Pacific Jewish Center
|Pacific Jewish Center|
The Pacific Jewish Center on the Venice Boardwalk
|Location||505 Ocean Front Walk, Venice|
|Heritage designation||City landmark|
|Leadership||Rabbi Eliyahu Fink|
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. The Shul remains the last of the synagogues built in Venice during the first part of the 20th century. Although an Orthodox synagogue, 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.
Pacific Jewish Center was established as Bay Cities Synagogue in the 1940s. The congregation was one of several synagogues established in Venice Beach in the 1920s (two others also on the Venice boardwalk). All except this one had disappeared by the late 1960s. The membership had gradually dwindled until there was hardly a minyan available. However in the 1970s a group of young, Orthodox Jews led by Michael Medved, David Horowitz, and Rabbi Daniel Lapin re-established the community and it soon became the nexus of Orthodox outreach in Los Angeles for the next decade. Lapin was the unpaid rabbi of the congregation from 1976 to 1991.
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. The California Coastal Commission conditionally approved the project in late 2006.
- Jennifer Steinhauer (July 20, 2008), "At the Intersection of Synagogue and Boardwalk, a Feud", The New York Times, retrieved 2012-11-02
- Rebecca Spence (September 26, 2007), "Prayer Shawls, Flip-Flops Mingle at 'Shul on the Beach'", The Forward, retrieved 2012-11-02
- Religion and Prime Time Television By Michael Suman, UCLA Center for Communication Policy, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997, p. 116
- 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,..."
- Fink, Eliyahu. "Fink Or Swim". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Venice Community Plan, City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, September 29, 2000 (adopted), p. A-2, retrieved 2012-11-02
- Gaby Wenig (July 3, 2003), "New Rabbi Hopes More Families Enjoy Sun, Surf, Shabbat at PJC", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
- Religious Leaders and Faith-based Politics: Ten Profiles, By Jo Renee Formicola, Hubert Morken, Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, p. 98
- The Barbra Streisand Scrapbook, By Allison J. Waldman, Citadel Press, 2001, p. 26
- Rachael Myrow (November 4, 2006), A Kosher Beach That's Not for the Birds, National Public Radio
- Tom Tugend (November 22, 2006), "Carry On! Venice community gets an eruv approved", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles