For close to half a century, the Lido Beach Synagogue has served a growing mix of local residents and summer transplants in an idyllic Modern Orthodox community on the south shore of Long Island. Situated on a barrier island together with Atlantic Beach and Long Beach, Lido Beach is one of the most convenient beach communities in the New York metropolitan area, easily reached by both car and the LIRR—direct from Midtown Manhattan in just 45 minutes.
Served so ably for over 30 years by recently retired Rabbi Emeritus, Daniel Mehlman, this dynamic congregation is excited to further expand its programming under newly installed Rabbi Shaul Rappeport who came on board this past November following a very successful stint in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Sunday, May 4, will mark the opening of Lido Beach Synagogue’s new “Scholar Series,” a robust program of thought-provoking lectures and discussion forums that will introduce top speakers to the community. The first installment will feature HBO producer, Zak Harrison, who will deliver his unique presentation “Olympic Heroes: They’re All Gone” about the tragic 1972 Munich Olympic massacre and its aftermath. Harrison’s presentation has been met with wide acclaim by organizations across the country and Lido Beach Synagogue is proud to be the first group to bring it to the New York area. In his presentation, Harrison immortalizes the victims, ensuring their names and memories are not forgotten. But beyond remembering the unfortunate victims, the tragedy becomes a catalyst for deep discussion, helping the audience form new ideas about morality, heroes, and the world of sports.
Other programs are planned for the rest of the Scholar Series. Allison Josephs of “Jew in the City” fame will speak on July 10th about finding G-d in Hawaii. Rabbi Steven Weil, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union, will join the community for Shabbos as a scholar-in-residence on August 2. “We envision the Scholar Series becoming on ongoing, year-round project,” said Rabbi Rappeport, “and are already in discussion with speakers from Israel and elsewhere about early to mid-2015 events.”
Beyond the Scholar Series, much new activity is going on in Lido Beach. A new “mini-minyan” will be launched shortly for children up to seven years old, featuring songs, parts of davening, and stories from the weekly parashah, all under the oversight of our very energetic youth department. The community also plans to feature chazzanim and Jewish singers on select Shabbosos to further enhance the davening and overall shul environment for both members and their guests. New programming for young families is under way with an emphasis on trips, game nights, and other similar activities.
“Lido Beach has something for everyone, from young couples to empty-nesters and retirees,” offered Rabbi Rappeport. “We maintain our own eiruv and have a mikveh, a kosher bakery, a kosher butcher/take-out and a caterer, as well as yeshivos and day schools. We are truly blessed with a perfect balance of in-town convenience and an out-of-town relaxed atmosphere. If you have not been here yet, we would love to have you visit us on May 4 or come for a Shabbos in the summer, perhaps. But don’t blame me if you don’t want to leave after you get here. Lido Beach has that effect on most people!” v