Ohav offers a robust array of programs – study Torah or learn to read Torah, become a prayer leader or learn to read Hebrew, study with the rabbis or study with your fellow congregants, take a year-long class or come to a Sunday or Shabbat schmooze. These are just some of the ways to become involved in our programs. Whatever you choose, you will meet new people and make new connections. And, learn along the way. If you don’t see something you like, please know that we welcome your suggestions.
An annual family event, the BarBQue is a fun and delicious way to get to know other families who are members of Ohav Shalom.
Celebrate the Anniversary of Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah with Ohav! Can you still chant from the Torah portion or haftorah of your Bar/Bat Mitzvah day? On the Shabbat of “your” parsha, mark the occasion by participating in a special way, by chanting for the congregation, leading davening, or taking an aliyah to the Torah. We will be glad to share this meaningful memory with you and help you keep up your skills. Teens and adults of all ages are welcome and encouraged! For information, please contact Nancy Pandolfo, Synagogue Administrator, at 518-489-4704 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once a month we cook a delicious and nutritious meal for the residents of the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, a homeless shelter in downtown Albany. We prepare the dinner and cook at the shelter which provides us with the wonderful opportunity to interact with the staff and residents. If you are interested in joining our cooking crew. please contact the Ohav Office and someone will provide you with contact information for our Cooking for a Cause Chair, Leona Kassoff.
You can nourish your soul by joining with other Ohav Shalom volunteers who offer their time and efforts at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, 965 Albany-Shaker Rd., Latham on selected dates from 1 – 3 pm to help sort and re-pack food and other essential products for the needy in our community. All are welcome to join in, and this is a great activity for singles, couples and families who want to make a difference in our community. For any questions or more information, please contact the Ohav Office and they will get you in touch with Sharon Berko, the current Chair of this program. (also see Social Action).
Enjoy baking, schmoozing and learning in the Ohav kitchen, as we bake goodies for Shabbat Kiddush. If you love to cook, you’ll love this program! Contact the office if you would like to join us!
Ohav Shalom is honored to be part of the Life and LegacyTM, a 4-year partnership program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that assists communities across North America to promote after-lifetime giving to Jewish organizations of the donor’s choice, since 2018. Congregation Ohav Shalom is one of 11 organizations chosen to be a partner with our Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY, which administers the program in our community. The goal of our Life and Legacy Society is to encourage Ohav members to secure our congregation’s future by including Ohav in their after-life legacies. The program is structured so that everyone can participate! Please call Nancy Pandolfo, our synagogue administrator, for further information or if you have questions. Click here to learn more.
Adult learning experiences are good for the mind, body and soul! According to Harvard Medical School, “scientists have found that brainy activities stimulate new connections between nerve cells and may even help the brain generate new cells, developing neurological ‘plasticity’ and building up a functional reserve that provides a hedge against future cell loss. Any mentally stimulating activity should help to build up your brain. Read, take courses…” Ohav has just the ticket for you to do this with our Lifelong Learning options!
Please join us on the third Shabbat of each month, about 30 minutes after the end of services. We will check in with ourselves and each other as we work with a monthly character trait – middah – such as generosity, dignity, and humility. All are welcome, as we share this sacred practice which feeds the soul as it strengthens heart and mind. Led by Lynna Schaefer and Rabbi Susan Gulack.
Directed by Michelle Ungerman Sanders, this community theater group affiliated with Ohav Shalom produces plays several times a year. Proceeds benefit Ohav Shalom. Join us for an evening of theater with friends! Please join us for an important evening of theater when the Noodle Pudding Players perform Jeffrey Sweet’s “The Value of Names.” This play describes the impact of the 1950’s -60’s Hollywood blacklisting of many actors, producers and directors whose lives were forever changed. We are fortunate to have on board Barry Pollack, Ken Goldfarb and Shea Fitzpatrick as our cast and they are working hard as a team to share this story with the community. Please mark your calendars for December 20 and 22, at 7 pm; December 23 at 2 and 7 pm; and December 25 for Chinese dinner and show (dinner at 5:30, show at 7 pm). Please consider contributing an ad to the show’s playbill and/or helping out at performances. This is a timely story you won’t want to miss! Please contact the Ohav office at email@example.com or 518-489-4704 if you are interested in getting involved in this theater group.
