Congregation Kol Tefillah -- Santa Cruz, CA
Congregation Kol Tefillah
Closing down synagogue on August 26, 2023 after 30 years
Stay tuned for future developments in terms of other forms of organizational worship
Contact Treasurer at 831-254-7325 if you wish to be on email list
with updates on future religious events hosted
by members of our Congregation
Here is a photo from May 2007 of our Congregation carrying a new Torah
to our location 2 blocks from the beach in Santa Cruz
Congregation Kol Tefillah is lay-led shul on a limited budget. We represent a model of how Conservative synagogues can exist outside of big cities. We have a plan to increase our membership long term. But we need help from Family Foundations and Donor Advised Funds in the short run. Please contact our Treasurer Larry Abrams at 831-254-7325 to learn more about our efforts to keep Conservative Judaism alive on the Central Coast of California.
Attention Visitors to Santa Cruz, California
Kol Tefillah can be your "destination" shul. Join us for a full Torah Service followed by a Kiddush lunch. Plus you can be be shomer shabbos by staying at any number of motels nearby.
Ocean Pacific Lodge, 301 Pacific Avenue, 831-457-1234, < $200/night on weekends, all of 2 minute walk to the shul and 5 minute walk to the wharf. https://www.theoceanpacificlodge.com/\
Walk along West Cliff past Dream Inn, Lighthouse, surfers at Steamer Lane.
After Shabbos: all within walking distance of shul
Vegan restaurants, live Jazz at Kuumbwa, G-League basketball, bowling, or video game arcade at the Boardwalk
Malabar Restaurant, 514 Front Street, Asian fusion, 12-2:30 PM, 5-9:30 PM
Veg on the Edge, in Abbot Square, 725 Front Street, 12-8PM
Cafe Gratitude, 103 Lincoln Street, 11 AM - 9 PM
Outdoor Dining Food Court
Abbott Square - 725 Front Street https://abbottsquaremarket.com/
Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk https://beachboardwalk.com/hours/
Saturday Sunday Hours: Rides 12PM -5PM Arcade 10AM - 10PM
Boardwalk Bowling https://boardwalkbowl.com/ Coasters Bar and Grill
Create your own Big Lebowski shomer shabbos meme, be The Dude, have a White Russian
115 Cliff Street, across from Boardwalk, Daily 9AM-12AM
Kuumbwa Jazz Club https://www.kuumbwajazz.org/
G-League basketball https://santacruz.gleague.nba.com
Trader Joe’s, 700 Front Street, Downtown SC, Open every day 8 AM - 9 PM
Healthy Grocery Stores
New Leaf Community Market, 1101 Fair St (Westside SC) and 1134 Pacific Ave. (Downtown SC) Open every day 8 AM - 9 PM
Stagnaro Brothers Seafood (59 Municipal Wharf) -- a short walk from the Shul
Steamer Lane surfing, Santa Cruz Beach, and Boardwalk are a 10 minute walk from the shul
Be shomer shabbos at Kol Tefillah...then roll Saturday night
Being shomer shabbos has become hip. First, it was the famous scene in the 1988 movie The Big Lebowski where Walter Sobchak passionately defended his need to be shomer shabbos. People speculate that he was suffering from PTSD from serving in Viet Nam and found being shomer shabbos healing.
So, when informed that his bowling team game had been moved to a Saturday, he was adamant that
"I'm shomer shabbos! I don't ***** roll on shabbos"
In the past two years, there has been a growing awareness of burnout from always being "connected" to one's smart phone with its flood of emails and social media posts.
There is a growing number of pundits advising to "disconnect" for a day and to focus on both going deep -- soul searching -- and going high -- reading "big picture" books.
Torah study offers both.
A great example of the trend toward "a day a week to disconnect" is a recent blog post by Erik Torenberg, a venture capitalist based in San Francisco. He advises, "spend one or two Saturday's a month in device free solitude".
Go "solo" he says. Explore your "inner Thoreau" "Solitude begets solidarity"
With its location about a 10 minute walk from the Santa Cruz beach and boardwalk, Congregation Kol Tefillah offers a world class experience to "spend a whole day away from devices", to pray and reflect.
After shul, walk along the ocean, and then when the sun sets, do Havdalah and sing "Eliyahu Hanavi"
Then walk down to the Boardwalk Bowling Alley, be the Big Lebowski dude, roll and have a White Russian, and, with a h/t to Hashem, just celebrate being alive.