Jewish holiday traditions allow us to experience the holiness of creation with our community and families throughout each year. We divide these holidays into major holidays, minor holidays and modern holidays. Other important dates include fasts and celebrations of special Shabbat services and even the beginning of each month (Rosh Chaddesh).


Major holidays

Major holidays are also referred to as High Holidays. High Holidays are the most attended holidays in the jewish communities - a must do event for even Jews who do not regularly attend temple services.


Rosh Hashana -, 2017 Th‑F
Yom Kippur  Sa
Sukkot -, 2017 Th‑F
- , 2017 Sa‑W
Shmini Atzeret  Th
Simchat Torah  F
Chanukah - , 2017 W‑W
Purim  Th
Pesach -, 2018 Sa‑Su
- , 2018 M‑Th
-, 2018 F‑Sa
Shavuot -, 2018 Su‑M
Tish'a B'Av  Su

*Holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the date specified. Dates in bold are yom tov, sharing similar obligations and restrictions to Shabbat (in the sense that normal "work" is forbidden).

Minor holidays

Minor holidays reflect differing events and commitments to our world and life. As an example, Tu BiShvat is a celebration of nature equivolent to the celebration of Arbour day or Earth day. Tu BiShvat is celebrated both in the community and with families by erecting a temporary structure decorated with palm fronds and seasonal fruits. During this time we gather to enjoy natures blessings and marvel at the beauty of the sky that stretches above our home - the earth.

Tu BiShvat  W
Purim Katan  
Shushan Purim  F
Days of the Omer  
Pesach Sheni  Su
Lag BaOmer  Th
Tu B'Av  F
Leil Selichot Sep 1, 2018 Sa

Minor fasts

Fasts are an important aspect of Jewish worship, allowing us to feel the hunger and need of the less fortunate and purify ourselves for significant life events. Fasts precede several significant holidays and are ended with "breaking the fast" where we often celebrate with communal meals.

Tzom Gedaliah Sep 24, 2017 Su
Asara B'Tevet Dec 28, 2017 Th
Ta'anit Esther Feb 28, 2018 W
Ta'anit Bechorot Mar 30, 2018 F
Tzom Tammuz Jul 1, 2018 Su

Modern holidays

Modern holidays reflect our commitment to the historic homeland of Israel and the Jewish people as a whole. 

Yom HaShoah  Th
Yom HaZikaron  W
Yom HaAtzma'ut  Th
Yom Yerushalayim  Su
Yom HaAliyah  F
Sigd  Sa

Special Shabbatot

Special Shabbat services are held throughout the year and often carry on the themes of growth and development expressed by neighboring high holidays.

Shabbat Shuva  Sa
Shabbat Shekalim  Sa
Shabbat Zachor  Sa
Shabbat Parah  Sa
Shabbat HaChodesh  Sa
Shabbat HaGadol  Sa
Shabbat Chazon  Sa
Shabbat Nachamu  Sa
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh  
Shabbat Machar Chodesh  

Rosh Chodesh

The jewish calender is a lunar calendar that has been maintained since the beginning. This year marks the year 5778. Each month is 29 to 30 days in length and begins with the new moon. Below are the beginning dates of each jewish month. 

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan  F
Rosh Chodesh Kislev  Su
Rosh Chodesh Tevet  M
Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat  W
Rosh Chodesh Adar  Th
Rosh Chodesh Adar II  
Rosh Chodesh Nisan  Sa
Rosh Chodesh Iyyar  Su
Rosh Chodesh Sivan  Tu
Rosh Chodesh Tamuz  W
Rosh Chodesh Av  F
Rosh Chodesh Elul  Sa

High Holidays Choir

Join our High Holidays Choir

The Sweet Singers Choir Practice
Tuesdays, at 7:30 PM until September 27th

If you enjoy singing and would like to participate in a fun and meaningful experience please consider joining The Sweet Singers, Temple Beth David’s choir.  It’s a wonderful and welcoming group led by Cantor Schwartz.  Rehearsals, in preparations for the High Holy Days, are held on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM starting in the summer.  For more information on how you can share your musical gifts for the benefit of our congregation, please email Cantor Richard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


History and Mission

Founded in 1947, Temple Beth David was the first Reform synagogue in the San Gabriel Valley. Our membership has steadily grown to form a vibrant community spanning the generations for almost 70 years. Our services embrace the warm spiritual traditions of Judaism and encourage participation by congregants. We welcome interfaith couples and encourage non-Jewish spouses to participate in the many facets of temple life. We offer an array of adult education programs to support all who seek a greater understanding of, and fulfillment in, Judaism.
Temple Beth David's Mission Statement: Temple Beth David is the home of a Reform Jewish congregation that embraces Judaism’s values and traditions including spiritual discovery, educational richness, community loving kindness, personal responsibility and welcomes all Jews and interfaith families committed to living a Jewish life.

Temple Programs at a Glance


Clergy and Staff

Rabbi Alan Lachtman was born in San Francisco. He has been our beloved Rabbi since 1976.  He and his wife, Ellen, serve the congregation with warmth, dedication and a spirit of inclusion.  Rabbi Lachtman has a degree in Marriage Family Child Therapy.  He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army Reserves.  He teaches at the University of Judaism, the American Jewish Committee and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  The Hebrew Union College honored him with a Doctorate of Divinity in 1999.  He was voted best Rabbi by the readership of the Pasadena Weekly.


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Cantor Richard Schwartz for much of the past 25 years, has served communities and individuals as a cantor, spiritual leader, life-cycle officiant, B’nai Mitzvah instructor and mentor, music specialist, choir director, Jewish music and liturgy consultant, Hebrew and religious school teacher, performer, songwriter, and concert producer.

Cantor Schwartz received his Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance from the University of Massachusetts and shortly thereafter, moved to Los Angeles where he trained for the cantorate successively with cantors Samuel Kelemer, William Sharlin and Nathan Lam. He is a commissioned and invested member of both the American Conference of Cantors (Reform) and the Cantors Assembly (Conservative) and a Fellow of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality having completed their Cantorial Leadership program. In 2011 Cantor Schwartz received a Masters of Arts in Education from American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Since 2009 Cantor Schwartz has happily served Temple Beth David as its cantor.

"My 'soul' intention is to inspire people to connect with God and one another through words, actions, prayer, and song. As an educational leader, I aim to guide others in identifying, nurturing, and pursuing their Jewish passions. The motivation to learn about and embrace Judaism is strongest when people sense their power to transform and renew it. To that end, creative expression is an essential component of an excellent Jewish education. Most of all, relationships built upon integrity, honest communication, kindness and respect are indispensable to communities, such as ours, committed to holiness."


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Education Director Gal Kessler Rohs joins us with bundles of energy, and passion for the world of children, families, community, education, Judaism and religion. Her experiences are from London, Tel Aviv, New York and Los Angeles. Gal grew up in Israel and London, served in the Israeli Air Force, attended Tel Aviv University, and then relocated to New York where she completed her Masters at the renowned Teachers College at Columbia University. Gal is a certified California Program Director, who believes in the “Children First” philosophy. Gal anticipates rolling up her sleeves, and, yes, engaging in messy hands-on activities with Temple Beth David's children and families!

GKR Profile

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