Lexicon


Ever feel like there’s a secret code and you’re the only one who doesn’t know it? No more! Here is some general Jew-y jargon, plus a few of our favorite IKARisms…

  • A to J
  • K to N
  • O to Z

Alta Rockers

Our classic IKAR members, of excellent vintages. And most of these folks would qualify as youngsters in other synagogues.

Davening

Prayer. Meditation. Connection. An opening of the heart. An expansion of the soul. An experience of the holy. A pretty cool way to spend a Friday night/Saturday morning.

Davening Team

Collection of the deepest daveners, the sweetest singers, and the most soulful (as well as the world’s tiniest) drummers all help us to open our hearts and connect heaven and earth, to a sweet beat. Meet some of them here.

Disco Break-Fast

Survived Yom Kippur? Let’s party! Join the sin-free crowd for this classic IKAR invention – cap off the holiest day of the year with some crazy dancing, eating, and celebrating. Join us!

Hesed Network

A city-wide network of IKAR mensches who mobilize to bring food, support, and care to those in our community experiencing moments of joy and sadness. Be a mensch, get involved.

(High Holy Day) IKARd

Your eco-friendly, reusable ticket into the most mind expanding, soul stirring, heart breaking High Holy Days you’ve ever experienced. We guarantee. Get yours.

Humash

The book containing the words of the Torah, God’s most intimate communication with the Jewish People and the source of inspiration for countless generations. Usually referred to as ‘the red one.’ Please don’t put it on the floor.

Hutzpah

Holy Jewish outrage at the world as it is, in the name of the world as it ought to be. Also, your kid is screaming in the back of services – I mean, really screaming – and you, knowing that just because this is a sweet, welcoming community nobody’s going to ask you to take her outside for a breather.

IKAR

The essence. A powerful spiritual community standing at the intersection of spirituality and social justice. A new experience of what is possible for Jewish life.

IKARite

You! Not a member yet? Make it official.

Kashrut

The Jewish practice of making eating holy and meaningful. At IKAR our policy is that all food served is vegetarian and comes either from a certified kosher or a strictly vegan kitchen.

Kiddush

Technically, the prayer recited over a glass of wine to sanctify the Shabbat day. Colloquially, a bunch of cookies and an opportunity to schmooze with some interesting Jews after services.

Kippah

The thing some AltaRocker will come over and put on your head if there isn’t one already there. The kippah, also known as yarmulke or YidLid, is a traditional Jewish symbol of humility before God. At IKAR, we welcome all men and women, Jewish and not-so-Jewish, to wear a kippah.

Limudim

A place where our children fall in love with Judaism through a learning experience rich in creativity, warmth, and depth. If your religious school had been like this, you wouldn’t still wake up in cold sweats so often.

Mensch

The people who run up to the front of the room to help move the Torah table so the Rabbi doesn’t have to. See also: Hesed Network.

Minyan Tzedek

Minyan Tzedek is our communal answer to the gap between the world as it is and the world as it ought to be (see: Hutzpah). We ask every IKAR member to commit to working with one of our Minyan Tzedek paths and uses our power to change the world through organizing, education, service, and philanthropy.

Mishloah Manot

On Purim, we respond to life’s uncertainty by showing our gratitude for our family and friends through gifts of love, food, and organic fair-trade dark chocolate. IKAR’s Mishloah Manot bags are the must have accessory of the Adar (usually February or March) season.

Niggun

A melody without words. A point of departure for our deepest prayers. Sing, hum, clap, stomp, dance— find your own way in.

Night of the Wandering Jew

Our biggest fundraiser of the year-and a tribute to our wanderings over the years. Indulge your Wanderlust. Trust us, Diaspora was never this much fun.

Nosherize

Birthday? Yartzeit? Found an agent? Got tenure? Dog pass obedience training? Allow the community to share in your milestone by sponsoring part or all of our post-service nosh.

Oneg

A delicious post-services snack—think fruit, cookies, chocolate pretzels, and (whenever possible) a gigantic ice cream cake.

Patience

What we need you to have with our office staff when you don’t get your acknowledgment letter within 24 hrs, when we forget your birthday, when one of our forms doesn’t work quite right.

Pretzel Hallah

The IKAR of hallot – in that it’s a creative new spin on something old and dear.

Purim Justice Carnival

On Purim we remember that the world can change in an instant, and the best response to our vulnerability is to work for justice and to celebrate the sweet moments. Purim is our biggest and most raucous party of the year, with a conscience.

Purim Shpiel

A Purim tradition and an annual opportunity to make fun of ourselves. Since roughly three-quarters of IKAR members are hipster comedy writers– you better believe we can bring the snark.

Schmoozers

Friendly folks who hand you a book, help find you seat, introduce you to the 17 other people from Philly there that night, and generally work to make your experience as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Simhat Torah

A giant celebration of dancing, singing, and praying to revel in Torah, community and the fact that we made it through the Holy Day season without the air conditioning breaking and with our sanity intact.

Shabbat b’Yahad

Amazing, musical davening. Outstanding catered vegetarian dinner. The best company in LA. What are you doing Friday night? (3rd Fridays of the month – check the calendar.)

Shabbaton

It’s our annual trip to camp — when we leave the city behind for the tranquil, verdant outdoors. This is a weekend outing for any grown-up or kid who loves relaxation, rejuvenation and inspiration.

Siddur

The book containing two thousand years of our people’s prayers, hopes, and dreams. Usually referred to as ‘the smaller one.’ Please don’t put it on the floor.