About the Rabbi who brought Shabbat to Coachella and helped revive Jewish life in Poland.

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein is today the co-founder of the Pico Shul Alevy Learning Center and Shabbat Tent. He is unique spiritual leader committed to making a more caring, safe, and united community.

The Forward has called him one of the “game changers” in American Jewish Life. He was named a Jewish Community Hero by the Jewish Federations of North America. NJOP named him one of the Top Ten Jews in Social Media. He was a disciple of the late Chassidic leader Rabbi Chaskel Besser ZZ”L and a student of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach ZZ”L. He has helped inspire a rebirth Jewish communal life worked not only in the US, but in England, and Europe.

On Campus With Jewish Students

Rabbi Yonah served as campus rabbi at Long Beach State and UC Irvine during anti-Israel turmoil. He helped inspire a renaissance for Jewish life on those campuses from 2004-2009. He helped USC Hillel as a rabbinic fellow from 2014-2016, supporting Jewish students and teaching weekly classes. During those years he co-founded Jewlicious Festival with his wife, and together with their partners, hosted 13 festivals in 10 years for over 7,000 young Jews.

Rebirth of Polish Jewry

As Director of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland, Rabbi Yonah was part of rebuilding the Jewish community during the 1990’s. He helped establish adult learning programs Warsaw such as the Moses Shore Center, and started the Warsaw Jewish Book Fair, the first Jewish Book Fair in Poland since World War Two.

He is also an accomplished scholar with degrees from Ohr Somayach Yeshiva, Oxford University, the University of Oregon, and a former Fulbright Fellow at Jagillonian University in Krakow, Poland.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Rachel, Co-Founder of Pico Shul and their four children.