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Reaching Out to Invite You In

Our History

Thoughts by Founding Music Director, Jack Bielan

Valley Outreach Synagogue and Center for Jewish Life is an iconic congregation founded in 1986 with a unique mission among Los Angeles Jewish institutions. It was to open a wide and welcoming door to Jewish life. . .a loving, holy space where anyone, regardless of prior experience, knowledge, orientation or ability to pay, could feel equal and safe to worship, defining and rediscovering their Jewish identity and their personal relationship with God.

For more than thirty years we were a synagogue without a building, fulfilling the dream of founding rabbis Richard Schachet, of blessed memory, Jerry Fisher, of blessed memory, and myself, to celebrate family and community, individual growth and contribution, creativity, inclusion, and to offer an impassioned blend of outreach, tradition and innovation. We were the first congregation to hold an annual 12-Step Gratitude Meeting at the Yom Kippur break, the first L.A. synagogue to host Shabbat services with gospel music, and the first L.A. congregation at which a woman chanted "Kol Nidre." Along the way we donated thousands of pounds of food to local women's shelters and food pantries, created a revolutionary home-based Jewish education program (JEWELS) which is now being adopted by synagogues throughout the country, sent a quarter-million rations to U.S. troops overseas, implemented dozens of programs for the betterment of our community and raised funds for new ambulances to be sent to Israel.

Under the blessed leadership of Rabbi Ron Li-Paz, Rebbetzin Bronwen Li-Paz and Cantor Li-Paz, we now meet in our very own beautiful Center For Jewish Life in Calabasas, where we continue to fulfill and enlarge upon the founders’ vision with the same passion and love as in 1986.

1986 LA Times article: "Rosh Hashanah to Put Maverick Rabbi to the Test"

2017 Jewish Journal article: "Valley Outreach Synagogue Home at Last"

 

                             VOS Founders

Rabbi Richard Schachet (z'l)                        Steve Garelick

Rabbi Jerry Fisher (z'l)                                    Susi & Stan Taub & Family

Musical Director Jack Bielan                        Rose Horkin (z"l)

Cantor Joel Siegal                                              Debbie DuVal

Sheri Montrose                                                   Janis & Bob Andres

Bob Farnum (z"l)                                               Phyllis Italianer (z"l)

Sheri Dubin-Albala                                           Alex & Rose Abramson

Ruth (z"l) & Bernie (z"l) Saul                      Toby (z"l) & Laura Kaplan

Steve Herman                                                     Don (z"l) & Mickey Bilsky & Family

Lydia Saxton-Cox                                             Mary Frank

Adrienne (z"l) & Milt (z"l) Morris            Sedwyn (z"l) & Sanford (z"l) Glick 

Mon, May 27 2024 19 Iyyar 5784