Valley Beth Shalom
|Valley Beth Shalom|
|Location||15739 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, Los Angeles, California|
|Leadership||Rabbi Ed Feinstein|
Valley Beth Shalom (informally called VBS) is a Conservative synagogue in Encino, Los Angeles, California. With approximately 1,500 member families it is one of the largest synagogues in Los Angeles and one of the largest Conservative synagogues in the United States. Newsweek includes it on its list of America's 25 Most Vibrant Congregations, saying "Valley Beth Shalom continues to be one of America's most relevant and community-minded synagogues".
Philosophy & Mission
Valley Beth Shalom is a synagogue community committed to the quest for a Jewish life that is Godly, meaningful, and purposeful.
The synagogue and its schools provide educational and learning opportunities for all ages. Ranging from the College of Jewish Studies offering college level adult Jewish Learning, to weekly Shabbat morning Torah Study and Lunch and Learn lectures with Rabbi Ed Feinstein, VBS has something to offer for those adults wishing to learn more about themselves and their faith. VBS offers educational programs for children ranging from birth to grade 6. The Early Childhood Center focuses on nurturing children from birth to age 5. The Etz Chaim Learning Center provides supplemental Hebrew schooling for students looking to learn more about their religious heritage. The Valley Beth Shalom Harold M. Schulweis Day School, a member of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association, is a full-time school providing educational opportunities for students grades K-6. OurSpace, a joint program with Temple Aliyah, provides Jewish experiences for children, teens and adults with special needs. In addition to the schools, the VBS Youth Department (USY) provides educational, spiritual, religious and social opportunities and activities for its members and the community. VBS's chapter of United Synagogue Youth is a member of the Far West Region of USY, which is part of the Pacific Southwest Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
The clergy include Senior Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Rabbi Joshua Hoffman, Rabbi Noah Farkas, Rabbi Avi Taff, Cantor Herschel Fox, and Cantor Phil Baron. Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, arguably one of the most influential and renowned rabbis of his generation, was rabbi for many decades as well, serving in this capacity until his death in 2014.
On Yom Ha'atzmaut 2003, a Molotov cocktail was thrown through one of the synagogue's stained-glass windows. Mayor James K. Hahn said, These are acts of terrorism, they're acts of hatred, and they tear at the very fabric of our community,"
- Valley Beth Shalom website
- VBS Harold M. Schulweis Day School
- Etz Chaim Hebrew School
- Valley Beth Shalom USY
- Schulweis Institute
- Jewish World Watch
- nathaniel Popper, http://www.forward.com/articles/next-generation-of-pulpit-rabbis-shakes-up-la/ Next Generation Of Pulpit Rabbis Shakes Up L.A., The Jewish Daily Forward, September 23, 2005, accessed April 17, 2007.
- Newsweek (April 4, 2009). "America's 25 Most Vibrant Congregations". Retrieved April 5, 2009.
- Cruising the Boulevard, Los Angeles Conservancy
- The Top 50 Rabbis in America Newsweek, April 2, 2007, accessed April 17, 2007
- GLOBALISM AND JUDAISMRabbi Harold M. Schulweis, Rosh Hashanah 2004, accessed April 17, 2007
- Courage and Innovation Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 1, 2005, accessed April 17, 2007
- 4 California Fires Are Called Hate Crimes, Thursday, May 8, 2003, New York Times