On Sunday June 26, at approximately 10 am, Agudath Israel Congregation and Congregation Beth Shalom of Ottawa will ceremonially mark their amalgamation as Kehillat Beth Israel with the joining of two processions of their sacred Torah scrolls.
The Beth Shalom procession will leave its temporary home at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre and walk east along Carling Avenue. A procession from Agudath Israel will leave the synagogue building on Coldrey Avenue, walk north on Kirkwood Avenue and west on Carling Avenue.
When the two processions meet, they will join as one and return together as Kehillat Beth Israel and place the Torah scrolls in the Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark) in the main sanctuary. The symbolism of the event is that Agudath Israel is leaving its home and re-entering together as equals with Beth Shalom in their new home as Kehillat Beth Israel.
The Torahs are carefully handwritten parchment scrolls containing the text of the Five Books of Moses which are the root of Jewish worship.
The “new” synagogue brings together two congregations with a collective history in Ottawa of more than 170 years. It will become the largest Jewish congregation in Ottawa at more than 750 families and will be led by Senior Rabbi Eytan Kenter, who takes up the pulpit on the Shabbat weekend of July 8.