About Congregation Or VeShalom
OVS was founded in 1914 by Jews primarily from Turkey and the Mediterranean Island of Rhodes, OVS is known for its distinctive heritage, often counting multi-generational families among the membership. Over time, our congregation has attracted families from Sephardic communities around the world as well as Ashkenazi Jews from the United States. The tradition of our synagogue is Sephardic; however, our members represent a wide variety of religious practices and varied levels of personal observance within Judaism.
We are financially stable and debt-free with a generous membership, a sizable endowment, and a beautiful, architectural award winning building. Our lay leadership is dedicated to OVS and eager to achieve the goals laid out in our recently completed Strategic Plan (December 2018). Our members give of their time and financial resources to OVS as well as their involvement in the greater Atlanta Jewish community, including recent board chairs of the Atlanta JCC and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish day schools, and other city-wide Jewish organizations. We have an active and vibrant Sisterhood, recently featured in a New York Times article, and a strong Chevra Kadisha group.
Over the last century, OVS has been predominantly led by three rabbis. We are known for our hospitality and look forward to embracing and supporting a new rabbi and his family. As the oldest Sephardic synagogue in Atlanta, we have the unique feature of a religious service that offers both separate and mixed seating sections (a Tri-chitzah). We believe it is our responsibility to foster Sephardic ritual, Jewish learning, and service to OVS members, the greater Atlanta community, and the State of Israel (including an annual Israel Bonds event since 1972). We strive to be a place where the wisdom of Judaism is conveyed and applied to improve our lives in today’s complex and questioning world.