Ahavath Torah Congregation – Englewood
In 1895, eight pioneering families living in Englewood had a vision to establish an orthodox synagogue for their community. That vision became the foundation for what today’s Englewood community calls Ahavath Torah Congregation. The nuclear founding group first conducted services in each other’s homes before they were able to rent space as a venue for their congregation, initially on Armory Street and then later on Durie Avenue in Englewood.
With Kosher meat becoming more readily available in Englewood and the steady influx of Jewish families moving to the nearby area surrounding the synagogue, the Ahavath Torah Congregation soon realized plans for expansion would be necessary in order to properly accommodate its members. By 1911, the membership at Ahavath Torah Congregation had increased to 50 families and so, the Congregation picked up and moved from one of the original rented locations on Durie Avenue in Englewood to 33 Humphrey Street in Englewood, after an 18 x 30 foot lot was purchased to house the new synagogue. Subsequently, and an old church building on Englewood Avenue was later purchased, providing more square footage.
Yet, by 1958, the Ahavath Torah Congregation was in need of an even larger facility still. Swift action was taken by forward-looking members of the Congregation, leading them to purchase the estate of Baroness Cassel Van Dorn, located at 240 Broad Avenue, in Englewood, where the present-day Ahavath Torah Congregation resides.
The relocation was welcomed and celebrated by the Congregation with a march through the streets of Englewood, transporting the Sifrei Torah to its new home.
Now, with seven hundred member families and growing, the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Englewood “strives to preserve the warmth and spirit of its founders,” while maintaining the synagogue’s “unique character of unity and diversity,” a feature which has been lovingly nurtured by its members and influential Rabbis over the years.
There are many opportunities provided to the Congregation’s members both young and young at heart to learn and grow. An abundance of activities are offered to all levels of background and learning, hosting adult education classes, K’ton Ton programs on Shabbat for ages 2 – 6, youth minyanim for grades K-12, educational and social programs for high school through college aged members, just to name a few. Committed to charitable activities, the Ahavath Torah Congregation coordinates hospital visitations, as well as offering a Kosher kitchen in the community hospital in an effort to comfort the bereaved and nourish new parents.
Furthermore, in an effort to remain an active influence in the community, as well as in the lives of its vast spectrum of individual Judaic backgrounds, the Ahavath Torah Congregation of Englewood “caters to different styles, tastes and personal preferences.”