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Our History

 

100 YEARS OF OHEV SHALOM

 

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 many Central Florida 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 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 in downtown Orlando. 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 Shalom 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. There, as the congregation grew, our clergy and lay leaders established a climate of embracing change while honoring tradition, and Ohev Shalom made strides as a regional leader in Conservative Judaism. A mikvah was added to the building in 1996—the only Conservative mikvah in Central Florida.

 

OHEV AT 100 AND BEYOND: Embracing Past and Future


With continued dynamic rabbinic leadership, an outstanding cantor, and education and youth programs that excel, Ohev Shalom is moving into the next era of its historic existence. Having completed our beautiful new building on Maitland Boulevard in 2011 to accommodate the needs of our active and diverse congregation, we continue serving our members and the Greater Orlando Jewish community as a center for spiritual, educational, and social life—as we meet the joys and challenges of our second century.

Sun, July 12 2020 20 Tammuz 5780