Ohel Avraham, a vibrant Reform synagogue, provides a welcoming home for individuals and families seeking an egalitarian and progressive Jewish spiritual environment.
The Ohel Avraham Synagogue was established in 1978 to provide a progressive Jewish alternative for the residents of Haifa. Centrally located on the Leo Baeck campus, Ohel Avraham not only serves the Leo Baeck schools, Community Center and surrounding community, but also reaches out to populations with special needs and families in economic or social distress. Young and old alike have experienced Jewish renewal through prayer, study, and holiday celebrations.
Ohel Avraham holds life cycle events, ceremonies, and prayers in the spirit of Reform Judaism.
Our Pluralistic, Reform Congregation offers a rich alternative for non-Orthodox and secular Jews, combining tradition and innovation in Jewish learning and ceremonies for all lifecycle events at our Appelbaum Bet Tefilla and the Hugo Gryn Outdoor Synagogue & Gardens, which creates a natural environment for the community’s spiritual programming.
Ohel Avraham is an anchor of Jewish identity, education, ritual and prayer for members, guests and the local community. Led by Rabbis Gabby Dagan and Na’ama Dafni-Kellen, the Ohel Avraham Congregation is committed to four essential Jewish and humanistic values: Truth, Kindness, Justice, and Peace.
The Ohel Avraham community is committed to practicing Jewish and humanistic values on a daily basis through Tikkun Olam both within and outside of our community. We are devoted to creating a unique, egalitarian, open and inviting place where men and women from all walks of Jewish life can examine and develop their Jewish identity. With this aim in mind, Ohel Avraham hosts prayers, ceremonies and learning experiences in keeping with our ever renewing Jewish tradition. Our community promotes its vision, values and ideas to all young people and provides activities to involve people of all ages in the synagogue life.
Our Programs & Activities
Shabbat and Holiday Services – Many Ohel Avraham families find their way to our doors in a search for holiness, life meaning and connection to Jewish tradition – things difficult to find in Israel today. These people experience a renewal of their Jewish spirit through weekly Shabbat and holiday services, a weekly celebration in song and prayer conducted in an egalitarian and pluralistic spirit. Our Rabbis and lay leaders conduct services, give drashot (sermons) and run parallel activities for children and youth.
Programs for Families with Young Children – Ohel Avraham is a family-oriented congregation that serves as a second home for many parents with young children. Our monthly family Shabbat services help parents establish a deeper, more spiritual connection with their children though song, creative and unique crafts and games, and the use of biblical stories to open the doors to personal and interpersonal development. We also conduct storytelling sessions, family field trips and classes that improve parenting skills. Our volunteer programs engage the whole family so that together they can experience the meaning of tzedakah.
Lifecycle Events – From welcoming a new baby, celebrating a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, marrying in a Reform Jewish ceremony, to holding a memorial service in a loved one’s honor – Ohel Avraham provides a welcoming place to hold a meaningful lifecycle event celebration.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah – Special needs children, new immigrants, children of mixed marriage parents, and children in hiding with their battered mothers in sheltered housing are often denied the joy of Bar/Bat Mitzvah in Israel due to halachic, financial, and/or personal safety restrictions. Ohel Avraham provides these children with the opportunity to rejoice in their Jewish identity, providing a meaningful Bar/Bat Mitzvah for every child that wants one.
In addition to its regular Bar/Bat Mitzvah program, Ohel Avraham is one of the only congregations in Israel that serves (and has a scholarship program for) children with special needs. Our scholarships for special needs children and for children living at the Nashim L’Nashim Battered Women’s Shelter assure that all young people can celebrate this important lifecycle event, regardless of their physical, cognitive, emotional or financial limitations.
Beit Midrash – Large groups of committed individuals participate in the serious and open text study sessions we offer several times a month for English speakers, women, and the community at large.
Gay Pride Shabbat Services – There are fewer than a dozen synagogues in Israel that offer a totally accepting, Jewish spiritual experience for LGBT congregants and the attendance at our Pride Shabbat Services attests to this tremendous need.
Tikkun Olam – In addition to the Special Bar/Bat Mitzvah programs noted above, we contribute regularly to food drives, convene a Passover Seder for those in need, and work with the Community Center to provide shelter and support for individuals and families during times of war.