Adath Shalom Congregation (Ottawa, Ont.)

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Adath Shalom Congregation (Ottawa, Ont.)

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The idea for an egalitarian Conservative synagogue was initiated by Rabbi Roy Tannenbaum, formerly of Agudath Israel Congregation. Early supporters included Morris and Leah Schnitzer. Steve and Chris Sugar, Irwin and Fenja Brodo. By September, 1979, Adath Shalom was officially affiliated with the United Synagogue Of America (now called the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism), and it was welcomed as a member of the Jewish Community Council of Ottawa. The first service was held on July 22, 1978 at the Greenbank Public School library and the first president, Michael Berns, was elected in August, 1978. Prayer books were stored in Greenbank School lockers and the Sefer Torah was initially borrowed from Beth Shalom Synagogue. The ark and bimah were stored in the school’s storage area. Other space was rented for High Holidays. Founding principles included more equal participation of women in the service and eventually women were counted as part of the minyan by February, 1982. Only after a number of years and many different chazanim and rabbis did the congregants take on the responsibility of leasing services for the High Holy Days. At the Annual General Meeting in 1990, the congregation approved a move to the Broadview Campus of the Jewish Community Centre and the first service was held at Hillel Academy chapel in 1993.

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