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  • Shayna S.

Rabbi, Rebbetzin’s Ed Platform Steers Jewish Young Adults to Meaningful Relationships

Launched During COVID, Kesher.Info Is a “TED” For Relationship Education is a new online education platform designed for Jews of all backgrounds, taking its name from the Hebrew word for “connection,” and aims to provide the tools people need to jumpstart or improve their love lives.

When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein, like other Jewish community leaders, were forced to find new ways of reaching their target audiences; for the Booksteins that meant stuck-at-home, isolated young adults who continued to seek spiritual experiences along with meaningful, healthy relationships and marriages.

Enter the Kesher Institute, ( the next chapter in the husband-and-wife’s far-reaching community engagement efforts.

“Jewish singles were already struggling to connect and marriage rates have been plummeting,” said Rachel Bookstein, Kesher Institute co-founder. “COVID made a bad situation even worse.”

While the coronavirus surely changed courtship – is there anything tougher than trying to feel out the vibe with someone over Zoom drinks? – what has not changed is people’s appetite for informed guidance as they venture out into the intimidating dating scene, or look for ways to improve their relationships.

“Many wonderful Jewish singles who want to marry and start families are stuck in self-defeating relationship cycles, dating the wrong people, and giving up,” said Rabbi Yonah Bookstein. “Thanks to technology, we are able to offer this program worldwide and help transform loneliness into love, and heartbreak into happiness.”

Kesher launched a series of online seminars in August 2020 thanks to underwriting from Long Beach philanthropists Deanna and Allen Alevy, and with support from the Mizel Family, Barak Raviv Foundation, and David and Monica Schwartz.

In May 2021, launched, featuring streaming classes with bestselling relationship experts, including author Nancy Lee (“Don’t Sleep With Him Yet”), speaker Daniella Bloom, noted psychotherapist Arnold Bloch, South African clinical psychologist Leonard Carr, panels with leading Jewish matchmakers, and Gottman Therapist and Master Trainer Stacy Hubbard. Featured speakers have also included 5 Love Languages author Dr. Gary Chapman and Kosher Sex author Shmuley Boteach.

“Kesher is literally a project of love for us,” the Booksteins said. “We are doing it for the Jewish community, to create happy and loving relationships, for the naches that these relationships create, and for future generations.”

Kesher Institute also offers:

  • Live global seminars with classes, group-work, and panels with experts

  • A matchmaking network for growth-oriented singles

  • Curated events and exclusive retreats

  • One-on-one coaching, personalized guidance

Class with South African celerity psychologist Leonard Carr is one of the many featured classes on Kesher Institute.

Kesher also recently launched monthly group sessions for married couples called “Harmony in the Home,” helping married couples build stronger, healthier relationships.

“Over the past quarter-century, Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein have developed an unparalleled reputation in the Los Angeles Jewish community and beyond, bringing together young adults at music and film festivals, the Alevy Pico Shul, and retreats, among other programs,” said Shayna Sorrentino, Kesher Institute’s program director. “Kesher Institute brings the Bookstein’s passion for Jewish continuity and creative programming to a national and global audience.”

Kesher Institute is dedicated to creating loving and healthy relationships. Kesher Institute is a division of Alevy Pico Shul Learning Center. For more information about the Kesher Institute, visit Rachel Bookstein is the Director of Pico Shul and Rabbi Yonah Bookstein is the Alevy Family Rabbi in Community Outreach at Pico Shul.

Press Release may be printed in whole or part crediting author Ryan Torok


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