On behalf of Congregation Ohr HaTorah, we thank you for your interest in our synagogue.  Whether you are anewcomer or have lived here for a long time, we are happy to welcome you into our “shul family”.  We hope this letter will provide some general information and give you a better understanding about our shul and the way it functions.

Ohr HaTorah is an Orthodox shul with Jews from all over the world including: Israel, Iran, South Africa, Canada, the former Soviet U9365.jpgnion, and all corners of the United States. Its uniqueness and charm lie in the diversity of the religious backgrounds of our membership, which range from those with no Judaic upbringing, to those raised in Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox families.

Ohr HaTorah provides a warm and friendly place to explore and live the wonderful heritage that Jews have been proud of for the past 3300 years. We do this through minyan which meets twice daily, our exciting Shabbat service and Kiddush, nightly educational classes Monday through Thursday, a monthly women’s class, and the many holiday celebrations and extracurricular activities we enjoy together.

All members have a voice in the decisions of our shul at our monthly breakfast meetings, where we share ideas and plan events.

The decision to join a shul is sometimes a difficult one. If you would like to ‘test the waters’ before making a commitment, we would love to have you join us for Shabbat services and Kiddush, or join one of our Rabbis or members for Shabbat dinner or lunch.

We would love to have you become a part of our family.  For more information and to request free information packet, please call our office at 704/366-3984.



Some frequently asked questions from potential members:



Why should I go to an Orthodox shul if I am not orthodox?

Members of our shul come from varied religious backgrounds. Our philosophy is that labels in Judaism (Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, etc.) divide rather than unite us. In truth, there is only one kind of Jew… and that is a Jew.


What if I am not comfortable reading Hebrew? Will I be able to follow the service?

All our daily prayer books include both Hebrew and English text. While the formal prayers are conducted in Hebrew, explanations regarding the prayers and Torah service are in English. Wefind comfort in knowing that G‑d understands all languages. In addition, weekly classes cycle through the prayer book, providing valuable explanations and understanding of the significance and background of each prayer. Our rabbis have also begun a unique program allowing individuals with ‘tight schedules’ to meet regularly for one-on-one sessions on any Judaic topic you want to know more about.


Why should I join a Shul? My life is too busy…I have so many other things to do on Saturday…

This is a tough one, mainly because most people have lived their lives with routines on Saturday that have not allowed them to capture and enjoy the beauty and gift that is Shabbat. The best way to explain what coming to Shul on Shabbat does for a person is this: How many times, as a parent, have you sat and tried to convince your child at the dinner table that the new food you have put before him is delicious, if only he would try it. So after a few minutes, your child agrees to take that bold step and ‘give it a taste.’ The next few seconds can only be described as ‘magical,’ as you watch your child’s eyes light up with a radiance of happiness that gives each one of us as parents a warm feeling…he loved it.

Many of us at Ohr HaTorah did not grow up in homes where Shabbat was anything other than a day to watch TV, shop, play sports, etc. Judaism was more of an association and less of an experience. But since becoming a part of Ohr HaTorah, we have discovered how much richness celebrating Shabbat brings to our families. This starts with the warmth of the Friday night dinner table, where Shabbat candles are lit and Kiddush is said over a cup of wine; this then leads into the joy and spirituality of the Shabbat morning service, followed by the intimacy and friendships that follow during the Shabbat kiddush.