Em Habanim Starts Summer Learning Program


After a successful Father and Son and Chavrusa Learning program during the fall and winter months, Em Habanim Sephardic Congregation kicked off a new summer learning program which runs throughout July and August, when schools and yeshivas will re-open. “Every year several fathers ask me if there is a way to continue the winter Motzei Shabbat learning program which ends at the start of daylight savings time. It is just too late to bring the boys back to the synagogue after Havdalah motzei Shabbat,” explained Leibel Winegard. “By moving the program to Sunday mornings, we can continue our learning and develop the program in new ways.”

Rabbi Joshua Bittan agreed, “Our Summer Sunday Morning Learning Program is a natural continuation of our winter Avot Ubanim program. Last year we were pleased to have, Barukh Hashem, on-average, 40 to 60 boys each Motzei Shabbat. We start with Shacharit at 8:30 am which is a free of charge community program. Ashkanazi, Sephardic, and Chabad nusachs participate. When possible, we will have teenage boys lead the davening. Afterwards, we serve breakfast from 9:15 am to 9:30 am. Because of the kind sponsorship by Moshe and Sharona Bittan, the fathers and sons were also fueled by a great breakfast before the 45 minute learning program.”

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It was by utilizing Em Habanim’s state-of-the-art kitchen that Sharona and Judy Winegard were able to cook 100’s of mouthwatering plain and chocolate chip pancakes. “Taking the time to daven and have a menchledike-breakfast with my son before learning on a Sunday morning was really special for me,” shared Winegard. “During the year, my sons are in school on Sundays so I just don’t have this special time. It probably means more to me than to them. They ae not getting any younger and I am really proud to see how each one of them has progressed in their learning and maturity.”

The learning program ends with a D’var Torah presented by one of the boys; a story by Rabbi Bittan; and a raffle for one or two seforim. This summer’s special end-of-the-program raffle will be a hard cover set of Kahati’s Mishnayot. Rabbi Bittan notes, “We select Sifrei Kodesh prizes that will be used by winners throughout their school year and that will help build personal libraries.”

Em Habanim encourages everyone to join the program this summer – or during the winter after the clocks change. Since the programs are open to the entire community, donations are welcome and sponsorships of Torah learning are an ideal means to commemorate those we’ve lost, or to celebrate a wonderful family simcha.

For more information, please contact Leibel Winegard at either (818) 634-4405 or cubmaster613@gmail.com.