“And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” – The Holy Bible, Exodus 25: 8
After 10 years of moving from place to place, the Reform Jewish Congregation of Temple Shalom has made a permanent sanctuary.
“It’s a beautiful sanctuary where peace abides and we hope God lives,” said Lily Ann Revitch, who is temple president and a founder. “We’re the only Reform Congregation along the Grand Strand. We now have our very own building for the first time in 10 years.”
The congregation purchased the building at 4023 Belle Terre Blvd. in Myrtle Beach and remodeled it. On May 8, they placed a mezuzah on a doorpost, put the Torah scrolls in the ark, stood the American and Israeli flags in stands and, with a blessing from their rabbi, entered for the first Shabbat service there.
More than 80 people celebrated the congregation’s 10th anniversary gala June 7 at the Clarion Hotel in Myrtle Beach.
Revitch’s husband, Ze’ev Revitch, was honored as a benefactor who helped make it possible for the congregation to purchase and remodel the Temple Shalom facility. “He is very generous to the congregation,” said Rabbi David Weissman, who has been the congregation’s spiritual leader since 2008.
The late Eve Katz also was honored for leaving a bequest for the synagogue in her will.
A decade ago, Ze’ev and Lily Ann Revitch began talking with Natalie and Bert Kramer of Myrtle Beach about their desire to have a Reform Jewish Congregation on the Grand Strand. The four of them spread the word and then provided a brunch at the Grand Strand Senior Center. Sixty-five people attended, Lily Ann said.
Some of them began meeting, and they met in numerous locations before coming to rest at the temple.
Before moving to Myrtle Beach, Weissman was a rabbi at a Reform Congregation with about 560 members in Pembroke Pines, Fla., and most of them were senior citizens, he said.
With so many older members, the numerous hospital visits and funerals became too much for him, he said.
Through some of his wife, Mary’s, family, they learned about the Reform Congregation on the Grand Strand, which did not have a permanent spiritual leader. At that time, Lily Ann was the lay leader, and part-time rabbis came from Wilmington, N.C., and Charleston.
Weissman teaches adult education classes on the Holy Bible and various aspects of Judaism at Temple Shalom, where all are welcome. “We are open to anyone who wants to attend,” he said.
He mentioned a woman who attends a Christian church but also attends Temple Shalom. “She feels that Jesus was a Jew, and she wants to understand,” he said.
Weissman said the congregation has grown, and he thinks it will grow more in the new facility, which is in a centralized location and can be seen from U.S. 501. They are looking forward to worshiping together in the new sanctuary and to holding many other events there.
“And so Temple Shalom’s new home – its own home – is a tangible and visible assurance that God forged with the people of Israel at Mount Sinai over 3,000 years ago,” wrote Weissman on the Temple Shalom website. “It’s a reminder that God dwells among us. It’s a reminder that God and Judaism remain alive in our hearts and in our actions.”
Where | 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., Myrtle Beach
When | Shabbat services are held Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. The congregation celebrates all holidays that are on the Jewish calendar.
Contact | 903-6634, www.templeshalommyrtlebeach.org