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. When informed that his bowling team tournament 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 and the 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 doing deep -- soul searching -- and high -- reading "big picture" books

A great example of this 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" Explore your "inner Thoreau" "Solitude begets solidarity"

With it location 15 minutes from the Santa Cruz beach and boardwalk, Congregation Kol Tefillah offers a world class place to "spend a whole day away from devices", pray, reflect, walk along the ocean, and then when the sun sets, do Havdalah, then walk down the The Boardwalk Bowling Alley, and be the Big Lebowski dude, roll and have a White Russian celebrating just being alive nothing more, nothing less.

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.\

Pacific Blue Inn, 636 Pacific Avenue, 831-600-8880 “a green hotel” <$200/night weekends mid-way between shul/ocean and downtown Santa Cruz, both 15 minute either way

Santa Cruz Hostel 315-321 Main Street, Beach Hill, 831-423-8304, 15 minute walk to shul or downtown, 5 minute walk to boardwalk, 1880s cottages, shared bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, private rooms with bunk beds for 3 $140/night; shared dorm rooms with bunk beds for 6 - $50 per night per person; Requires cleaning up common rooms after use, stripping bed and bringing down to laundry, etc.

After Shul:

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

Vegan Restaurants

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

Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk

Saturday Sunday Hours: Rides 12PM -5PM Arcade 10AM - 10PM

Boardwalk Bowling

create your own Big Lebowski shomer shabbos meme

115 Cliff Street, across from Boardwalk, Daily 9AM-12AM


Kuumbwa Jazz Club

G-League basketball

Kosher Meats

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

Fresh Fish

Stagnaro Brothers Seafood (59 Municipal Wharf) -- a short walk from the Shul