October 4, 2009; South Florida Sun-Sentinel; Lake Worth synagogue moves to larger building; by Shani McManus.
Members of Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor recently made their yearly trek from the Lake Worth synagogue to Westgate Tabernacle Church in West Palm Beach
to feed the homeless for Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
"Our congregation does things that other congregations don't do," Rabbi Barry Silver said. "We just don't talk about issues; we get actively involved. People who are deeply concerned about the homeless, people who are concerned about Darfur, people who are concerned about the environment — they have a home at L'Dor Va-Dor."
Since its founding in 1997, the congregation has grown to 150 families of all ages and backgrounds. The rapid membership increase has caused the synagogue to seek a larger home, and in November, L'Dor Va-Dor will move into a free-standing, 9,500-square-foot building in the Market Place Plaza shopping center in Lake Worth, the same location as its current home.
The new building is almost twice the size of its old building and will feature a formal sanctuary as well as a sizable area for social affairs that can be fully catered with a kosher-style kitchen. There also will be a larger educational area.
The synagogue will continue to offer the same dues as before and does not plan any building fund or assessments to members.
"We're able to do this because we did not purchase a new building. We have a long-standing lease," Silver said. "Our president and board decided we never wanted to make it difficult for our congregants to come up with money."
The Reform congregation also welcomes interfaith families and reaches out to the Spanish-speaking Jewish community. The synagogue accepts students of all backgrounds for its religious school and has trained students for bar/bat mitzvah who did not know Hebrew.
And beginning in October, on the third Tuesday of the month, Silver will host the Rabbi Samuel Silver's Controversial Issues Forum to honor the memory of his father and continue the work the elder rabbi did to promote world peace and social action.
"It's a very unusual congregation," said Silver, a prominent social activist and lawyer. "We have programs on many social issues of our day. Our congregants come from Delray Beach to West Palm Beach, and our congregation is growing."
Frane and Joel Grossman joined L'Dor Va-Dor three months after it was founded.
"We're really a great place," said Frane Grossman, a past president. "We're like one big family."
Joel Grossman echoed that sentiment.
"What makes L'Dor Va-Dor so great is that it accepts everybody," he said. "There are no restrictions. And the liberalism of the Reform movement and our congregation is great. We are very active in social issues. Barry is ahead of the curve when it comes to that."
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Aug 25,'09 (Tue) 7:00 pm. Public Forum on Universal Health Care map to Congregation L'Dor V'Dor