The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles featured an inspiring cover-story about Shabbat Lounge, featuring profiles and interviews with Rabbi Yonah and Rebbitzen Rachel:
People of all backgrounds — Jewish and non-Jewish — showed up to celebrate Shabbat and Havdallah, enjoy free food and an open bar, dance to Jewish music and find temporary respite from the intensity of the festival.
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein served as the welcoming face of the operation. Bookstein is the spiritual leader of L.A.’s Pico Shul and the organizer of Shabbat Tent, a program that holds Shabbat gatherings at music festivals and other events. On Friday evening, he led a Shabbat dinner for 85 attendees, with a kosher menu that included pesto salmon, beef ribs, challah, hummus, Israeli salad, Moscato wine and more.
“Sundance sameach,” Bookstein said, greeting the eclectic array of people seated at two long tables in the brewery. He had to shout to be heard over the cacophony of chatter from patrons on the bar’s first floor. “Enjoy yourselves. Make friends. Mingle. Go to the bar. Have a beer.”
The message of Shabbat is we need to take time during the week to focus on something higher than ourselves,” he said in an interview. “In the fast and furious world we live in, Shabbat resonates with people.”