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October 09, 2016

Bucks County synagogue offering free 'Kol Nidre' service

Ohev Shalom presents change to 'business as usual' approach

Holidays Judaism
101116_OhevShalom Hy Paul Studio LLC/Ohev Shalom of Bucks County

Oveh Shalom of Bucks County, a Conservative synagogue located at 944 Second Street Pike in Richboro, Pennsylvania.

In an unprecedented move, a Bucks County synagogue will open its doors free of charge Tuesday night for its Kol Nidre service on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism.

Ohev Shalom of Bucks County, located at 944 Second Street Pike in Richboro, will host the service at 6:15 p.m. as part of a pilot program to encourage new membership at the synagogue, explained Membership Chairperson Adam Berkowitz.

"We know that there are financial obligations to joining synagogues these days, so we want to remove that barrier on a pilot basis so that people can experience the warm community at Ohev Shalom," Berkowitz said. "Hopefully, those who come will decide to stay."

Although part of the Conservative branch of Judaism, Berkowitz said that everybody — Orthodox, Reform, Reconstructionist — is invited to attend the service.

"We changed our membership program in general to allow young families to join with no cost," Berkovitz said. "If a family has a child whose child whose oldest is second grade and below, membership is free."

Ohev Shalom will also collect non-perishable food for its annual drive at Tuesday's service.

Those who wish to obtain complimentary tickets are asked to pre-register by calling 215-322-9595 or emailing