Valley Beth Shalom
Valley Beth Shalom (informally called VBS) is a Conservative Synagogue in Encino, Los Angeles, California. With over 1,800 member families it is one of the largest synagogues in Los Angeles and one of the largest Conservative synagogues in the United States. Newsweek includes it on its list of America’s 25 Most Vibrant Congregations, saying "Valley Beth Shalom continues to be one of America's most relevant and community-minded synagogues". The synagogue and its schools provide education for all ages. The Harold M. Schulweis Day School, a member of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association, has over 250 students. Etz Chaim Hebrew School is also headquartered at the synagogue. VBS is a member of the Far West Region of United Synagogue Youth. The clergy include Senior Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, arguably one of the most influential and renowned rabbis of his generation , Rabbi Joshua Hoffman, Rabbi Noah Farkas, Rabbi Paul Steinberg, Cantor Herschel Fox, and Cantor Phil Baron. The synagogue has launched a number of programs including the Jewish World Watch , an NGO, is a prominent founding member of the Havurah movement , and has popular adult education programs. Valley Beth Shalom's chapter of United Synagogue Youth is a member of the Far West Region of USY, which is part of the Pacific Southwest Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. VBS USY provides educational, spiritual, religious and social opportunities and activities for its members and the community. V.B.S. United Synagogue Youth is the official teenage youth group of Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue. VBS USY actually consists of seven groups - Bonim - Grades K and 1, Machar - Grades 2 and 3, Kadima, which is for children in the 4th - 6th grades, Junior USY for teenagers in the 7th - 8th grades, Senior USY, which is for teenagers in the 9th - 12th grades, Yoetzim Leadership Program - Grades 8 - 12, and B'Yachad Special Needs Youth Group - Ages 11 ”“ 18. On Yom Ha'atzmaut 2003, a Molotov cocktail was thrown through one of the synagogue's stained-glass windows. Mayor James K. Hahn said, These are acts of terrorism, they're acts of hatred, and they tear at the very fabric of our community,"