Pacific Jewish Center is a unique Torah community, located in the Venice/Santa Monica vicinity of Southern California. Sixty years ago, "The Shul on the Beach" was part of a thriving Miami Beach-type Jewish coastal community. Over time, suburbanization and the introduction of air-conditioning took their toll. The community was down to one shul (this one) and no minyan.
In the late seventies, Rabbi Daniel Lapin and Michael Medved joined together to begin a revitalization campaign which had a tremendously positive affect not just on this Shul, but on literally hundreds of mostly young people seeking to raise the level of their Jewish identity. The Rabbi and Michael merged with a handful of elderly jews who were struggling to get a morning minyan and keep the shul. Shortly after an arrangement was made between the established congregants and the new members, the morning minyan and Shabbos services were humming with young and old voices alike and what threatened to be the extinction of a historic Jewish landmark had a new breath of life blown into it.
Over the past three-plus decades, Pacific Jewish Center has grown into a community with a local core of approximately 50 families and friends, plus hundreds who attend our weekly programming. Membership includes families with children of all ages, elderly couples and singles, young singles and many visitors. Pacific Jewish Center is filled with a warmth and caring which is world reknown. PJC is known as well for its thirst for learning. Last year's renovation project (hopefully) retained the old world charm but added new carpet and paint to the general cleaning up of the Shul. We have also transformed our back dirt parking lot into a beautiful patio garden which now provides a lovely area for Shabbos Kiddushes as well as community Simchas. Continued renovation plans include remodeling the kitchen and upstairs room.
The congregation also owns another property within a few blocks of the heart of the community. The one building on this property serves as a Bais Medrash as well as the PJC office. Seudas Shlishis/ Mincha/Maariv and some Yom Tov services are generally held there.
If you are visiting Southern California for any length of time, we urge you to pay us a visit on Shabbos, at one of our classes, or at the morning minyan. You can always get the latest scheduling updates here online or by calling (310) 392-8749.
Please also check out our list of hotels and kosher restaurants
in the area.
Rabbi Eliyahu Fink received rabbinical ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Maryland.
In addition to serving as Rabbi at PJC, he is a graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He comes from a long line of Rabbis and Jewish Community activists
He attended the Mechina High School of the Ner Israel Rabbinical College and developed a love for learning Torah, questioning Jewish ideas and trying to understand the structure of the Torah lifestyle. Following High School he attended the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway. His (teacher / mentor) became Rabbi Moshe Brown whom he still consults with on a regular basis. After a few years in Far Rockaway,he got married and became a fellow in Kollel Avodas Levi back at Ner Israel. It is there that he studied for Rabbinic Ordination and was ordained in 2005.
He was recruited to work as a Rabbi for the Jewish Awareness Movement on the University of Southern California campus. It was there that he worked especially hard to understand how the Torah system works and began teaching these ideas to whomever was interested. He took about 200 college students on inspiring trips to Israel and New York and maintains many of those relationships to this very day.
Rabbi Fink and his family love Los Angeles and when an opportunity arose in Venice for a part time rabbi he took this his first pulpit position. In addition to his work and religious interests he is a big sports fan, loves technology and social commentary.