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Our History


  • Ohel Yonah Menachem is a congregation of families committed firmly to the realization of religious Zionism.
  • A community of young professional families. Doctors and lawyers. Rabbis and teachers. Computer professionals. People active in commerce, in education and in the community.
  • A community of diverse origins. Israelis and immigrants from countries including America, Canada, England, South Africa, Belgium, Austria, Brazil and Australia.
  • An educated community. Graduates of yeshivot hesder and yeshivot gedolot. Of seminaries and michlalot. Of leading universities in Israel and around the world.
  • A committed community. To Talmud Torah, to Torah im derech eretz, to gemilut chasadim, to Am Yisrael, Medinat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.
  • A growing community. Absorbing new arrivals to Bet Shemesh, welcoming the many newborns of its members.

April 1993 - Ten families decide to daven together in an unfinished bomb shelter (miklat) in their community. Each person brings his own chair, a temporary electric line provides limited light, and a borrowed Sefer Torah is obtained on a weekly basis. The members adopt an interim name for the Shul--Beit Knesset Shivtei Yisrael.

September 1993 - Over 100 people assemble in the miklat, newly equipped with air conditioners for the community's first Yamim Noraim.

February 1994 - The Shul elects its first executive having submitted a request to be recognized as an Amuta - a non-profit organization. The community decides to start lobbying the municipality for a permanent site for the Shul.

November 1995 - The Beit Shemesh Municipality agrees to allocate a plot of land for building a permanent Shul. Over 120 families are members of the Shul. There are shiurim for men and women. The Shul holds social events for its members and is involved in activities that contribute to the wider community.

May 1996 - The Shul receives a major donation from the Rennert family of New York and Jerusalem, and is renamed Ohel Yohah Menachem; the activities to launch the building project move into high gear.

July 1997 - Work begins on the new building

June 1998 - The frame of the building is completed. Work starts on interior finishes and the Jerusalem stone.

April 1999 - The building is completed. The dedication is held on Chol Hamo'ed Pesach in the presence of the main donors, Ira and Inge Rennert, the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of the State of Israel, and the Prime Minister of Israel, who affix Mezuzot at the main entrance of the building. The Chief Rabbi and Mayor of Beit Shemesh also attended the dedication.

March 2000 - The Simcha Hall (the lower level of the building) is completed. The Simcha Hall is frequently used for Britot, Bnei Mitzvah, and Kiddushim.

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