Yonah Bookstein, the Deanna and Allen Alevy Rabbi at Pico Shul, is a unique 21st century spiritual motivator, teacher, community builder and activist, who inspires passion for Jewish life to Jews from all backgrounds, 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. He was a disciple of the late Chassidic leader Rabbi Chaskel Besser ZZ”L and a student of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach ZZ”L. He served as campus rabbi at Long Beach State and UC Irvine inspiring a renaissance for Jewish life on those campuses in the face of great anti-Israel hostility (2004-2009), and helped USC Hillel as a rabbinic fellow (2014-2016). Rabbi Yonah has worked with Jewish communities in the US, England, and Europe inspiring a rebirth in Jewish communal life. As Director of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland, he was part of rebuilding the Jewish community during the 1990’s. Rabbi Yonah is 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. Rabbi Yonah lives in Los Angeles with his wife Rachel, Co-Founder of Pico Shul and their four children.

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9 thoughts on “About

  1. Eric, Ami & Pinchas Feinstein

    We are huge Rabbi YO fans! We can’t thank you enough for always being available to answer our millions of questions – wished we lived closer and could see the whole Bookstein clan more often — Mazel Tov on the newest addition… we can’t wait to meet him!

  2. Tech-Geek Rabbi Yo has to be one of my best pals out there. Not only can we geek out about the latest gizmos, but he continues to be a guiding figure for my spiritual development. Thanks Yo.

  3. Rabbi Jimmy Kessler

    Hi Rabbi Bookstein:
    gut shabas – I am emailing before Shabbat as I think you and I have a mutual rav – Hanan Sills.
    If you are the Rabbi Bookstein he speaks of, please email me after Shabbat, I’d like to visit a bit.
    Shabbat Shalom,
    jimmy kessler
    galveston, texas

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  5. Teri Stratford

    I am gathering photographs for a college textbook titled GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE 23e by Magleby for Prentice-Hall publishers. My author would like to include your photo of the sign at Irvine saying “Caution, Hate Speech Zone Ahead”. Do you have a hi res 300 dpi 5×7 size jpg of this photo and may we have permission to use it in our textbook? Need ASAP. We can pay a fee of $200 and give you a photo credit line in the book.
    Thank you,

  6. How do you feel about Sarah Palin quoting a prominent anti-Semite, Westbrook Pegler in her convention acceptance speech?

    Also her Church pastor has hosted Jews for Jesus leader on more than one occasion.

    As a Jew, this gives me pause way more than Jeremiah Wright ranting about Hurricane Katrina and racism.

  7. Hey Rabi Bookstein,

    I finally tracked you down. Just viewed a video of you during the Jewlicious festival. Great seeing your larger than life smile and Bookstein love. Sounds like you are doing incredibly well. Would be amazing to reconnect one day soon. I am living in Florida with my wife a two beautiful girls.

    Want to here more about what you are doing.

    Sending you lost of nachas.

    Josh Reich

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