Bringing Jewish Joy to the world’s coolest film festival

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.”

You can read the whole article here.


Shabbat with Pico Shul

At Pico Shul, we strive to make Shabbat services as meaningful, enjoyable, and welcoming as possible. For many who are turned-off from synagogues, or have not found a spiritual home, Pico Shul provides an alternative space for personal spiritual exploration.

Begin your Shabbat morning with coffee, tea and cake and Torah learning with Rabbi Yonah’s class. Enjoy our user-friendly morning services at 9:45am starting with Brachot, the Morning Blessings.

Every week you can learn powerful life lessons and inspiration from Rabbi Yonah’s sermon at Noon.

After services enjoy a homemade delicious kiddush lunch, make a l’chaim and mingle with great people.

We have a running commentary in English so you always know where you are in the siddur.

No previous Shabbat Morning experience is necessary, all prayer books are in Hebrew and English, and our non-judgmental atmosphere means that you can come as you are!

Pico Shul Shabbat programming is as enjoyable for the experienced and inexperienced alike!

* No prior Shabbat Morning experience necessary
* Traditionally inspired services with separate seating
* All levels and backgrounds welcome
* Hebrew reading skills not required