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Friday, December 13, 2019

(Courtesy of Ocean Pavilion Synagogue) The Yamim Tovim are over. The weather up north has already turned cold. Meanwhile, the ocean sparkles, palm trees sway in the soft breeze and South Florida readies for another sunny and beautiful winter season. Jewish visitors and seasonal residents often flock to the area around 41st Street in Miami Beach. The profusion of kosher restaurants runs from coffee shops to gourmet dining to well-stocked kosher shops.

There are many opportunities for learning and attending Torah classes and lectures. There are also many venues of entertainment and organizations hosting dinners, concerts and programs at this time of the year.

One of the jewels of the neighborhood is a wonderful little shul located in an oceanfront building. The KavanahLife Carlebach Minyan at the Ocean Pavilion, located at 6601 Collins Avenue, is not only a place to daven, it is a place where everyone can feel at home. The synagogue is located on the mezzanine level and conveniently accessible via the building’s Shabbos elevator as well as the beautiful staircase. It is the oldest continuously functioning synagogue on the beach strip.

During the “season,” the Ocean Pavilion shul holds a daily 8 a.m. Shacharit minyan. Mincha and Maariv start at sunset every day. Every Friday night there is a Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat. Mincha begins 10 minutes after candle lighting. Shabbat morning services are at 9 a.m. followed by a kiddush. A seuda shelishit is also served.

The atmosphere at the shul is warm and everyone feels welcome. Litvish, chasidish, Modern Orthodox, yeshivish and even non-affiliated Jews all join together in a way that is truly a beautiful kiddush Hashem. Rabbi Sam Intrator has been the spiritual leader at the Ocean Pavilion Synagogue since 2005. Intrator previously led the Carlebach Shul in Manhattan and was rabbi of the Saatchi Shul in London. His wife and three beautiful children are very supportive and assist in many of the shul’s programs as well as the rabbi’s work with singles.

This year Rabbi Intrator has procured some special new accommodations for his congregants.

There is a beautiful aron kodesh, a classical design with an oak finish on an octagonal base. The four pillars highlight two stars of David. The look is stunning. Another addition are bookcases creating a free lending library available to those who stay at the Ocean Pavilion Building. The rabbi is currently stocking the shelves.

Rabbi Intrator also heads KavanahLife Singles, an organization that draws Jewish singles from around the country to its popular programs. The group hosts annual High Holiday retreats in beautiful hotels in Miami Beach, and has also held weekends in Baltimore and Phoenix. Its unique signature program consists of a “power discussion” moderated by Rabbi Intrator. The conversation that is generated allows singles to get to know one another better, and many participants have met and gotten married as a result.

For more information on the shul or singles group, call Rabbi Intrator at 786-201-1677. For information on Ocean Pavilion, call Maxie at 305-975-5270.