Synagogues In Orlando | Jewish Family Community Center | Ohev Shalom |
Orlando’s First Synagogue
Founded in 1918, Ohev Shalom was Orlando’s first synagogue. We have a long and proud history of serving the Jewish community, and members of our congregation continue to hold leadership positions in all area institutions and organizations.
Our first synagogue building was located in a former church on the corner of Central and Terry Streets. The guiding principles mentioned in the original synagogue constitution were “cooperation, religion, friendship and charity.” Article III of that constitution stated that, “any Hebrew man or woman could be a member if they would promise cooperation and to pay the dues of $1.00 per month.”
Just seven years after its founding, the congregation built a new synagogue at the corner of Eola Drive and Church Street. For decades, it was the epicenter of Jewish life in Orlando. Since Ohev Shalom was the only synagogue in town, we attempted to accommodate everyone, and held three types of services in our building – Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative. Eventually, other synagogues formed in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Ohev continued to thrive through the years and in 1972, the congregation broke ground on Goddard Avenue for a new building, which was dedicated on March 31, 1974. A mikvah was added to the building in 1996.
With continued dynamic rabbinic leadership, an outstanding cantor and education and youth programs that excel, Ohev is moving into the next era of its historic existence with a new building on Maitland Boulevard that can accommodate the needs of our active and growing congregation’s needs.
Congregation Ohev Shalom promotes and preserves the practice of Conservative Judaism through spiritual, educational, life cycle, and cultural opportunities while fostering an atmosphere of family within the congregation and unity in the community.
Congregation Ohev Shalom is a vibrant spiritual center for Conservative Judaism that creates a meaningful, dynamic Jewish environment, meets the spiritual, cultural, educational, and social needs of our members, and promotes unity in the greater Orlando Jewish community. We endeavor to instill pride in our identity and heritage while building a strong Jewish foundation for future generations.
- We value the principles, ethics, and ideals of Conservative Judaism and are committed to preserving these values for future generations.
- We recognize the importance of the synagogue’s religious and spiritual purpose.
- We value all members of the congregation equally.
- We value an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance and believe in sharing the richness of the full spectrum of synagogue life with all synagogue members.
- We believe in fostering the continuity of Conservative Judaism by educating our children and adults; providing ritual needs and services; and by actively participating in community service.
- We appreciate all of our members, our lay leaders, our volunteers, our professional staff, and our employees and treat them with dignity, care, and sensitivity.
- We make organizational and financial decisions in a responsible manner to ensure the well-being and continuity of the congregation while valuing growth and change.
- As a proud and loyal American synagogue, we value active leadership and participation in the Jewish and non-Jewish community.
- We love and support Israel as the Jewish homeland.