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Posts by Emily Shefer

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Lina Pournazarian


Lina Pournazarian and her husband Frank have been members of Sinai Temple since 1990. They have three children who were raised and supported by the Sinai Akiba and Sinai Temple community. Lina has been a truly dedicated Sinai Temple community member for many years and the continuity of the Jewish people is very important to her. She has been part of numerous committees, which have helped to strengthen the new generation’s relationship with our community, ensuring a bright future. This includes her time as PTA president (the mind behind the famous Pier Night) and her creation of a Sinai Temple…

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Talia Pouratian


Talia Pouratian has been an active member of Sinai Temple since 2010 soon after she and her family moved to Los Angeles. Talia’s first introduction to Sinai Temple was as a parent at the Douglas Family Early Childhood Center, through which she became an active member and eventually co-chair of Dor Chadash.  Through her involvement in Dor Chadash, Talia co-chaired and kicked off the first Annual Hanukah Party. Since then, she has served on the Membership Committee, the Shabbaton Committee, and the Reshet Task Force. Talia, her husband Nader, and their three children Lylah, Noa, and Ari are now active…

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Farshad Rafii


Farshad Rafii is currently the president of Sinai Temple Men’s Club. He has been a member of the temple since 2016 and the VP of Programs at the Men’s Club 2017-2018. He was elected as Men’s Club’s Man of the Year in 2017. He is a graduate of MIT, Cornell University and Harvard Business School and has served on the faculties of Boston University and Babson College focusing on entrepreneurship, creativity training, and management of innovation. Farshad and his wife Farideh currently own and run a real estate investment operation and are blessed with three daughters Tara, Jodie, and Liza.

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Howard Brandes


Howard Brandes is grateful to his late parents who introduced him as a child to Sinai Temple, where he found his spiritual home and extended family, and where his attended religious school and received his Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation. After college he involved himself with Temple activities, chaired a young adult group and helped create and Chaire the 3rd Floor High Holiday Services, where he first was introduced to a rabbinic student Rabbi David Wolpe.  He became involved as a Board Member and later Co-Chair of the Board of Governors.  Howard is the current Chair of the Investment Committee. Howard received…

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Joseph Miller


Joseph is the co-founder of Runyon Group, a real estate company that works with specialty brands, top chef driven restaurants, and creative companies to create special experiences.  Runyon has had a hand in creating new LA landmarks such as Platform in Culver City, ROW in DTLA, and Palisades Village in the Pacific Palisades.  In addition to his work at Runyon, Joseph has served on the Boards of New LA Charter School and Camp Ramah.

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Laura Reader


Laura Reader has been a member of Sinai Temple since 2017. Laura first became part of the synagogue community through her involvement with Atid when she moved back to Los Angeles in 2014. Since then she has taken on leadership positions with Atid and joined the Social Action Committee, where she enjoys creating moments of collaboration across the synagogue community. Through her involvement with Sinai Temple, Laura has been blessed to have made lifelong friendships, been given a platform to lead and give back, and to have deepened her Jewish involvement and identity through her relationship with Rabbi Guzik and…

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Rebecca Kekst


Rebecca Kekst has been an active member of Sinai Temple since she and her husband, David Kekst, joined the synagogue in 1999.  She was a founding member of Dor Chadash and has held many roles in the synagogue, the Douglas Family Early Childhood Center and Sinai Akiba Academy. She has served as gala co-chair for the Sinai Temple dinner, co-chaired the Shabbaton for 3 years and most recently chaired the Catering Committee.  While a parent in the preschool, Rebecca served as both PTA president and then chaired the board of the preschool.  During her time at Sinai Akiba Academy she…

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Richard Weston


Richard and his wife Helen have been members of Sinai Temple since 1988. Their three daughters had their Bat Mitzvah at Sinai and two of them graduated from Sinai Akiba Academy. At various times Richard chaired the Long Range Planning, Membership, Nominating and Bylaws Committees, served as Vice President with various portfolios and as a member of the Budget, Personnel and Executive Committees. He currently serves on Cemetery Management Committee of Sinai Temple’s Mount Sinai Memorial Parks, in addition to chairing the budget committee. Richard graduated from the City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree in finance and…

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Roz Goldstine


Born, raised and educated in Philadelphia, Roz moved to California as a bride, where over the years she has held numerous leadership roles at Sinai Temple, Sinai Temple Sisterhood, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, Jewish Family Service and the Women’s Division of the L.A. Jewish Federation Council. Married to Abner, a past president of Sinai Temple, she is the proud mother of Ethan, the Vice Chair at Ikar and the adoring grandmother of Ilan Aryah.

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