Two Baltimore Congregations Become One

Another article about the incredible shrinking of Conservative Judaism:

With the 11 a.m ceremony, Kol Ami of Annapolis and Nevey Shalom of Bowie will become Kol Shalom at the former Kol Ami site at 1909 Hidden Meadow Lane.

Rabbi Philip Pohl and his new Kol Shalom congregation will be joined in the celebration by Rabbi Ari Goldstein from Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold and members of the Seaboard Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

The newly consecrated scrolls will belong to the congregation of Kol Shalom, meaning “voice of peace.” The name is a unification of the previous congregations of Kol Ami, “voice of my people” and Nevey Shalom, “oasis of peace.”

The Kol Ami congregation was begun in 1977 and now has about 90 members. A decline in Bowie’s Jewish population and an aging congregation at Nevey Shalom, along with the lack of a full-time rabbi at Kol Ami, led to official consideration for a merger in May 2007.

“Kol Ami found themselves in a position where merging with Nevey Shalom would allow them to flourish,” Lederman said.

Conservative Judaism takes a contemporary, approach to the faith and stresses education, community, the synagogue and tradition in Jewish life.

The new Kol Shalom will be the third Jewish congregation in Anne Arundel County, along with Kneseth Israel, an Orthodox synagogue, and Beth Shalom, a Reform temple.

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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