Membership FAQ

Interested in joining Ohev? We would love to meet you! Our Conservative congregation is warm and inclusive. We welcome people with varying traditions, views and practices. We encourage families of all sizes, including couples and empty nesters, and interfaith families to consider becoming a part of our community.

Membership Application (Download)
Complete our online application.

Please read these Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about Ohev and how to join.

1. How big is the congregation at Ohev Shalom?
We have 291 member families of varying sizes and backgrounds. We are a diverse Jewish community connected by faith.

2. Where is the synagogue?
Ohev Shalom is conveniently located in Delaware County, in suburban Philadelphia. We are just minutes from both I-95 and Route 476. Please see Directions for more details and a map.

3. As a new member, will I feel welcomed at Ohev Shalom?
Ohev is a “people-centered” congregation, and our size ensures that most congregants know, or at least recognize, each other – which makes welcoming new faces into our congregation very easy. Members have described us as “warm” and “easy to get to know,” and we make concerted efforts to ensure that each member, new or not, feels comfortable within our walls. Special programs and opportunities, like joining a havurah, are also available and we encourage new members to take advantage of these as they transition into our family.

4. What if part of my family is not Jewish?
Interfaith families and couples are genuinely welcome at Ohev Shalom and our non-Jewish members are valuable members of our community. We have an Interfaith Committee that oversees and plans inclusive and appropriate programs and events for all members, and we are sensitive to and aware of the fact that intermarriage is a part of Jewish life today.

Following the tenets of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, non-Jews’ ability to participate in some religious activities might be limited, but these are few; our Rabbi and Executive Director will be happy to review specifics with you if you are part of an interfaith family.

5. How much will it cost for me to become a member of Ohev Shalom?
As a new member, your first year’s dues are free! We want you to have a period to “try us on” before making any kind of financial commitment to Ohev. We simply ask that you complete a full membership application, including your expected level of payment for future years. There is no cost to attend High Holiday services. Your only expenses will be those associated with events you choose to attend or any donations you choose to make to the synagogue.

Our congregation relies on membership dues to support a significant portion of our activities, and we do our best to be sensitive to the varying financial means of our members. Our dues policy is based on total household income, and if you decide to join our congregation, you will be asked to pay dues at your appropriate level.

6. What if I cannot afford membership dues at Ohev?
We have a Dues Adjustment committee who will work with you and your family discreetly and privately to structure a membership fee that works for both you and the synagogue. If you would like to discuss this option, please let our Executive Director know.

7. What is there to do at Ohev Shalom? What kinds of activities, programs and opportunities are available to me as a member?
There is always something going on at our synagogue! Please see our Calendar posted online for a full scope of what Ohev offers, including educational, entertaining, and social action opportunities. Ongoing programs include the Men’s Club’s softball team, the Sisterhood Book Club, and opportunities to serve meals at a local shelter. “Torah on Tap” and Sisterhood’s “Sisterhood: Uncorked”are opportunities for people to socialize and learn together. There is a weekly Bible study class, and monthly Lunch n’ Learn with Rabbi Gerber.  Additionally, our Mispallelim Hebrew School program supplements its wonderful educational program with innovative and engaging activities for children and teenagers at Ohev. You can find specific information regarding our groups and programs under the Community section of our website. In addition, we have several “havurot” – groups of people connected by interests, age and/or children.

8. What if I have never joined a synagogue before?
We will help and guide you through the process of both becoming a member of our synagogue, and of discovering what it means to be a part of our community. Our Rabbi, Executive Director, and members of our Membership Committee are here as a resource and would be happy to talk to you more about Ohev Shalom. Feel free to call, email, or stop by for a visit to learn more about us.

9. How do I start the membership process?
We are so glad that you have decided to pursue joining Ohev! Simply fill out the online application above or download a copy of the application and send it to our office. If you prefer, you can call us and we will mail you a hard copy. Once you have completed the form, return it to us via mail or email, and we will be in touch with you regarding your membership. We look forward to receiving your application!