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Congregation Ohav Sholom of Merrick, New York is a vibrant, innovative, and growing modern Orthodox synagogue. The Synagogue was founded in 1962 (see our history), and led from 1963-2010 by Rabbi Emeritus Jeremiah Wohlberg. Under the spiritual guidance of our current rabbi, Ira Ebbin, we are open to Jews of all backgrounds. Our shul emphasizes ritual, education, youth, chesed, Jewish culture, and involvement.
We have daily minyanim mornings and evenings. We encourage participation by our members, as we do not have a regular chazzan. Members are asked to lead services; daven shachrais, musaf, lain, chant the Haftorah, daven mincha and maariv. A beginner's minyan is held periodically to enable individuals to become more comfortable in an Orthodox worship service. A beginner's Hebrew reading class for adults is also available. We have started a very popular women's teffilah group which is under the guidance of the rabbi and remains within strict halachic confines.
Education is the byword of Ohav Sholom. We begin with our nursery children. Many of our families send their children to Hebrew day schools, notably Hebrew Academy of Five Towns and Rockaway, Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, and the Solomon Schechter School. Other families take advantage of our fine Hebrew school program, led by Dr. Mel Isaacs. We encourage these students to continue their studies in our community Hebrew high school. Adult members can take advantage of a myriad of continuing education opportunities. The Rabbi Jeremiah Wohlberg Institute of Adult Education sponsors many guest lectures and scholars-in-residence including: Rabbi Avi Weiss, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Professor Stephen Berk of Union College, Rabbi Berel Wein, author John Loftus, and many others. The Merrick-Bellmore-Wantagh community offers a very well subscribed rabbinic lecture series followed by guest lecturers who have included notables such as: Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt, Malcolm Hoenlein, Deborah Lipstadt, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, humorist-Rabbi Jack Moline. Rabbi Ebbin also teaches a weekly study class each Shabbat afternoon, and he holds holiday institutes.
Our youth are offered each Shabbat a regular junior congregation with an experienced youth leader. The younger children are offered appropriate supervision with qualified Hebrew teachers or nursery care. The youth leader also offers many activities during the year on weeknights and Sundays.
Our chesed committee is always planning and executing various functions, including toy drives, blood drives, clothing drives, food drives, hospital visits, and our annual senior citizen Hatzilu luncheon where we host residents of various senior homes. We have a project known as mitzvah day when each member will be asked to participate in at least one mitzvah to help the community. We raise funds for a variety of organizations including UJA, Yesha, Israel Bond, Yeshiva University, and Hebrew Academy for Special Children.
Our members are totally involved in synagogue functions including Sisterhood, Men's Club, "social" club (Chaverim), PTA, and a Culture Club. The culture club has organized trips to various locales such as; West Point, lower East Side, Ellis Island. The club also has monthly luncheons with guest speakers on topics about our fellow Jews whether they be in Yemen or Yakutsk.
Orthodoxy is alive in Merrick. Our community is thriving. We have several kosher establishments including a butcher with take out foods and a bagel store with eat in, take out, and catering. Merrick is also host to one other orthodox synagogue, two conservative synagogues, and a reform synagogue. Our "sister" community of Bellmore has an orthodox shul, two conservative shuls, and a reform temple. Now when people mention yiddishkeit on Long Island, Merrick is on the map along with West Hempstead, Plainview, Great Neck, or the Five Towns.
Please come visit us -- we will gladly arrange Shabbat hospitality. Call 516-378-1988 or send an email to "membership-AT-ohav.org".