Pacific Jewish Center

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Pacific Jewish Center
PJC new paint.JPG
The Pacific Jewish Center on the Venice Boardwalk
Basic information
Location 505 Ocean Front Walk, Venice
Geographic coordinates 33°59′35″N 118°28′44″W / 33.993°N 118.479°W / 33.993; -118.479Coordinates: 33°59′35″N 118°28′44″W / 33.993°N 118.479°W / 33.993; -118.479
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
State California
Municipality Los Angeles
Status active
Heritage designation City landmark
Leadership Rabbi Eliyahu Fink
Website pjcenter.com
Architectural description
Completed 1925

The Pacific Jewish Center, also known as The Shul on the Beach or PJC, is a synagogue in Venice, Los Angeles, California, known for its outreach to unaffiliated and disconnected Jews.[1][2] The Shul remains the last of the synagogues built in Venice during the first part of the 20th century. Although an Orthodox synagogue,[3] due to its location in an eclectic neighborhood worshippers who identify themselves as many different denominations are all welcomed when attending services and other events. The current Rabbi is Eliyahu Fink, who attended Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore and is known in the Jewish blogosphere for his blog, Fink or Swim.[4]

The 1925 building, originally a power station, was identified as a City of Los Angeles landmark.[5]

History[edit]

Pacific Jewish Center was established as Bay Cities Synagogue in the 1940s.[6] The congregation was one of several synagogues established in Venice Beach in the 1920s (two others also on the Venice boardwalk).[6] All except this one had disappeared by the late 1960s. The membership had gradually dwindled until there was hardly a minyan available. However in 1977, a group of young, Orthodox Jews led by Michael Medved, and Rabbi Daniel Lapin re-established the community and it soon became the nexus of Orthodox outreach in Los Angeles for the next decade.[7] Lapin was the unpaid rabbi of the congregation from 1978 to 1992.[8]

The Bar Mitzvah of Jason Gould, son of Barbra Streisand and Elliott Gould, was held at the shul.[9]

Controversy[edit]

An attempt led by the Pacific Jewish Center to construct an eruv in the Venice Beach neighborhood met with opposition from the Sierra Club and others concerned with impacts to birds or disruption to esthetics of the beach.[10] The California Coastal Commission conditionally approved the project in late 2006.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rebecca Spence (September 26, 2007), "Prayer Shawls, Flip-Flops Mingle at 'Shul on the Beach'", The Forward, retrieved 2012-11-02 
  2. ^ Religion and Prime Time Television By Michael Suman, UCLA Center for Communication Policy, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997, p. 116
  3. ^ Wade Clark Roof (ed.), Religious pluralism and civil society, Volume 612 of Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Sage Publications, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4129-5987-2, p. 144. "... the Pacific Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue in Venice Beach,..."
  4. ^ Fink, Eliyahu. "Fink Or Swim". Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Venice Community Plan, City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, September 29, 2000 (adopted), p. A-2, retrieved 2012-11-02  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ a b Gaby Wenig (July 3, 2003), "New Rabbi Hopes More Families Enjoy Sun, Surf, Shabbat at PJC", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles 
  7. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (July 20, 2008), "At the Intersection of Synagogue and Boardwalk, a Feud", The New York Times, retrieved 2012-11-02 
  8. ^ Religious Leaders and Faith-based Politics: Ten Profiles, By Jo Renee Formicola, Hubert Morken, Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, p. 98
  9. ^ The Barbra Streisand Scrapbook, By Allison J. Waldman, Citadel Press, 2001, p. 26
  10. ^ Rachael Myrow (November 4, 2006), A Kosher Beach That's Not for the Birds, National Public Radio 
  11. ^ Tom Tugend (November 22, 2006), "Carry On! Venice community gets an eruv approved", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles 

External links[edit]