FAQ

I was raised Reform, will I fit in at Ohev?

Yes. We have many congregants who were raised in Reform synagogues, and although the service is slightly different, they feel very comfortable at Ohev.  Rabbi Kelilah Miller, our cantor, trained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and is a gifted song leader and musician.

What should I wear to services?

We are a casual congregation and don’t require any particular attire.  Come how you feel comfortable.  Everyone is invited to wear a head covering (kippah or yarmulke) in services, and we request that all males wear one.  All Jewish honorees ages 13 and older are requested to wear a prayer shawl (tallit) while on the bimah.

Can I drop-in to services or an event to see if Ohev is a good fit me?

Yes, in fact we encourage people to attend services before they join. We also invite you to come to an event. If you’d like a greeter to meet you there, please call or email office@ohev.net.

My family member or partner is not Jewish, will Ohev welcome them?

Yes. Ohev welcomes all family/household members as full members of the congregation.  We have many Interfaith or mixed observance families and couples.  Non-Jewish members are on our Board of Directors and chair our Interfaith Committee to ensure the needs of all families are met.

I don’t know Hebrew, will I be able to follow along in services?

Yes.  Our services incorporate a mixture of Hebrew and English prayer, and prayer leaders frequently call out the page numbers.  Our prayer book has transliteration for many of the prayers so that you can follow along with English letters.  Our congregants come from a range of backgrounds and experiences including Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and traditional.

Do you offer Hebrew classes for adults?

Yes we do. We also have adult B’nai Mitzvah classes taught by the rabbi.

What are services like at Ohev Shalom?

Ohev Shalom primarily uses Conservative liturgy in our daily morning minyan, Shabbat and holiday services.  Rabbi Jeremy Gerber trained at the Jewish Theological Seminary and takes a progressive approach to Conservative Judaism.  Rabbi Kelilah Miller, our Cantor and Education Director, trained at the Reconstructionst Rabbinical College and brings many musical and creative talents to Ohev.  Both rabbis are gifted leaders and speakers who imbue services with layers of meaning, learning, and spirituality.

What age do children start Hebrew School? Can I observe a class?

Children can start Hebrew School as young as 4 in our Early Learners program. Hebrew School is every Sunday until 3rd grade when students also begin attending Wednesday afternoons from 4:15-6:15.  We welcome those who are interested to observe classes. For specific questions about Hebrew School, contact Rabbi Kelilah Miller at school@ohev.net.

What kind of family programming exists?

Children and families are an integral and welcome part of all aspects of synagogue life. Pictures of our children line the halls, whether it’s to honor a recent B’nai Mitzvah or to celebrate an achievement in Hebrew School.  Our Youth Committee and our School Committee plan family-centered events throughout the year and many families get together in smaller “chavurot” or social circles. Ohev is responsive to the needs of the community, launching tot Shabbats when a new cohort of babies arrives, finding partners for innovative programming for interested teens, or planning pasta and game nights for families with school-aged children.

I don’t know anyone at Ohev, how do I meet people?

In addition to attending services, we have social gatherings including a new member brunch, Bible Class, Lunch N’ Learn, Lifelong Learning events, lectures, and more.  To learn more, visit the “Make Friends” page or “Connect” page.

Do I have to be a member to attend services or other Ohev programming?

No.  Come any time!

I would like to learn more about Ohev.  Who can I talk to?

Please call (610) 874-1465 or email the office at office@ohev.net and they will have our Membership Chair give you a call.