Support a new parent by preparing and/or delivering them a meal. Contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-489-4704. and they will put you in touch with Julie Pollack, our program chair, to get involved!
Shomrei Adama is the environmental awareness and action committee and program at Ohav Shalom. In 2018 Ohav Shalom was chosen to participate in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program. We are one of only nine institutions across the country to participate this year! The Hazon Seal of Sustainability certifies a Jewish organization’s commitment to sustainability, environmentally-friendly practices, and reduced impact on climate change. Participating in the Hazon Seal signifies that Ohav Shalom, along with a network of approximately 60 Jewish organizations, is emerging as a leader in the realm of Jewish sustainability. We apply the contemporary understanding of Jewish values such as tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedek (justice) to include protection of the world around us. If you look around our synagogue you will notice several important items: a Recycling Station when you first enter by the office to encourage recycling. We have single-stream recycling bins in every classroom and new, energy-efficient windows. We also have Zero Waste Shabbat experiences, and a recycling plan. In the summer of 2018, thanks to our Zero Waste Shabbat Experience we diverted 780 pounds of waste from landfills! The synagogue is adding Shredding Days to assist our congregants by providing an environmentally sensitive method of disposing of their confidential documents safely. To learn more about the Hazon Seal of Sustainability please go to www.hazon.org/seal. If you are interested in joining Shomrei Adama, please contact the Ohav office at email@example.com or 518-489-4704 and they will connect you to the leadership of this committee.
This is an Annual Awards Gala Brunch to honor members who go above and beyond to serve our Ohav community. Their ongoing commitment and dedication to our congregation is worthy of recognition. Usually held in December, this program is designed to honor our most deserving volunteers! This year, the Brunch will be held on Sunday, December 9 from 11 am to 1 pm. At that time we will honor four extremely deserving congregant: Terry and Dan Tyson and Ed and Laura Jacobs. Laura, Ed, Terry and Dan have been active members for many years, and the synagogue continues to benefit from their dedication, commitment and tireless energy. We hope you will set aside December 9 to thank and honor them for their efforts.
The Sunday Schmooze program features an interesting speaker, bagels and the opportunity to schmooze with your Ohav friends. Whether you’re relaxing, dropping the kids off at B’Yachad, or just hanging out, come join us for a hamisha Sunday morning that will please your brain, your heart and your palate. Sunday Schmoozes occur several times over the course of the year at no set schedule and will be announced as they are planned.
A group of Ohav Shalom volunteers have come together to help refugee families adjust to life in the United States. The volunteers help with medical appointments, school issues and homework, reading mail, and navigating American society. This program not only reaps rewards for the families served, those who volunteer are immeasurably fulfilled by their efforts. At a time when our nation seems deeply divided and fearful, mentoring refugees has highlighted the values and dreams we all share. It has also given us the opportunity to see first-hand the generosity and compassion of so many people in our community… from the network of mentors; to medical professionals and school personnel; to the staff at community service agencies. And, it has enabled us, in a small way, to chip away at fear and prejudice and contribute to creating a caring community. There are many challenges ahead for these families and other refugees. If you are interested in helping, especially if you have spare time during the week, please contact the Ohav office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-489-4704. This program, affiliated with USCRI, is making a tremendous difference for everyone involved.
This is a special program to provide assistance and support to members who are grieving, facing a serious illness or in the midst of a crisis. Eating nourishing food is important during those times, so, in addition to other services, some of our members cook meals to bring them during their time of need. You are welcome to join us and make friends in the Ohav kitchen as we maintain our supply of meals for this purpose. You can also volunteer to deliver a meal, along with comfort and good cheer. Contact the Ohav Office who will get you in touch with our Yad Yonatan cooking program coordinators, Lynne Shatsoff and Sandy Cohen.