2017-08-02 / Voice at the Shore

Everyone is welcome at Rodef Sholom

By MENDY SCHWARTZ Rodef Sholom member

Cantor Isaac Wall and Rabbi Shalom Ever are Rodef Sholom’s spiritual leaders. Cantor Isaac Wall and Rabbi Shalom Ever are Rodef Sholom’s spiritual leaders. At Rodef Sholom, we have services 365 days a year, several times a day, guaranteed—even in bad weather. It’s never hit or miss; we are always here, always open, always have a minyan.

Everyone is welcome here. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a member, or whether you’re from out of town or local—if you need a place to say Kaddish for a loved one, and for whatever reason can’t do it at your home synagogue, you are welcome with us. Here, you are always at home; when you come to Rodef Sholom, you are a member of our family.

We are the only synagogue in Atlantic City. Although Rodef Sholom—which means “the pursuit of peace”—is an Orthodox shul, about half of the people who come here are not Orthodox. We accept and welcome everyone with open arms despite their level of observance. We are proud of the fact that people have described our shul as “user-friendly.” All newcomers are greeted and made to feel welcome.

On Friday nights during the summer, you’ll find about 30 people gathered here to pray. A lot of them are people with summer homes at the shore and out-of-town visitors. Sometimes we have people who unexpectedly get “stuck” at the Shore for Shabbos. We make sure that everyone has somewhere to go for Shabbos dinner. No one who prays here goes hungry.

On Saturday mornings, more than 100 people come to the service—including about a dozen little kids, who know they will get treats when they come here. Our Rabbi, Shalom Ever, offers a half-hour class before the morning service (as well as many classes during the week) and an inspirational sermon. His goal is that no one ever leaves the synagogue on any day without spiritual gratification or something to ponder.

Rabbi Ever has been with Rodef Sholom for the past year and a half. His energy and love for Judaism and teaching has enhanced the spiritual lives of everyone who prays at our shul.

After Saturday morning services we hold a very nice Kiddush, and all are welcome to join us. Everyone can also partake in our lavish Shalosh Seudah (third meal) between afternoon and evening prayers. We only do this during the summer because the days just aren’t long enough to do this during the winter.

During the week we also have morning and afternoon services as well as many classes. On Mondays and Thursdays, we hold classes before the afternoon service where we serve pizza and other treats.

Whatever you need to know about Rodef Sholom—the times of our services, our location, etc.—can easily be found out through our app, ACminyan. We are one the few synagogues nationwide to have our own app! You can also call us at (609) 345-4580.

On Sunday, August 13, our very active sisterhood will host its annual Dr. Stanley and Audrey Goldstein Concert, featuring Israeli singer and musician Yoel Sharabi. The concert, starting at 8 p.m., costs $25 per person and will be followed by a dessert reception. The sisterhood also hosts luncheons and guest speakers throughout the year.

Our beloved Cantor Isaac Wall was previously the cantor at Har Zion in Pennsylvania for nearly half a century and is now their cantor emeritus. Cantor Wall has been with Rodef Sholom for 25 years and is here every day. On Sunday, September 3, we will be holding a gala at the shul in honor of the Cantor’s 100th birthday, and we invite everyone—from near and far—to celebrate with us.

Holidays are festive and meaningful at Rodef Sholom— which is why many people with second homes at the Shore join us on these special occasions, even in the off-season. For Tisha B’Av, we invited a top chaplain from the Israeli Defense Forces, Rabbi Shalom Hammer, to lead us in prayer and discussion about Israel in ancient and modern times.

For this year’s High Holidays, as in past years, our acoustically-blessed shul will resonate with the beautiful singing of many cantors— not only our beloved Cantor Wall but also other cantors brought in to lead us in chanting and song. On Sukkot, all are welcome to join us as we partake in our annual tradition of having catered meals in our Sukkah, and we also have a major kiddush as part of our Simchat Torah celebration.

Please come and join us—for holidays, special events, on Shabbat, or any day. There’s always vibrant Jewish life to partake in at Rodef Sholom, and you are always welcome here. 

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