July 17, 2024
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OHEL Holds Bais Ezra Shabbat to Remember in Baltimore

On September 8-10, the men from OHEL’s E10 residence went to Baltimore, Maryland for what has become an Annual OHEL Ezra Shabbaton thanks to the Bondar family of Baltimore who are parents to Rafi Bondar, an OHEL Bais Ezra resident in New York. This Shabbaton provides a wonderful opportunity for Rafi to bring his OHEL family home with him.

It began on Friday with a tour of Quarry Lake at Greenspring, where the individuals enjoyed the scenery and snacks together. Up next was a beautiful Friday night davening at Congregation Shomrei Emunah and a warm welcome from Rabbi Binyamin Marwick, accompanied by a delicious Friday night meal, hosted by Helaine and Joe Bondar.

Shabbat day brought all back to Congregation Shomrei Emunah and continued with a meal at Agudah of Greenspring. OHEL residents were joined by their host families from the Ranchleigh community, and everyone enjoyed great food, zemirot and speeches from several of the OHEL individuals. The speakers emphasized connections in the Parsha to OHEL, and their gratitude to the community for hosting such a wonderful Shabbat.

Shabbat afternoon featured a festive oneg hosted by Tzilah and Zvi Raczkowski; for Seuda Shelisheit, the OHEL individuals returned to Congregation Shomrei Emunah for another lovely meal by their hosts. Sunday concluded the weekend with a great trip to the Camden Aquarium that highlighted the trip.

Miriam Weiss, OHEL’s director of development who accompanied the Shabbaton, and who herself hails originally from Baltimore, conveyed, “It was an amazing weekend of warmth, inclusion and smiles for OHEL’s young men. Baltimore is a special part of the OHEL family with almost 50 people living in an OHEL residence or attending Camp Kaylie. This Shabbat made me proud to be both from Baltimore and OHEL! The genuine warmth and hospitality extended by the Baltimore community to OHEL individuals and staff is breathtaking.”

Rafi and his friends thank everyone in Baltimore from their hosts to the sponsors for a great Shabbaton. They can’t wait to come back next year!

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