The JLIC West Talmud Group shines as a beacon of community, scholarship, and spiritual growth. Founded in June of 2021 by the dedicated efforts of Josh Partovi, a former UCLA JLIC President/Yavneh Fellow turned JLIC volunteer, this weekly gathering has become a cornerstone for students seeking a break from the day-to-day and a deeper connection to their Jewish faith.

The Talmud Group started from a simple yet profound aspiration: to provide a midweek anchor to something spiritual, a sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle of daily routines. Josh, along with his peers, recognized the need for such a space, where the pursuit of knowledge and the cultivation of friendships could intertwine harmoniously. Armed with determination and guided by their shared vision, they embarked on a journey that would leave an indelible mark on the LA Jewish community.A group of the JLIC West Coast Talmud Group learning at the OU office.

What sets this group apart is not just its regular attendance, but the deep bonds and friendships that have blossomed among its members through the shared journey of learning. Despite attending different schools and hailing from various corners of the Los Angeles area, students gather at the OU office on Pico, united by a common desire to delve into the wisdom of the Talmud and strengthen their spiritual foundations.

At the heart of the group’s success is Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, whose guidance and facilitation provide a steady hand amidst the dynamic energy of the students. However, it is the day-to-day dedication of individuals like Josh, who transitioned from student to JLIC volunteer, that keeps the group thriving. Despite his own academic pursuits – including earning smicha and attending Pepperdine law school – Josh remains committed to nurturing the spiritual growth of his peers.

The accomplishments of the JLIC West Talmud Group are nothing short of remarkable. In just a few short years, they have completed three tractates of the Talmud and are currently immersed in their fourth, a testament to their dedication and perseverance. As a tangible reminder of their progress, students are encouraged to keep their Talmuds, allowing them to build their Jewish libraries and continue their learning beyond the confines of the group.

A group of the JLIC West Coast Talmud Group learning together at their weekly gathering.

Yet, it’s not just about the intellectual pursuit of knowledge; each learning session is imbued with spiritual significance, as participants daven mincha and maariv together. These moments of prayer and reflection serve to deepen the spiritual connection forged through the study of ancient texts, grounding the group in tradition.

What makes the JLIC West Talmud Group truly special is not just the wealth of knowledge they acquire or the rituals they observe, but the sense of community they have cultivated along the way. In a city as sprawling and diverse as Los Angeles, finding a place where one feels truly seen and heard can be rare, yet this group offers just that – a space where individuals can come as they are, knowing they will be embraced with open arms.

As they continue on their journey of learning and growth, the JLIC West Talmud Group serves as a shining example of the transformative power of community and the enduring legacy of Jewish tradition. Through their dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to each other, they remind us that amidst the chaos of everyday life, there is always room for connection, meaning, and spiritual renewal.

Reach out to any of our Directors to learn more about JLIC and our programming.

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