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OZ

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Taken from the women's only upper section in the synagogue.

 

Congregation Ohab Zedek, or OZ, as it is fondly known, is more than just a synagogue. Under the leadership of Rabbi Allen Schwartz, the Shul is known for its open doors and big heart. OZ has broad ties with the surrounding Jewish community and its Upper West Side neighborhood as a whole. A random visitor could easily encounter an up and coming scholar from Israel, or members of the local fire station. It is an informal, comfortable, inclusive community.

 

OZ is a modern Orthodox congregation, but any individual is welcome, regardless of background or means. It is a Shul of interlocking communities--young families who find a relaxed setting on Shabbos morning to introduce their toddlers to services; singles, who famously crowd the steps on Friday night; and seniors, many of whom have been members of OZ for decades. It is home to those tentatively exploring Judaism as well as the most learned, who are stimulated by a broad array of lecturers and classes.

 

OZ is known for its wide range of Chesed activities, which include a long-time Bikur Cholim group that visits Mount Sinai Hospital each Shabbos and on holidays, as well as its members' regular visits to homebound seniors. Members also subsidize seats for those in need on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

 

OZ has a proud history. The Shul was founded in 1873 on Avenue B and Houston Street on the Lower East Side as the First Hungarian Congregation Ohab Zedek. After a sojourn on West 116th Street in Harlem, the Congregation moved to its present location at 118 West 95th Street in 1926. Today, as part of a revitalized Upper West Side that has drawn an ever-expanding population of families and young adults, OZ is a vibrant and dynamic Jewish center for prayer, learning and social activities.

 

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Taken on April 7, 2008