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UniSyn 101


University Synagogue is a warm and welcoming Reform Jewish community nestled in Brentwood on historic Sunset Boulevard, neighboring Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Westwood. Where families and friends connect with each other, engage in meaningful prayer, and discover new ways to celebrate our traditions and culture.

Celebrating 75 years and serving over 300 member families, University Synagogue is proud of its longstanding commitment to the Jewish people and the wider community. Led by a friendly, welcoming, and committed clergy and professional staff, University Synagogue is a place to connect, engage, and discover Judaism!

Our Mission

To worship God in accordance with the faith of Judaism;

To cultivate a love and understanding of the Jewish heritage;

To stimulate a sense of kinship within the Jewish community;

To strengthen the bonds of loyalty among Jewish people everywhere;

To help the world acknowledge God's rule by performing acts of righteousness and loving kindness.


The Vision

Building upon the foundations laid by our dedicated clergy, staff, and lay leaders since 1943, University Synagogue in the twenty-first century will be:

A beacon of Torah, a spiritual home, and a loving community, infusing the presence of God into our congregants' daily lives.


A Reform synagogue where ritual rings true - where learning runs deep - where members matter - where compassion counts - and where love and care are real.


A summit of the highest aspects of human life, where from every side we see promise, hope, and meaning.


An oasis of spirituality and healing in the complex world of greater Los Angeles; a sacred site for celebrating Shabbat and Holy Days; and for observing the cycles of life. It will be a sanctuary of the soul that makes Judaism relevant, where the evolving nature of Torah comes alive.

The Road to Spirituality

Realizing University Synagogue’s vision calls for creative collaboration among congregants, rabbis, cantors, faculty and staff - a sacred partnership. This road to synagogue transformation will encompass the following four areas:

We will be a (beit t’filah) - House of Prayer - where worship will be engaging, empowering, innovative and participatory. We will celebrate the wholeness and mission of our synagogue community, the caring links among its members, and the potential of every individual to make a difference in the world. We will continue to be a national leader in the creation of new synagogue music as a cherished way of achieving these goals.

We will be a (beit midrash) - House of Study - where learning for people of all ages will foster positive Jewish identities, thereby building a foundation for lifelong Jewish living. There will be empowerment through learning to make Jewish life our own.

We will learn that through prayer we speak to God and through study God speaks to us. University Synagogue's teaching of Torah in its full meaning will be expressed through its teaching, worship, mitzvot, programming, and commitment to the wider Jewish community, the State of Israel, and the secular community.

We will be a (beit k’neset) - House of Assembly - dedicated to being a place of welcome, wholeness, and inclusiveness for a variety of lifestyles and life situations. In our spiritual home we will provide a sense of belonging and communal support where no one feels alone. In this healing environment, we will come together to share our lives and tell our stories; to celebrate success and lament loss; to know, in sum, our connectedness to others; to glimpse the reality of God and the profundity of spiritual renewal.

Committed to (tikkun olam) - repairing the world, University Synagogue will endeavor to inspire in each and every member a personal responsibility to ameliorate human suffering. Each member will be expected to make an ongoing commitment to one or more aspects of the succession of causes that make us matter in the world beyond ourselves.

Tachis - What We Need

The spiritual renaissance of Jewish life at University Synagogue must be complemented by our environment. Those who come to our facility must feel safe and secure as they take pride in their spiritual home. Just as a mezuzah has an attractive covering for the holy words contained within, our sacred space must have an engaging aesthetic framework designed to bring friends, families and strangers together to perform acts of holiness within.


Our administration must be compassionate, professional and ‘state of the art,’ to allow us to keep in touch with our membership personally.


Our congregation must be large enough to provide comprehensive programs and intimate enough to become the home where we care and are cared for.

"How will we know when we have succeeded? When any Jew, anywhere in the community, can walk into our synagogue and feel at home."

Sat, October 24 2020 6 Cheshvan 5781