I am no longer the rabbi at Pacific Jewish Center, but the blog name stays for now. As a matter of historical record, here is the story of how we came up with the name in 2008.


Finding the perfect blog URL is an adventure. The choices are endless and one’s mood can affect one’s opinion tremendously, leading to potential buyer’s remorse.

As I talked on the phone with my blog consultant, Judd Magilnick, we searched for the perfect concept. Our ideas ranged from the ultra bland, to the ultra creative We were having a hard time agreeing and my family was nixing just about every suggestion.

Eventually, was suggested. Of course, there were some detractors at first, but as we realized the deeper connotations of its appropriateness became apparent.

A play on words from “Sink or Swim”, reminds us that if we don’t swim, we will sink. In fact the Talmud teaches us that a father is obligated to teach his child to swim. This is a lesson in parenting. A father must provide his child with the tools necessary to navigate through life. Further, a teacher is compared to a father in Judaism and students are compared to children.

A Rabbi is a teacher. It is my job, as the Rabbi of the Pacific Jewish Center in Venice, to help provide the tools necessary to “swim” in the sea of life. When I speak at Pacific Jewish Center or when I teach a class at PJC I try to provide some of those tools that we can learn from Torah to help our lives. Many of those classes are available here on the blog.

Another way I try to do my job of helping folks swim through the sea of life is by providing perspective on social issues, news items, ethical dilemmas, and anything else that floats through my mind. Reading my thoughts on various subjects and reading the thoughts of other readers can also provide tools for swimming through life. Many of those thoughts and ramblings can also be found on this blog.

Another idea that represents is a direct invitation to all. When you got to the beach you have a choice. You can go a swim or surf, or sunbathe or walk the boardwalk. But many times, you can also “Fink” and come into the magical walls of the Pacific Jewish Center and study the ancient wisdom of the Torah. One can learn, socialize, and grow tremendously as a person in our quaint Shul. There is a special feeling inside the Shul that I know you will feel once you come inside.

So, next time you are on Venice Beach, don’t forget, you can “fink” or ‘”swim”, or you can do both!