Ohef Sholom presents leader of largest Jewish movement for anniversary kickoff

October 1, 2018

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  • Saturday, October 13, 7 pm
  • FREE, reservations requested

Laine Mednik Rutherford Traditionally, the Jewish people love a reason to celebrate, and Ohef Sholom Temple (OST) is providing its congregants and the entire Tidewater Jewish community opportunities to do just that.

An anniversary worth noting—175 years—is the inspiration behind a series of events planned for the coming months.

Committees of volunteers have spent countless hours coming up with ways to honor the synagogue’s past—it was founded in 1844, to commemorate the present—it has just under 700 member families—and to excitedly embrace the future.

At the anniversary celebration kick off on Oct. 13, OST will take the opportunity to mark another milestone in its history as well—the establishment of its sanctuary 100 years ago, when the congregation made its permanent home on Raleigh Ave.

The evening, free and open to the community, will include a brief Havdalah (end of Shabbat) service, a rededication of the sanctuary, music, and dessert.

A highlight of the evening will include a thoughtful and inspirational message from special guest Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ), of which OST is a member.

Jacobs’ topic, “Reform Jewish Life in the 21st Century,” concerns not only Tidewater Jews, but a majority of North America’s Jewish population, as well. The Reform movement is the country’s largest; as URJ president, Jacobs represents almost 900 congregations and nearly 1.5 million people.

“Like any established organization in a time of change, ours must be willing to ask ourselves, ‘Which old habits need to be shaken up?” Jacobs said at URJ’s 2017 Biennial conference.

“Not because it’s nice to get an upgrade once in a while, but because the forces we face demand our urgent action and attention.”

An animated and engaging speaker, Jacobs is known for his intelligence, his devotion and contemporary interpretation of Jewish ideals, and his passionate and public stances on a variety of topics— from social justice to politics to Israel. He inspires audiences to think, and encourages them to act.

“I am deeply honored to be joining Ohef Sholom Temple to mark 100 remarkable years in their sanctuary and to kick off the celebrations of their 175th year,” says Jacobs.

“This historic synagogue has stood as a beacon of Reform Jewish life in Hampton Roads for all of its existence. On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, I am proud to count Ohef Sholom Temple as one of the Reform Movement’s own, and look forward to being with you to mark this milestone,” says Jacobs.

Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg, OST’s spiritual leader, considers it a something of a coup that Jacobs is coming for the event, and is looking forward to hearing his dynamic message. “In our rapidly changing world, we are so fortunate to have Rabbi Jacobs’ visionary leadership of our Reform Movement to help us meet the current challenges to Jewish life, particularly to synagogues,” Mandelberg says.

“We are delighted that he has chosen to celebrate our milestone anniversary with us and look forward to welcoming him warmly to our Ohef Sholom Family.”

Make reservations by calling (757) 625-4295 or emailing reservations@ohefsholom.org.

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