Revolutionary Global Seminar for Jewish Singles

Leading Relationship Experts Join Forces Online in Unique Program Launching July 26 

With regular events and retreats for Jewish singles on pause, the team behind Camp Neshama, Jewlicious Festival and Relationship Revolution have created a unique global seminar for Jewish singles. Kesher Relationship Seminar launches on July 26, 2020, with leading psychologists and relationship experts from around the world to help Jewish singles. This program, made possible by the generosity of the Alevy Family Foundation and the Mizel Family, offers singles a chance to reboot their approach to dating, relationships, and marriage.

KRS is designed for Marriage minded Jewish singles from around the world. The program will expand singles’ opportunities and help them overcome obstacles they face connecting to love. This unique program includes an interactive live webinar format, break-out session rooms, follow-up dating opportunities, connections with relationship coaches, modern matchmakers and other resources.

KRS features Leonard Carr, a world famous clinical psychologist working in private practice from Johannesburg South Africa, Arnold Bloch a leading expert on the psychobiology of intimacy and relationships, former resident psychologist on the Australian Today Show, Rabbi Yonah and Rebbitzen Rachel Bookstein, foremost spiritual leaders for American Jewish millennials, and other guests to be announced.

Registration starts at only $50.

The Shavuos-at-Home Kit: A Guide to Strengthening our Connection With God with Shavuos Customs, Activities, Learning, and Recipes

There is nothing that we would rather be doing than gathering together at our synagogues and study house for Shavuos. In our little shtetl of Pico, the streets on Shavuos night are overflowing. Jews of all backgrounds and ages walk from shul to shul to study Torah, celebrate the holiday, pray, and socialize. It’s very holy and so beautiful. This year, however, we won’t be able to crowd the streets. There will be no packed rooms to squeeze into for amazing classes. We won’t be able to offer our delicious communal Yom Tov meal under the stars.   

So how do we celebrate Shavuos this year and still be inspired by it? How can we have that amazing uplifting feeling of our whole community gathering to receive the Torah and celebrate in the age of Coronavirus? To fill in for the communal celebrations, we decided to do a small project from our heart to yours, compiling a Shavuos guide to help us all celebrate the holiday on the highest level possible.

One of the big lessons from this corona-time is that we have to work on developing our relationship with God on a personal level. We are all accustomed to connecting with God and Torah communally, and our personal God-connection has atrophied. As a muscle loses its abilities if it’s not utilized, our personal God-connection “muscles” need spiritual Physical Therapy. 

So this year’s Shavuos Guide is designed to help us be inspired and uplifted, and to strengthen our personal God connections. This is a training manual for our souls to be more strongly connected to the Source of all life and to strengthen our faith and devotion to Torah.

We have included background information that outlines the fullness and customs of the holiday. We have provided some creative and traditional Shavuos activities and some of Rebbitzen Rachel’s famous recipes with the stories behind each one. We have also included inspiring Torah, a Community Learning Section a full Prayer and Candle Lighting Guide. Plus some yoga and meditation, poetry, and thought provoking questions.

Print out this guide before Shavuos if you can, and we pray this will help us all strengthen our connections with God.

May the whole world merit the ultimate and complete Redemption quickly in our days!

Good Yom Tov, Chag Sameach  

Rabbi Yonah and Rebbitzen Rachel Bookstein

Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5780

Together With Rabbi Yonah

Join Rabbi Yonah for inspiring conversations every week on his new web series Together With Rabbi Yonah.

People of all backgrounds have been devastated by the pandemic and Together is dedicated to bringing light and healing to our world.

Together on this program we will meet some amazing people, and share advice and insights to help us live better, love better, and save lives.

It’s been a long time since my radio show at Cranbrook high school. Thanks to technology we can spend time together with people all over the world.
In addition to our incredible guests, In addition to our incredible guests, I’ll answer your questions, highlight organizations that are making a difference, and I’ll share a short story to open our hearts. Please watch us on Facebook, or on YouTube.

https://business.facebook.com/rabbiyonahbookstein/

The Ten Minute Seder

Updated for 2020! For those short on time, who want a kosher seder! 

