Monday, March 18, 2013

Ohr Simcha Offers Baltimore a Warm Shul Environment

After more than twenty years Congregation Ohr Simcha has been a vibrant, but small gathering place for Jews in Baltimore. About one and a half years ago the decision was made to take the leap, and more their premises and see if they could continue to offer the warm, intimate feel of the small shul, while at the same time expanding into a larger, more comfortable facility.

With the generous help of Frank Storch and his wife Danielle Ohr Simcha was able to more into larger premises on the Storch’s property. Since then the congregation has been growing by leaps and bounds. Yet, they have not lost their special welcoming character which allows all different types of Jews to feel comfortable within. The characteristics that made the shul so special in the first place are still present: sincere and respectful davening (prayer), a warm atmosphere, and a strong feeling of community.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: Baltimore Responded with Frank Storch

In a recent edition of the on-line edition of Jewish Action Frank Storch told the story of how he and several other volunteers from Baltimore brought truckloads of emergency equipment to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York City.

“I was in Israel when I heard about the hurricane. I changed my ticket so I could return earlier and help out.
A member of Hatzalah called, saying he was interested in taking some generators from Baltimore to New York. Instead of bringing just a few generators, I thought, Let’s make a large purchase of generators, gas cans, flashlights, batteries, lanterns—everything the communities would need. 
Home Depot in Baltimore was suspicious of the fact that we wanted to purchase hundreds of generators; they assumed we would be bringing them to New York to resell. I told them to speak with the attorney general of Maryland who knows me personally and could vouch for me. They contacted the attorney general and realized we had truly come to do a good deed. We ended up bringing 120 generators, 250 gas cans and thousands of batteries, flashlights, sump pumps, trash bags and more. With a caravan of four large rented trucks, one mini truck and my four-wheel drive, we left for New York with more than $150,000 worth of emergency equipment.”
Frank Storch in Yellow Jacket with Volunteers Helping Out During Hurricane Sandy

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Growing Strong at Congregation Ohr Simcha

For fifteen years Congregation Ohr Simcha met in the private home of Mr. and Mrs David Wolf without even the benefit of the services of a rabbi. Five years ago the shul finally took the plunge and hired Rabbi Ari Storch to lead them, and lead them he did. Straight to a larger location, and the shul has not stopped growing since!
Frank Storch at Congregation Ohr Simcha During Purim

Thanks to the generous support of Frank Storch and his wife Danielle, Congregation Ohr Simcha was able to move to a larger facility, at the back of Frank Storch’s property, and watch their membership climb. On the first Shabbat after the change in venue about twenty of the congregations regular attendees came. Within just one week that number was already double. Today the shul can be proud of its 100 participants every Shabbat, all responding to the shul’s emphasis on a sincere, respectful service, a warm, welcoming, friendly atmosphere, and a desire to unify and strengthen their community while encouraging members from a large spectrum of the orthodox community.