On behalf of Congregation Or VeShalom Board of Trustees, I am excited to announce the creation of Brookhaven Bayit@OVS (B@OVS), an innovative hub for young adult engagement and Jewish life in Atlanta. Concurrently, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Simcha Pearl as the first Director of B@OVS, effective July 1, 2015. Sim is an accomplished and visionary educational leader and embraces Congregation Or VeShalom’s culture and values.
B@OVS is our congregation’s initiative to connect in innovative and creative ways to young adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s by fostering a welcoming community, a celebration of Jewish life and learning, the pursuit of social justice, and a commitment to shared experiences.
Sim conveyed, “The ‘B’ represents Bayit (pronounced ‘bah-yeet’), the Hebrew word meaning, literally and metaphorically, HOME. Bayit is the most meaningful word we could think of to describe a new kind of Jewish institution whose constituents are profoundly connected in the celebrating and bettering of both their broader community family together with their nuclear Jewish family. B@OVS: You’re home now.”
In 1997, Sim and his family moved to Atlanta when Sim became founding Principal of The Weber School, Atlanta's first community trans-denominational Jewish high school. Three years later, he became Head of School and, after 18 years, he retired in June 2014. Dozens of OVS families boast graduates of The Weber School under Sim’s leadership.
Rabbi Kassorla expressed, “Sim is the ideal person to lead this important program. He brings a deep appreciation for Or VeShalom’s past and present and an inspired commitment to our future. Our congregation and community are blessed Sim chose us for this exciting time in our lives.”
Sim explained, “The goal of B@OVS is to connect young adults in new ways to Judaism and hopefully, over time, when they are ready, to our very special 100+ year-old synagogue and community.”
Sim perpetually sees things half full, and he embodies a track record of inspiring connection and community. “No matter your generational identity, we all want the same things at the end of the day: some happiness, love, community, and to leave the world better than we found it, despite how differently we express it or how differently that might look,” said Sim.
A strategic and results-oriented leader, Sim brings great energy and passion for young adults. His knack for engaging and connecting with people of all ages, practices, and backgrounds coupled with his ability to build relationships across a broad community are among Sim’s many talents. He recognizes that each age group has its needs and is ready to help address them. Over the next few months, Sim will meet and talk with a broad range of constituents between the ages of 23 and 45 and begin to initiate programs to allow Congregation Or VeShalom to continue growing from strength to strength.
Dr. Pearl received his Bachelor of Arts with honors in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. He earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. His education continued with completion of the Senior Educators Program at Hebrew University; the Jerusalem Fellows Program at Mandel Institute; and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from Argosy University, in addition to extended studies at and certification from the Harvard Principals’ Center.
Please join us in extending a very warm welcome to Dr. Sim Pearl as he joins our beloved OVS community.
President, Congregation Or VeShalom