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East Meets West Club Celebrated Jewish New Year Holiday

To celebrate 2017 Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hashanah, East Meets West Parent Education Club​

​ (​EMWPEC) recently sponsored a community conference “Unlock the Secrets of Jewish Culture and Parenting” on September 17th, in collaboration with the South Pasadena / San Marino YMCA.  The keynote speakers were Jonathan Beck, president of Crown Financial Partners in Beverly Hills and Jane Feinberg, a San Marino resident and an in-house tax lawyer of a large multinational engineering company in Los Angeles.  Although both speakers are from different Judaism religious backgrounds, they both shared insights of Jewish parenting and family values.

When asked to account for the outsized success of Jewish people in society, Mr. Beck who is from rabbinically trained Orthodox Judaism background talk about Jews as the “People of the Book” with a strong tradition of scholarship and study.  Most Jewish children attend Hebrew school in preparation for Bar Mitzvah around age 13 when they must read scripture in Hebrew in front of the congregation.  Thereafter, the child will be treated as an adult.

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Paul Brassard, Jonathan Beck, Daniel Katz, Aaron Rose

Gem Wu, Queenie Ng, Melisa Beck, Annie Brassard, Flora Wang

keynote speaker: Jane Feinberg, Jonathan Beck

Molly Woodford, Flora Wabg, Annie Brassard, Paul Brassard, Jane Feinberg, Jonathan Beck, Melisa Beck, Queenie Ng, Sophia Chan, Vanessa Yang

EMWPEC board members and speakers

Annie Brassard, Cynthia Lewis, Charlotte Yang,, Flora Wang

Both speakers emphasized that they had high expectations for the children to succeed in school and career but that they would not interfere with their child’s choice of career.  They also wanted to emphasize that there is a lot of diversity of thought within

the Jewish community.  This was apparent when one of the panelists asked Mr. Beck how he felt about inter-faith marriage.  He mentioned “problems” several times without articulating what the problems were.  In contrast, Jane Feinberg said that 40% of the families in her congregation were inter-faith and that they were welcomed.

The speakers talked about the Jewish holidays, including Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year.  It is customary to eat sweet things because the new year symbolizes a new creation, a new beginning, and a person needs to enjoy the sweetness that the new year implies.

As part of the conference program, guests were treated to authentic Jewish foods made by a famous kosher bakery in North Hollywood.

East Meets West Parent Education Club is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization.   Each year the club sponsors 5-6 positive parenting conferences with an emphasis on cultural understanding. The next parenting conference will be on Sunday, Oct 15th​

at the Crowell Public Library in San Marino with a title of “Develop Your Winning Strategy: Kids and Video Game Addiction”  For more information, please visit the club’s website at

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