Pico Shul was planted in Pico Robertson, Los Angeles, on Rosh Hashanah 2013 by Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein together with a group of idealistic young adults to create a purposeful, welcoming Jewish community for Jews in their 20s and 30s.
The community quickly grew to nearly 300 members in a matter of weeks, because thousands of millennial Jews in Los Angeles need a spiritual home between college and when they settle down and have families.
Jewish institutions have grown-up over the last decades to serve families, and as Jewish young adults are marrying and starting families later in life, they have trouble finding community.
For example, Pico Shul tried using synagogue management software, but realized that these systems are organized around family life, they don’t have a way to track singles.
Pico Shul’s direct history begins in 2009, when the Bookstein’s moved to Los Angeles to organize young adult programming for JConnectLA. Founded in 2005 by Cheston and Lara Mizel, JConnect filled a need organizing programs, classes, and High Holiday services for Jewish 20s and 30s unaffiliated with synagogues and other groups.
The quick growth signaled that Pico Shul tapped a well of unaffiliated, but identified Jews with a strong need for community among 20s and 30s.
Pico Shul is very grateful to our sponsors that keeps this project going, with special thanks to the Alevy Family, without whose help we could not provide Pico Shul for the community.
As Pico Shul moves into a new phase during and after the COVID pandemic, we are becoming a synagogue and community without walls, able to reach further into Los Angeles and Beyond!