By Anthony Naturman | Hebrew Order of David Lodge Carmel President
Since 1904, the Hebrew Order of David has served communities around the world. Now in its 17th year in North America, it has grown to include four lodges in Atlanta, which also houses its headquarters, and has thriving lodges in Toronto, Boca Raton and Dallas. Toward the end of the year, we are excited about the opening of a lodge in Houston.
The HOD, as it is known, is composed of a global network of like-minded Jewish men working together to improve the lives of others in their communities. Its members, all volunteers, work mainly within their local communities and support projects around the world through their international network.
To name a few local and ongoing Atlanta projects, the HOD has recently been raising funds for its 10th annual Rosh Hashanah Appeal, which through the vehicle of Jewish Family & Career Services helps support Jewish families in need during Rosh Hashanah. This fundraiser positively affects the lives of over 100 families each year, equating to hundreds of individuals.
On Sept. 2, promoted by its Toco Hills chapter, Lodge Magen David, the HOD hosted the annual Atlanta Scholars Kollel networking event at Atlanta Jewish Academy, drawing around 500 enthusiastic members of Atlanta’s Jewish community.
Between October and April, members and oftentimes their families will get to provide and serve meals for needy couples at the Zaban shelter at The Temple on Peachtree Street.
On Oct. 18, the HOD will host the third annual Kosher BBQ Competition, a project it has assumed from Congregation B’nai Torah. This year’s event for the whole family and community has close to 30 teams already competing, with many coming from out of town to try to win the prizes and have some good old-fashioned BBQing fun.
There will be entertainment for kids and adults, live music, vendor stands, kosher food, and projects to attract over 3,000 attendees. Visit www.theatlantakosherbbq.com to find out more information, such as fielding a team, becoming a sponsor and supporting this year’s beneficiaries. The venue is Brook Run Park in Dunwoody.
In addition to community services, charitable events and formal meetings, there is also a social aspect for HOD members. Lodges host various social events each year that include wives and family members. Bonds are formed, and here in the United States it’s becoming generational as well.
Belonging to a brotherhood of fellow Jewish men, all with the same goals of serving the community and caring for each other, is a concept that has proved extremely successful, and these committed men have proved time and again that they are a force to be reckoned with. Membership is open to Jewish men over the age of 21 who are nominated by a current member.
The HOD’s motto is “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself” — ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha — and in that vein the body of work carried out by the members makes an impact on communities in the United States, England, Israel and South Africa, where its roots began 111 years ago.
Atlanta’s lodges are Bezalel in East Cobb, Carmel in Sandy Springs, Magen David in Toco Hills and Shimshon in the Alpharetta/Johns Creek vicinity.
On behalf of Lodge Carmel and the Hebrew Order of David International, l’shana tova — a very sweet, prosperous and happy year to the Atlanta Jewish community.