Here is the dilemma. You want to do a proper Seder, but due to the pandemic, some tired kids, or for whatever reason, you need to get the Seder done with efficiently.  It’s not ideal – but it happens. The problem is that we realized is that people end up skipping essential parts of the Seder, because most Hagaddahs will not tell you what you can skip.

With this in mind I created the 10 Minute Haggadah originally in 2012. I have now updated it, and it’s a Kosher seder for those short on time.

This Haggadah is two pages long and you download it and print it out at home, or get it copied. I originally put this Hagaddah together for “Matzachella”, our Shabbat Tent Coachella Seder. 

Everything that MUST be said or done at the Seder is included in The 10 Minute Seder. In addition some favorites are included like Dayeinu. Even if you will use another Haggadah, check out the Ten Minute Seder!

Sell Chametz Online – New Website

Chametz is any food product made from of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or its derivatives. During Passover it’s a mitzvah to get rid of chametz, as it says, “You shall eat nothing leavened, in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread.” (Ex. 12:20

In addition to not eating chametz, or benefiting from chametz on Passover, Jews are also not permitted to OWN any chametz during Passover. 

Sometimes we own chametz we can’t or don’t want to dispose of permanently, i.e. a whiskey collection, warehouse of cookies, or cases of brownie mix. In the 16th century Jewish scholars created a mechanism called “mechirat chametz” to help people follow the laws of Passover, without incurring great financial losses. 

Mechiras Chametz, Chametz Sale, is a binding and legal sale of chametz that can be performed before the holiday to a non-Jew. We promise to buy it back after the holiday. While this seems like a loophole, it’s a real and binding sale, and ensures we celebrate Passover properly! (The sale is a complex legal procedure that you should not try at home.)

Purim Gifts for the Poor- The Biggest Mitzvah

Rabbi Yonah will distribute these funds to needy Jewish families and homeless Jews on Purim

Purim’s 4 Mitvot are to hear the megillah, give tzedakah, have a meal, and give food gifts to friends. The biggest impact you have have, and what Rabbi Yonah calls “The Biggest Mitzvah of Purim” is giving away money. Why? Because we learn from our sages in the Shulchan Aruch that bringing joy to the poor on Purim, is more important than spending money on Purim baskets or fancy meals!

How to do it properly? The tzedakah money has to go to poor Jews and has to be distributed on Purim. Not everyone knows who is poor, and who is Jewish, and has the time and ability to find those in need on the right day.

As a Rabbi who helps a lot people in need, Rabbi Yonah is connected to these poor Jewish families and homeless Jews all year round. And they are counting on him to help them in a big way on Purim. If you donate to our campaign, Rabbi Yonah will distribute the Tzedakah on your behalf to Jews who are in REAL NEED. This money helps them pay off debts, get their cell phone turned on, buy a new pair of shoes for their kids from thrift store. It’s a GIANT mitzvah!

How much tzedakah should you give? A lot. Seriously consider giving 10% of your monthly profits to help poor Jews. You will feel very good and do a lot of good in the world. And you will be repaid by Hashem for your kindness.

As with the other mitzvot of Purim, all Jews, men women and even small children should fulfill this mitzvah.

Kabbalist’s Feast: A Tu B’Shevat Seder

The first Tu B’Shevat Seder was written by an anonymous student of the great Kabbalist of Safed, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (b.1534-d.1572). His fifty-page booklet presented fruits to eat and passages to read from holy sources such as the Torah, Prophets and Writings, and Zohar. The book was arranged like a seder and deeply Kabbalistic. Ever since, the Tu B’Shevat Seder has been handed down through generations, and observed by various communities.

Rabbi Yonah’s Tu B’Shvat Seder is based on a selection of new and old seders, with his own original elements added to the mix. Its order is based both on the order of native species to Israel and the four Kabbalistic worlds. 

The Seder is organized so that anyone can lead their own Seder with friends of families at their own pace. 

Download and Print your copy!

Security in the Community

We are all seriously concerned for the safety and wellbeing of the Jewish community around the United States. While the daily antisemitic violence our brothers and sisters face in the New York area has not reached Los Angeles, we have seen a sharp increase in antisemitic vandalism and incidents of harassment. 

