The practice of Kabbalah has gained the interest of numerous non-Jewish celebrities, who now frequent the Kabbala Centre of Los Angeles. Decades back, celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Sammy Davis became interested in its Jewish mysticism and study of ancient Jewish tradition. Sammy Davis said he was drawn to the practice as an African American, feeling that due to the oppression of his own race he could relate to the history of Jewish oppression. Elizabeth Taylor converted to Judaism and became an advocate for Israel and Jewish people. More recently, Madonna’s involvement in Kabbalah sparked the interest of many other Hollywood celebrities, including, Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton. Many cite that Kabbalah helps bring them peace, spiritual relief, and a way to deal with the chaos of their lives.
The Kabbalah Centre International, located in Los Angeles, is the haven sought by many practicing Kabbalah. Kabbalah was founded in 1965 by Rav Phillip Berg and Rav Yehuda Tzvi Brandwein. The Los Angeles Centre opened in 1984. It offers teachings to students who have no previous knowledge of Hebrew. The concept of Klippot, the idea that this blocks or restrict spiritual energy from accessing the body. One is thought to only be able to remove Klippot through the practice and study of the teachings of Kabballah. Astrology is another strong belief practiced at the Kabbalah Centre. Cosmic forces are thought to affect everything.
The Kabbalah Centre teaches that our greatest importance in life is in helping others. They have an official volunteer program called Team Kabbalah. This program teaches students how to best give their own personal time and use of talents to help others. It also teaches them how to improve their own lives by giving to others. It is a philosophy of the regular practice of pure unselfishness.