Tampa Conservative Synagogue Mekor Shalom Celebrates Move To New Space
Nearly 100 people of all ages filled Mekor Shalom for an event to celebrate new space for Mekor Shalom in Carrollwood.
The “Hanukkat Habayit,” Hebrew for dedication of sacred space, was attended by members of the Tampa Conservative synagogue as well as members of the local community.
“It is incredible to think that only about eight months ago we began our congregational path toward a shul premised on two things: connection with one another; and welcoming and valuing each person for who he or she is, rather than how much they pay in dues,” synagogue Board of Trustees president Chris Shulman said. “These values are felt at every Shabbat service or Holiday Observance, through the warm words and inclusive practices of our Founding Spiritual Leader, Hazzan Jodi Sered-Lever, through the onegs and Kiddush luncheons thoughtfully prepared and provided by congregants, through the warmth of friends gathered together to worship, and through the kind laughter we hear when the kids attend religious school.
“These values are also expressed in our adoption of a Voluntary Financial Commitment – the first shul to do so in Tampa Bay – where each person or family gives as they believe they are able to afford.”
At the event, Shulman introduced Hillsborough County District 2 Commissioner Victor Crist, who offered inspirational remarks and embraced Tampa’s newest Conservative Jewish congregation as part of the vibrant, growing area.
Sered-Lever led a brief but meaningful service characteristic of the warm and inviting environment that has already drawn over 70 households to the shul in under a year.
Board Vice President Susan Marlow offered the blessing and fulfilled the mitzvah of affixing the mezuzah to the entrance of the sanctuary. Afterward, congregants and guests enjoyed a delicious meal in the atrium while socializing.
“This type of environment is exactly why we joined. This is a place where people give what they can. People are here because they want to be; the sense of community is palpable,” said Mekor Shalom member Dr. Amanda Smith, who attended with her husband and two daughters.
Shulman added, “This congregation has answered the call. Through financial contributions and in-kind donations of religious items, office equipment and supplies, beautiful works of art, and, most of all, congregants’ time and services, Mekor Shalom is thriving.”
For more information about Tampa’s Conservative synagogue Mekor Shalom, please visit www.mekorshalom.org or call 813- 963-1818.