About Us

Orot HaCarmel means The Lights of the Carmel.

Our name expresses the tapestry of life and commitment to our families and homes here in the Carmel Valley. Simultaneously, it reflects our intimate bond with our people in the land of Israel. These two elements together are made manifest in the power of our community, the bonds we share: The Lights of the Carmel.

Orot means LIGHTS in Hebrew. It is also the name of a series of writings by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook (the first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel) which are considered the foundation of Religious Zionism.

The Carmel is an area in northern Israel that includes Mount Carmel. The area is famous for a conflict between the Prophet Elijah and a vast group of idol worshipers where Elijah and the belief in Hashem (G!d) prevailed. There are also many similarities in climate and topography between the Carmel region in Israel and our home here in Carmel Valley.

Our aim is to appreciate our Jewish identity, our nation, our religion and our country. We are modern in our perspective and mature in our approach to understanding the beauty and depth of a ‘living Judaism’. Our modern orthodox approach allows for an authentic Jewish experience that shapes our lives on a daily basis.

We welcome Jews of all backgrounds to personal exploration and growth within a vibrant ‘living Judaism’.

Orot HaCarmel was originally founded as Kehillat Ahavat Yisrael (KAY) and was established by a small group of people who felt a deep need to come together to form something not previously available in San Diego. From our first service, the growth of the kehilla has exceeded our greatest expectations. We are an informal, close community. We share each other’s lives, joys and sorrows, learning together, celebrating together. We welcome visitors and new members, and want to create a loving, caring community where everyone feels accepted, nurtured, supported and appreciated. Welcome to Orot HaCarmel. Welcome to LIVING JUDAISM.