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History

On a rainy day in January 1976, five individuals gathered to plan a new Modern Orthodox Minyan for the Beverly Hills-Beverlywood sections of Los Angeles. This Minyan would be dedicated to the observance of Jewish Law while participating in and contributing to secular society, and committed to the philosophy of Religious Zionism. By Purim 1976, the Shul was a reality. Initially called Ohavei Israel, the founding members envisioned a synagogue where all ages would participate in the services and activities.

For the first two years, the congregation met every Shabbat in the rented community room of the Ramada Beverly Hills Hotel on Beverly Drive. It was not long before the Shul acquired the unofficial name, “The Ramada Minyan”. In October 1978, Congregation Ohavei Israel had outgrown its temporary facilities at the hotel. A storefront across from the hotel was rented, and now the “Ramada Minyan” was on the move. A daily Minyan was formed, and a part-time Rabbi, Kenneth Cohen, was engaged as the rabbi. The Minyan continued to grow, and even a Shabbat morning “Hashkama Minyan” was formed.

In 1982, the synagogue joined the National Council of Young Israel and officially changed its name to Young Israel of Century City. With its new identity, the Shul was ready for its next big development. After months of searching, a building was procured on Pico Boulevard, and by Rosh Hashanah 1982, the Young Israel of Century City had settled into its present location. In January 1986, with about fifty families associated with the Shul, YICC elected its first full-time Rabbi, Elazar Muskin. Rabbi Muskin hailed from Cleveland, Ohio and prior to moving to Los Angeles, served as rabbi for five years at the Mt. Sinai Jewish Center in New York. Upon Rabbi Muskin’s arrival, the synagogue entered a new phase of growth. Within a short time, the membership doubled, and today we are the second largest orthodox synagogue in Los Angeles.

In 1996 our Shul began its first building expansion, adding four thousand more square feet which allowed us to build the Teichman Youth Wing.  In the winter of 2009-2010 our Shul purchased the land immediately adjacent to our building. This purchase allowed us to transform our Shul from a nine thousand square foot campus to over a twenty-one thousand square foot building housing the Schlesinger Sanctuary, Kornwasser Family building, Mintz Beit Midrash/Social Hall, Teichman Youth Wing, and the Nagel Family Library Wing.  The new building was opened on December 1, 2017 and today serves as a magnificent Torah center in Los Angeles.

In August 2006, with our continued growth, the Shul appointed its first Assistant Rabbi, Jason Weiner. Rabbi Weiner served as the Assistant Rabbi for three years before assuming the head of spiritual care at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.  From August 2010-2014 Rabbi Zev Goldberg served as our Assistant Rabbi, before becoming rabbi at the Young Israel of Fort Lee, NJ. From August 2015-2017 Rabbi Joshua Maslow became our third Assistant Rabbi before joining the staff at Link Kollel.  In September 2017, our Shul appointed its first Associate Rabbi, Rabbi James Proops.  Prior to joining us Rabbi Proops served as Assistant Rabbi at the Mill Hill Congregation in the United Kingdom.  With the opening of our new Shul building, we also appointed Rabbi Dr. Zev Wiener as our first Resident Maggid Shiur and Rabbi David Mahler to lead our Library Minyan every Shabbat morning.

Among our accomplishments are: National Award for Synagogue Programming from the Union of Orthodox Congregations, in recognition of our outstanding annual Program Calendar; the O-U’s Tikun Olam Award for our Chesed Programs; the O-U’s Chovivei Tzion Award for leading solidarity missions to Israel. Our Shul has been a leading congregation in innovative programs and community services. In 2000 our Shul was among the first synagogues to lead a mission to AIPAC’s Policy Conference and helped establish AIPAC’s very successful Synagogue Initiative.  We created the famous semi-annual Myra Vorhand, Z”L Yom Limud L’Nashim, Annual Community Symposiums, Summer Ethics Lecture Series, Scholar-In-Residence Weekends, and our weekly Tomchei Shabbos Delivery Program.  Our Youth Program is one of the leading youth programs in the country, attracting over 100 children each Shabbat and offering special weekday programs as well.

Although we take pride in our numerous achievements we never rest on our laurels. We are constantly creating innovative programming, while our rabbis create personal relationships with each of our members. Our tag line is “Where Community Happens,” and at Young Israel of Century City our concern is in strengthening the Jewish community locally, nationally and internationally.  

 

Wed, April 25 2018 10 Iyyar 5778