Interested in affiliating with Temple Ohav Shalom? Our staff and membership team would be happy to help you. For information, please call the Temple Office at (412) 369-0900. You may also also contact us in writing at the address at the bottom of this page, or email us using the form provided here.
If you would like to be placed on our mailing list to receive information on upcoming activities and the weekly electronic newsletter, please call the office or email our Temple Executive Director, Jackie Leight.
Temple Ohav Shalom was founded in 1968 as the North Hills Jewish Community Center. Since our inception, we have sought to satisfy the religious, educational, cultural and social needs of Jews in the North Hills. We became Temple Ohav Shalom in 1981 soon after a move to our former location on Duncan Avenue. We opened and dedicated our present building in January 1999, where we continue to grow and flourish. The Temple is affiliated with the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ), which unites Reform congregations all over North America and with the World Union for Progressive Judaism connecting us with Jews in Israel and around the globe.
As one of the major synagogues in the North Hills, Temple Ohav Shalom thrives on the diversity of our members. We are committed to the challenge of creating a warm, comfortable atmosphere of community, worship, study, friendship and spiritual growth.
During the school year, we have several different types of Friday evening services:
- First Friday services are held monthly and are geared towards families of school- age children. First Friday services begin at 7:00 P.M. They are preceded by a congregational dinner at 6:00 P.M.
- Tot Shabbat services are the third Friday of the month. They are designed for families with toddlers. Tot services begin at 6:15 P.M. and are followed by a pizza dinner.
- All other Friday evening services begin at 7:30PM.
- All Saturday morning services begin at 10:00 A.M.
An Oneg Shabbat follows each service, except the Tot Service. These Onegs are hosted by Temple groups and families and allow members and guests to enjoy challah, juice, wine, cake and community.
Holy Day and Festival services are also a regular part of the worship life at Temple Ohav Shalom. Every worship service includes opportunities for the entire family to participate. Guests are always welcome at our religious services.
Educational programs for all ages are offered at the Temple. For our children, we present exciting, interactive curricula providing religious study opportunities for kindergarten through 12th grade. Weekly Hebrew classes are provided for children beginning in the third grade. The education programs are directed by our Lifelong Learning Coordinator, under the guidance of Rabbi Donsky. Adult and family learning offerings reflect our commitment to provide opportunities for life-long Jewish study. Further information on the religious school, adult and family learning curricula are available upon request.
Currently we have classes on Sunday mornings for kindergarten through 6th grades and 9th and 10th grades students. Classes run from 9AM to 11:30 AM. There is a Youth Chorus that practices at the conclusions of class. Hebrew school is offered on Tuesday for 3rd through 8th grades from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.
The Preschool at Temple Ohav Shalom provides age appropriate learning opportunities for children 15 months through 5 years of age. We offer “Mommy and Me” programs for babies and toddlers, progressing to two, three, four and five- day pre-kindergarten classes. Our new modern facility, nurturing staff and low teacher-to-child ratios ensure a positive, enjoyable first-time learning experience. Each class is filled with activities designed to foster cognitive, emotional, social and physical growth while weaving the traditions of our beautiful Jewish heritage throughout your child’s day. You are invited to call Liz Sender, Preschool Director, at the Temple (412-369-0621) for more information.
Temple Ohav Shalom has a very active women’s organization called Women of Ohav Shalom. It sponsors activities and services for Temple members of all ages and is also responsible for some fundraising. Events sponsored by the Women of Ohav Shalom are varied and creative. Some of its congregation-wide programs include the break-the-fast at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, a community Seder, the second night of Passover and a Purim Carnival. They are affiliated with the Women of Reform Judaism.
The Men’s Club meets regularly and for special programs. The Men’s Club supports the Temple in its endeavors in many ways such as helping with projects and events or building the Sukkah in the fall.
Ohav Youth (OY) is a youth program at Temple Ohav Shalom. OY is for 6-12th graders. We have a youth lounge which is a social gathering place for middle and high school youth. Regular social, service and educational activities are scheduled at the direction of the youth themselves under the guidance of parents and our Youth Director. This is rapidly becoming one of the most vital and exciting areas of growth in our Temple family. Ohav Youth is part of a city-wide, regional and national reform youth program named, North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY).
To keep our programming varied and successful, and to meet our growing needs, we need everyone to play a role. Every contribution is welcome and encouraged. Participation in worship and Temple activities is an excellent start. Programming involving the facility, the community, spirituality and Jewish learning provide many areas for participation. Members are urged to join a committee, help with a specific event, sponsor an Oneg, or create a project of their own that others can share in. We strongly encourage our members to be involved in the life of the Congregation.
Temple Ohav Shalom has its own cemetery, located at 1600 Duncan Avenue in Allison Park (across from the Temple). This portion of the Allegheny County Memorial Park is available for the burial of Jewish and non-Jewish Temple family members. Cemetery by-laws and policies are available upon request.
Rabbi Art Donsky joined the Temple in 1997 as its spiritual leader. He is a native of New Jersey and was ordained at the New York Campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1989. Rabbi Donsky previously served as director of the multi-campus Hillel at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Associate Rabbi of Temple Sinai in North Miami Beach, Florida. Rabbi Donsky serves on the Board of Directors of Jewish Family and Children Services for Greater Pittsburgh and for the North Hills Community Outreach Organization. He is also a part-time faculty member of the Agency for Jewish Learning (AJL). He is Past-President of the Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association and Pittsburgh Reform Rabbi Association. Please call Rabbi Donsky at the Temple if you would like to set up an appointment to meet with him. E-mail may also be directed to the Rabbi.