The Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community offers a broad variety of activities to serve the Jewish families in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. We are affiliated with the Union of Reform Judaism and have been a continuing Jewish presence here in the central part of Santa Barbara County for more than 40 years.
Our Mission Statement
SYVJC views its mission to offer religious services, religious education, Jewish-oriented social events and lifestyle event support to all members of our Community.
More than 40 years ago (already, this sounds Biblical!), a group of about 10 Jewish families living in the Santa Ynez Valley determined that its ranks were likely to grow. Those families organized a socially-oriented group in order to offer selected Jewish holiday events, such as Hanukkah and Passover, to Santa Ynez Valley people with one or more family members of the Jewish faith.
In the 1990s, the ranks of that group HAD grown to about 50 member families and the first High Holy Days services were held in the Valley. In 2003, The Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community was incorporated as a tax exempt 501c3 non-profit religious corporation and formally affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the predecessor organization of URJ.
Membership has continued to grow to 60 member families. Services have similarly expanded. In 2003, SYVJC was the very proud recipient of a donation of an historical Torah, thanks to the auspices and the efforts of URJ. In 2008, SYVJC hired its first part-time Rabbi.
Currently, SYVJC offers a full range of religious services, adult education, High Holy Days services, a community Passover Seder, a Hanukkah Party, a Sukkot party, a newsletter, social action and charitable activities both within and outside the community, and participates in a variety of social and community events. For more information, please email.
Our young families enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community. The children take a central and important part of all SYVJC gatherings and events.
Who are we?
Among our member families, you will meet doctors, lawyers, business men and women, artists, wine makers, judges, engineers, civil servants, architects, restaurateurs, educators, therapists, retirees, students, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren.
We are children of Orthodox, Reform and Conservative parents, and some of us are Jew-ish. Some of us have embraced our "Jewishness" late in life, some of us have always held it dear; all of us are exploring what it means to be a Jew.
Among our members you will find an outpouring of opinion, affection, and above all, support for one another.
In 2003 the SYVJC was created as a non-profit corporation and was formally affiliated with the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ). Our community is engaged in many activities, from our monthly Shabbat and Torah study with our Rabbi, to our annual community Passover, Hanukkah, and Sukkot festivities. Over the last few years The Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community has also celebrated several Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. We have also sponsored numerous social and educational activities, including field trips, films and lectures.
We sponsor a full complement of High Holy Day Services, with our Rabbi and a Cantor. For all of our events and gatherings view our event calendar.
We invite you to contact us for more information about our congregation.
What is Reform Judaism?
Throughout history, Jews have remained firmly rooted in Jewish tradition, even as we learned much from our encounters with other cultures. Nevertheless, since its earliest days, Reform Judaism has asserted that a Judaism frozen in time is an heirloom, not a living fountain.