History

Congregation Ohev Tzedek (O.T.) was officially organized in 1920 and received an orthodox charter in 1922. The original cornerstones were laid on August 23, 1925. The new synagogue opened its doors and 93 C. Myrtle Ave. on March 20, 1925.

The first Rabbi of the congregation, Samuel Hopfer, was hired in 1943, Sidney Jacobs was Ohev Tzedek’s president in 1953, when O.T. merged with Congregation Shaarei Torah to form Ohev Tzedek – Shaarei Torah.

Under the leadership of President Herman Roth in 1953, plans for a new building began. Eventually. a sixteen acre parcel on Glenwood Ave. just south of Shields Rd. was purchased. Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on October 14, 1956 just after Rabbi Arnold Turetsky, our first conservative spiritual leader, joined the congregation.

A United Synagogue Youth (USY) chapter was formed in 1957. In the sixties, the local USY chapter was among the most vibrant in the entire Central Region. On May 16, 17, and 18, 1958, Abram Post opened the Ark, Paul Schwartz presented the keys of the synagogue to President Norman Aron and Clara Segall narrated “Echo from Mt. Sinai”, a composition written by Bea Santer. Harry Kessler opened the synagogue doors and Mezzuzot were affixed by Mrs. Dora Schwbel, Nathan Lackey, and his son, Martin.

Under the leadership of Rabbi Sheldon Elster and his wife, Shulamith, O.T. received the Solomon Schechter Award from United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, for excellence in adult education.

During the seventies, women celebrating Bat Mitzvah were honored with aliyot, and women became counted toward minyan.

Twenty years after first presiding, Morton Sands returned to the presidency of Ohev Tzedek (1980-82). He led the refurbishing campaign that made it possible to add a wall separating the sanctuary from the social hall.

Several years following the retirement of Cantor Karl Klein, Bert Pincus was hired to serve as High Holiday Cantor. This was during Rabbi Mitchell Kornspan’s tenure, which lasted in excess of twenty years.

The Ohev Tzedek of today is a spirited, warm, and caring egalitarian Jewish congregation. Under the caring guidance of Rabbi Saul Oresky, we are experiencing a new “joyous Judaism” – one that will enable us to grow in spirituality and depth of service, always with an eye on meeting the needs of a diverse population in this part of our region.