Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein have been working together building community for the past 18 years from Oxford to Jerusalem to Warsaw to Long Beach and now Los Angeles.
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, 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.
Rabbi Yonah, co-founder of Pico Shul, and Rabbi in Residence at USC Hillel, has worked with Jewish communities across the globe inspiring a rebirth in Jewish communal life. He holds Masters Degree in Jewish Studies from Oxford University and completed a Fulbright Fellowship on post-war, Polish-Jewish relations at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. During the 1990’s as director of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland, he spearheaded efforts at Jewish community renewal. 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 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.