This post is LONG overdue …
This past February, the congregation where I serve as the Senior Rabbi, Ahavat Zion Messianic Synagogue in Beverly Hills, CA, celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special gala dinner featuring special guests, joyous music and historical trivia into the congregation’s past forty years. This momentous occasion brought together current and past members, as well as other special guests, for an evening of recollection, celebration and vision casting toward the future. The event also turned out to be an excellent opportunity for outreach as there were many friends, family and colleagues present who were introduced to the community for the first time. Many people expressed an interest in finding out more about our congregation and a few people have already become actively involved.
Our special honored guests included the founders of the congregation, Dr. Ray and Kassiani Gannon, and former leaders Rabbi Barry Budoff and Rabbi Dr. Stuart Dauermann. We also had special music featuring Messianic Jewish recording artists Britta K, Sally Klein O’Connor and Misha Goetz.
Ahavat Zion was originally founded in 1973 under the name Beth Emmanuel. However, in 1978 the congregation reincorporated and changed its name to Ahavat Zion. As the oldest Messianic congregation on the West Coast, and one of the seven oldest in the entire country, Ahavat Zion has been at the forefront of the Messianic Jewish movement, serving as a flagship congregation, a think-tank for innovative ideas and services, and a spiritual home for those who are Jewish or intermarried.
It has now been a few months since the 40th Anniversary Celebration and I continue to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback … from the warmth and friendliness of the evening to how nice it was to especially recognize the contributions of significant members throughout the congregation’s history. This was definitely a significant milestone I will never forget.