat Schmoozer or for a big event or holiday. Hop into an event with TRIBE (20s/30s), Alta Rockers, or with a group of fellow parents. Get on our email list and check out our Facebook page to stay in the loop. There are a lot of doorways in and we can help you find yours.

Are there ways to get involved with Jewish rituals at IKAR (e.g., read Torah)?

Yes, please. If you have skills, we’d love to help you show them off. Email us to get involved. We look forward to seeing you!

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