Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Young Israel of Santa Barbara (YISB) an orthodox synagogue?
Yes, "modern" orthodox. Men and women sit separately, with a M'chitza. Services are conducted in Hebrew. Prayer books with English translations and transliterated Hebrew are available (Art Scroll).

2. Does YISB have a rabbi or cantor?
We do not have a rabbi or cantor. Services are conducted by YISB members. However, on Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur we hire a rabbi and cantor to officiate at services.

3. Is there an Eruv in Santa Barbara?
There is no Eruv in Santa Barbara.

4. Does YISB have a daily minyan?
We do not have a daily minyan. Services are held regularly on Shabbat mornings, starting at 10 a.m. Those needing to say Kaddish during the week or on Sundays may want to check with Chabad (805.683.1544;

5. What time do services begin?
Shabbat morning services begin at 10 a.m., as do all services for the Shalosh Regalim, whether on weekdays or weekends. A lunch-style Kiddush is provided each Saturday. On one Friday each month we hold a Carlebach-style Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv service, beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Shabbat dinner. A schedule of the dinners is available on a separate Web page. Please email us in advance to make sure a dinner is scheduled, and to notify us of your plans to attend.

6. Does YISB hold High Holyday services, and if so is there a charge to attend?
Holyday services are held beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the two days of Rosh Ha-Shanah, and 8:30 a.m. on Yom Kippur. There is no charge for attending.

7. Does Santa Barbara have kosher restaurants?
There are no rabbinically supervised, fully kosher restaurants in Santa Barbara. However, there is a nearby vegetarian/vegan restaurant, Mesa Verde, though not rabbinically supervised. There are many restaurants that serve vegetarian dishes, but also serve non-kosher foods (Spiritland Bistro, Mesa Verde, The Natural Cafe). The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf restaurant offers pre-packaged kosher sandwiches but not hot meals.

8. Where is the closest kosher restaurant?
The closest kosher restaurant is the Tierra Sur, at the Herzog Winery, in Oxnard. The restaurant is roughly 42 miles from Santa Barbara, a drive of about 45-50 minutes. The address is 3201 Camino Del Sol, Oxnard, CA 93030. The telephone number is 805.983.1560.

9. Are kosher items available at Santa Barbara grocery stores?
Many local grocery stores carry a variety of kosher items, particularly at Trader Joe's, which carries kosher meats, poultry, and many other items. Other grocery stores that carry kosher products are Albertson's, Lazy Acres, Ralph's, Von's, and Gelson's. Lazy Acres is located within walking distance of the shul. The closest fully kosher grocery is Ventura Kosher Meats in Los Angeles (818.881.3777), a drive of about an hour and a quarter from Santa Barbara (ca. 77 miles).

10. Are there hotels within walking distance of YISB?
YISB is located in the Mesa area of Santa Barbara. The closest hotels are two miles away, near the beach, which entails a slightly up-hill walk to reach the shul. This map will help you find your way from the hotels to YISB.

11. How do I contact someone?
The names of all YISB Board members, with email links, appear at the bottom left of our home page.

12. How do I make a donation to YISB?
YISB is grateful for donations of any amount. Click here to check our donations page to review the sorts of services we provide. Please email our Treasurer, Marlene Rifkin ( Many thanks for your generosity!