Rabbi Wolhberg joined Congregation Ohav Sholom as its full time Rabbi in July 1963. At the time the Congregation's membership had reached 14 families. Rabbi Wohlberg led Congregation Ohav Sholom from 1963-2010 and grew the shul into the nearly 400 families it has today.
Upon Rabbi Wohlberg's retirement in June 2010 he was named Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Ohav Sholom.
Rabbi Wohlberg Bids Farwell
By Ron Bekore
A young Rabbi and his wife came to Merrick 47 years ago and established a Modern Orthodox congregation in a tiny storefront on Merrick Avenue with just a handful of families. Fast forward to Saturday, June 26, and Congregation Ohav Sholom is 350-families strong with a successful Hebrew school, active Sisterhood and Men's Club and strong ties to Jewish causes and helping the Merrick-Bellmore communities.
Rabbi Jeremiah Wohlberg, the prime force behind Ohav Sholom's success, is retiring from his 47-year role as the spiritual leader of Ohav Sholom, and starting a new chapter in his life.
One of the many ways the synagogue honored Rabbi Wohlberg was a special farewell tribute during the weekend of June 26. On Saturday, June 26, during the morning Sabbath service there was a tribute to Rabbi Wohlberg from members of the congregation and guests, with a festive Kiddush that followed. The activities continued on Sunday morning with a presentation about Rabbi Wohlberg, his work and his impact on Jewish life in Merrick and Long Island.
Throughout his tenure as rabbi, he developed a new kind of Modern Orthodox Judaism at Ohav Sholom, where Jews of all backgrounds and education always felt welcome and comfortable. This spirit endures at the synagogue today.
During those years, Rabbi Wohlberg, his wife Mimi and their children Simeon and Yael made Merrick and Ohav Sholom their home and a place where many types of Jews felt welcome. Throughout his years at Ohav Sholom, Rabbi Wohlberg has been an inspiring leader and friend to hundreds of families and individuals, young and old. His deep love and passion for Judaism and Jewish culture shines through in his sermons, study groups and prayer services.
Most notably, his impact can be seen in the abiding affect he has had on hundreds of students and young people who found their spiritual lives broadened because of his influence and inspiration. During his years in Merrick, Rabbi Wohlberg helped increase the number of participating families and became involved in many activities. He later became the head of the New York Board of Rabbis, served on the Rabbinical Council of America, Long Island Commission of Rabbis and the UJA Rabbinical Council. In addition, he spent many days and nights active in Jewish causes in Merrick, throughout the U.S. and abroad. Rabbi Wohlberg was involved in many discussions regarding interfaith relationships and was proud of his close relationships with Bishops and Cardinals in Rockville Centre and New York City.
We all owe Rabbi Wohlberg a debt of gratitude for bringing Modern Orthodoxy to Merrick. Thank you.