In 2014, Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom marked a momentous anniversary: 150 years as a congregation in Berks County PA. Our congregation, founded in 1864, has stood the test of time, through major events in our nation’s history and in the life of our local communities. In the midst of the U.S. Civil War, we were started by 17 founders who joined together to build a community. Meeting in different locations in Reading – including a grand building on Perkiomen Avenue where Oheb Sholom spent 77 years – our congregation moved to Wyomissing PA in 2000 into a newly constructed modern building which houses our vibrant congregation of more than 200 families.
To celebrate our 150th anniversary, Oheb Sholom held a number of special events. In October 2014, we honored long standing members of the congregation at a special Shabbat service and luncheon; one month later, we hosted a guest speaker from the Union for Reform Judaism at a Shabbat service and elegant oneg; and in December, we ended the anniversary year with a celebratory Hannukah dinner and the release of our limited edition history book Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom: A 150 Year Illustrated History.
One other lasting legacy of our anniversary that was unveiled in October 2014 is a beautiful history wall that adorns the walls of our building’s rotunda. Ten brief panels highlight our 150 year story in words, pictures, and artifacts.