FAQ

"Why is this community different from all other communities?" (Adapted from the Four Questions of Passover)

Frequently asked questions

What is OHEL?


OHEL is a new kind of Jewish community. We are passionate, progressive, and pluralistic strive every day to live up to these values. People, just like you, come into THE TENT everyday to learn, pray, sing, dance, celebrate, drink coffee, schmooze, hang out, and take a deep breath. Unlike traditional synagogues and temples, you don't have to join and pay dues to "come into THE TENT." Our greatest joy is to welcome you to our learning, praying, and celebrating. We trust that by offering something of value that we will earn your support.




Why are we called "OHEL" (THE TENT)?


OHEL is the Hebrew word for "tent." In the Ethics of our Fathers (1:5) Yose ben Yochanan says, "May your home be open wide." According to Rabbeinu Yonah, our homes should be modeled after Abraham and Sarah's tent, which was open on all four sides. We strive to embody this ideal by ensuring that everyone is welcome, no one is judged and there are no barriers to participation.​




Where does OHEL meet?


Each week we celebrate Shabbat at the Parkland Recreational and Enrichment Center in Parkland, Florida. During the week much of our learning happens at Rabbi David's home. Very often we pray, learn and celebrate in our friends' homes, on the sports fields, in coffee shops, and on the beach.




Is there a rabbi at OHEL?


Rabbi David Paskin "Rabbi David" is our rabbi and spiritual leader. Having worked as a congregational rabbi and educator for almost 20 years, Rabbi David has a keen sense of how to teach, inspire and lead. Read Rabbi David's full bio.




I am a member of a synagogue, can I come into THE TENT?


YES! Many of our friends are involved in synagogues and temples. OHEL is open to anyone who has an open heart, a passion for Judaism and a desire to grow.




I am a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Is there a place for me in THE TENT?


YES! As a progressive Jewish community we believe that all Jews: Men and women, Jews-by-birth and Jews-by-choice, LGBTQ+ and straight, Jewish couples and interfaith couples, learned and learning, deserve dignity and full participation in Jewish life. You are welcome at OHEL.




We are an interfaith family. Is there a place for us in THE TENT?


YES! There is room for everyone in our OHEL, including interfaith families. ​We celebrate the choice you have made to be a part of the Jewish community and we hope to support you on your journey. We encourage everyone who is on a spiritual journey to participate in the life of our community regardless of their religious background.




I am not religious but I am spiritual. Is there a place for me in THE TENT?


YES! In our OHEL, we strive to help our friends discover new ways to experience the beauty and wisdom of Judaism and it all begins with your own personal spiritual needs, whatever they may be. People seek to join a Jewish community for many different reasons; OHEL wants to meet you where you are.




Are young children welcome in THE TENT?


YES! We love kids: The energy they bring, the spirit they share and the radical amazement they have for the world around them. Children of all ages are always welcome at OHEL. We have a "no shush, no push" policy meaning: When children are praying and playing we never shush them or push them or their families out. We also have a fantastic after-school learning program for children called the Legacy Learning Lab. Learn more here.




Can I have my child's bar/bat mitzvah celebration in THE TENT?


YES! It is a wonderful simcha (joyous occasion) when a young person becomes a bar/bat mitzvah at OHEL. Visit our Bar/Bat Mitzvah page for all of the information you'll need as you begin this journey.




Do you celebrate other lifecycle events in THE TENT?


YES! Rabbi David is available to help you celebrate the arrival of a new child, an upcoming wedding and remembering loved ones who have passed away. Rabbi David can also help you through the process of choosing Judaism. OHEL also wants to increase our celebrations by marking other important moments in your life including birthdays, anniversaries, moving into a new home, getting a new job and more. Visit our Lifecycle page for more information.




How can I participate in THE TENT from home or work?


We love it when our friends join us in person for our celebrations. For those times when you can't, we look forward to streaming many of our services, classes and celebrations. Rabbi David also has a video blog and other teachings at rabbidavid.tv.




Do you use musical instruments during services and celebrations?


YES! We believe that music and musical instruments enhance our services and celebrations. Rabbi David (aka the Rock n'Roll Rabbi) is an accomplished guitarist and we encourage other musical friends to participate in creating a joyous noise!




What is appropriate dress for services and celebrations?


We strive to make Shabbat and holidays different from every other day of the week. So if your daily work attire is a suit or dress, feel free to pray and celebrate with us in something more comfortable. Fundamentally, we pay more attention to coming together to create sacred space and time than we do to decorum and formality.




Do you serve kosher food?


We serve kosher or vegetarian food at all of our events. Because we empower each of our members to host events and services the levels of kashrut may be different depending on who is hosting. We encourage you to ask Rabbi David or the hosts if you have questions.




How much does it cost to come into THE TENT?


NOTHING. We simply want to welcome you to our learning, praying, social activism and celebrations. To support our work we encourage our friends to make financial gifts. For a gift of only $18/week ($936 for the year) you can become a Sustaining Partner of OHEL. More than a financial donation, becoming a sustaining partner means that you want to be a key player in guiding our direction and growth. Your contribution will allow us to grow and thrive as we open our tent to even more new friends.




How can I help sustain THE TENT?


For a gift of only $18/week ($936 for the year) you can become a Sustaining Partner of OHEL. More than a financial donation, becoming a sustaining partner means that you want to be a key player in guiding our direction and growth. Your contribution will allow us to grow and thrive as we open our tent to even more new friends.





Donate to OHEL

© 2017 by Rabbi David Paskin

OHEL is a 501c3 charitable organization

19457 Preserve Drive, Boca Raton, FL 33498

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