Rabbi Yonah Bookstein
Deanna and Allen Alevy Family Rabbi in Community Outreach, Senior Rabbi Beth El Synagogue
Rabbi Yonah, co-founder Pico Shul, is Alevy Family Rabbi in Community Outreach and Director of Shabbat Tent. Rabbi Yonah has worked with Jewish communities across the globe inspiring a rebirth in Jewish communal life. He was Director of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland 1998-2001 which culminated ten years of dedication to the rebirth of Polish Jewry. Later he served as campus rabbi at Long Beach State and UC Irvine and then running JConnect & Jewlicious in Los Angeles. The Forward has called Rabbi Yonah one of the “game changers” in American Jewish Life. He was named a Jewish Community Hero by the Jewish Federations of North America, and one of the Top Ten Jews in Social Media by NJOP. Rabbi Yonah is the most followed congregational rabbi world-wide on Twitter and blogs regularly on HuffingtonPost and Jewish Journal. Rabbi Yonah is a graduate of Ohr Somayach Monsey, Oxford University, Jagiellonian University, and The University of Oregon.
Rebbitzen Rachel Bookstein
Co-Founder and Director
Rachel Bookstein, Co-Founder Pico Shul, is past Executive Director of Long Beach Hillel, considered one of the most innovative Hillel’s in America. Rachel is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, and completed her MA in Jewish studies at Oxford University. She served as Director of Community Development in Poland, for The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation from 1998-2001. In Poland, Rachel inspired and educated a new generation of Polish Jewry. Together with her husband Yonah, she founded the Warsaw Jewish Book Fair in 1998, now one of Poland’s largest cultural festivals, and a dozen other programs in Poland, England, and California. Rachel’s dedication to providing educational opportunities, and empowering women in former communist Eastern Europe, made her a leading Jewish figure in Polish Jewish rebirth. In addition to Pico Shul, Rebbitzen Rachel is program director for Shabbat Tent.