While the LAPD and law enforcement have said they will increase patrols in Jewish areas, they do not have the people power or funds to provide the kind of security measures that are needed. They will respond should, God forbid, something happen. However, we cannot depend on the police to be a constant deterrence in our neighborhoods and in front of our houses of worship.

In NY, NJ CT, governors have increased patrols of synagogues using the state police and private security companies. California doesn’t have a state police. So I called and asked the Cal Guard if they would protect our synagogues. Only a declaration of a state of emergency would permit the California Military Guard be called out to protect synagogues.

Which means that for the moment, protection of Jews and our institutions is up to us.

What are we doing about it? We have to work on deterrence, and not be afraid.

One of the best way to help protect the Jewish community is to create a strong physical and spiritual deterrence.

Community security: It’s critical for every community to protect themselves against those who seek to do us harm. It’s a mitzvah. Pico Shul has several members as part of the community watch called LA Shmira, who patrol the neighborhoods at regular intervals to ensure the safety of the community. We always need support for better equipment and volunteers. You can donate here to help and click here to apply.

Synagogue Security: We need more members of our community to train for our security group. If you want to help fund or get trained please email security @ picoshul.org. 

Spiritual Security: God is the ultimate provider of security. In a future email we will discuss the reasons that we believe that horrible things are allowed to happen. In the meanwhile, your prayers are needed to help keep us safe. Please say Psalm 20, 83, 121, 130, 142 every day and have in mind the safety and security of the Jewish community here and around the world. 

More Love, More Light | 2019 Decade-End Campaign

Bringing Redemption Through Unity

A series of events – to promote unity in the Jewish community 


The Month of Av is greeted with a sense of sadness and mourning. The devastating impact of the destruction of the Second Temple, the Beit HaMikdash, on the 9th of Av, and the subsequent exile of the Jewish people, fundamentally changed the world for the next two thousands years. The root cause of this exile for the Jewish people came about because of divisions between Jews.

It is our intention as we enter Av, to lessen that sense of loss – with a sense of purpose and unity. Unity doesn’t have to mean that we all agree on everything – rather that find common purpose and work together to make our world more Godly, and repair what is broken.

When the Jewish people are united we create spiritual protection of ourselves, and hasten the Redemption. 

We hope that you will be able to join us in bringing more unity to the Jewish world! See below for details!

SCHEDULE OF PROGRAMS

Rosh Chodesh/Weekday Morning Minyan
Friday Morning, Aug. 2, 8:15am at Pico Shul
(9116 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035)
Please join Happy Minyan, Pico Shul and Kahal Chassidim in special Rosh Chodesh Prayers and Hallel led by Yehuda Solomon. 

Shabbat of Jewish Unity
Friday, August 2 – Saturday, August 3

“18 Minute Happy Hour”, Sushi & L’Chaims followed by Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday Evening, Aug. 2, 6:15pm at Happy Minyan
(9218 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035)
Please join Happy Minyan, Pico Shul and The Community Shul’s Shabbat Experience Minyan in Kabbalat Shabbat led by Yehuda Solomon and a D’var Torah by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein.
6:15pm Sushi & L’chaims
6:33pm Mincha
7:00pm Kabbalat Shabbat
7:30pm D’var Torah by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

Musical Mussaf followed by a festive Kiddish Lunch
Saturday, Aug. 3, 11:30am at Pico Shul
(9116 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035)
Please join us for inspiring words from David Sacks, a musical Mussaf led by Yehuda Solomon, followed by a Special Shabbat Kiddush Lunch and even more inspiration from Rabbi Yonah and Rebbetzen Rachel Bookstein!

Sponsored by The Happy Minyan, Pico Shul
Co-Sponsored by JLIC-OU, The Shabbat Experience

Click here to be a sponsor of this program. know other organizations that want to be a part of this – please email rabbi@picoshul.org – Thank you!

Sponsored by Pico Shul, The Happy Minyan, Community Shul’s YP Shabbat Experience 
Co-Sponsored by JLIC-OU

RSVP HERE FOR FACEBOOK UNITY EVENT