The Jewish Collaborative of San Diego, originally named the San Diego Jewish Co-op (we couldn’t be a non-agricultural co-op), began in early 2013 in parks, community centers, and local club houses around north county. Rooted in the belief that community is only created when the community creates itself, we ate together, sang together, and envisioned a community we would all be proud to be a part of, together. As more people joined our humble family, we began building the foundation of who we are and wanted to be as a collaborative. We knew we wanted to be the kind of community where all were welcome, regardless of their Jewish background or observances, where all who entered felt love and acceptance rather than judgment, and where every voice mattered.
Later in 2013, only months after becoming incorporated, we moved into our very first office space in Carlsbad. It was small and humble but that space carried many beautiful memories for us of gathering, celebrations, learning, and connection. As we continued to grow, we knew we needed a space of our own. Our journey led us to the Christ Presbyterian Church of La Costa, where our friends housed us until in early 2017 we finally had a home of our own on Centella Street (on Church grounds). It is here that for the past almost 7 years, we have flourished as a community. We have opened our doors to so many people looking for a place to call home and we are proud to say that we are the community we always envisioned ourselves to become. A place of love and care, of no-judgment, of exploration and experimentation, a place where we aren’t afraid to be who we are. Community is only created when a community creates itself. We have done just that.
The year of our groundbreaking, 2018!
What We Stand For
To support and enhance all members’ ability and opportunity to experience, express, explore, and share their life as a Jew in San Diego.
To build, nourish, and sustain a vibrant, multifaceted Jewish community as a model for 21st – century American Jewish life.
Connection with self, with one another in our community, with Adonai
Compassionate Support of the diversity of each member’s exploration of Jewish life
Post-Denominational, our congregation appeals to a multi-denominational constituency
Member centric / member led
Inclusive and welcoming of all individuals and families
No financial barriers to membership of school enrollment
Accessibility in language, meaning and emotional impact
Participation as an explicit goal and measure of success
Cantor / Rabbi Gabi Arad
Cantor/Rabbi Gabi Arad was invested as a Cantor in 2003 and ordained as a Rabbi in 2006 – both by the Hebrew Union College Institute of Religion. Having grown up in the Reform movement (her mother, Tirza Arad is a highly respected Jewish educator), Gabi knew at a young age that she wanted to be both a Rabbi and a Cantor. In fact, she announced it to her community in her Bat Mitzvah Speech.
Gabi has worked in the Jewish community her entire life (including being a hostess at a Jewish diner in South Florida). In her college years, she ran a summer camp at her synagogue, was a counselor at URJ Camp Coleman in Cleveland, Georgia, taught Hebrew school, ran youth groups, served as a Cantorial assistant, and ran services for many of the nursing homes in South Florida.
In 1999, Gabi began her Hebrew Union College Career in Israel. Throughout her 7 years of graduate school, Gabi served as a Cantorial intern (and eventually as an assistant Cantor) at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in NYC, Rabbinical intern at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in NYC, Summer Intern for Hebrew Union College, and traveled the country serving as a student representative for Hebrew Union College.
In 2005 Gabi finished her Rabbinical school studies (commuting from DC to NYC), gave birth to her beautiful first daughter, Noa, and worked for a year as the Cantor at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. In 2008, Gabi accepted the position of Senior Cantor at Temple Sinai in Roslyn, NY where she served for four years.
Gabi truly feels that her path has led her to the creation of the Jewish Collaborative of San Diego. She has served in many communities and has met many amazing congregants. With all her experience, she could not be more excited about creating (with the help of incredible people) this dream Jewish community. Gabi resides in Carlsbad, CA with her two kids, Noa and Blake.
If you’d like to reach Cantor/Rabbi Gabi, don’t hesitate to be in touch. She is at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 707-7111.
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