Congregation Ohav Shalom is an egalitarian Conservative synagogue affiliated with the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism. We are a traditional synagogue, deeply rooted in the laws and practices of the past, while not afraid to see change as an authentic part of our tradition. As an egalitarian congregation, we invite men and women to participate equally in all aspects of congregational worship.
We have chosen to preserve the full traditional liturgy in our sanctuary service, rather than truncate it or incorporate a great deal of English. We utilize the Lev Shalem series for both Shabbat and Festivals, and for the High Holy Days. Siddur Lev Shalem for Shabbat features a four-column format, new translations in contemporary language, more transliterations, a commentary providing historical context as well as kavanot (meaning), poetry and prose that expand and enrich our relationship to the text and match the High Holy Days version.
Lev Shalem speaks to the diverse backgrounds and expectations in our community and should appeal to every congregant. For those who are familiar with the tefillah, Lev Shalem’s running commentary presents both a historical overview and insight into the meaning of prayers. For those who don’t know Hebrew, the English translations are close to the meaning of the original Hebrew, and there are transliterations for every major prayer of the services. For those who come to services looking for meaning and direction, both the mahzor and the siddur have a rich assortment of readings, including classic Piyyutim that appear in Conservative publications for the first time. There are also Hasidic stories and reflections, as well as quotes from Jewish philosophers, contemporary Israeli and American poets and readings that focus on spiritual issues and tikkun olam.
We provide our members who do not know the liturgy or Hebrew with the educational tools to participate in worship, rather than to alter these important traditions. We also provide a variety of educational modes and parallel worship formats to help all people come closer to Jewish study, spirituality and prayer. See our full Sanctuary Guide.