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In 2013, Rabbi Farkas gave a High Holiday sermon asking us to look around our community and take stock of the overwhelming number of homeless people living on the streets in southern California. A group of us from the synagogue rallied to his call and formed the Valley Beth Shalom Homelessness Task Force. Under the leadership of Rabbi Farkas, we have met with city, county and state legislators to urge them to support legislation that would provide affordable housing to the homeless in the area. Most recently, our congregation, led by Rabbi Farkas and the Task Force, played a significant role in making a historic policy change in Los Angeles County to build more affordable housing for low-income residents. Through his inspiring, loving and humanistic approach to life, Rabbi Farkas has made a difference in the lives of his congregants by helping us understand that we improve our own circumstances by reaching out to the world around us.

— David Polinsky

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