Here in the Outer Banks, we are about 2 hours away from the nearest mainstream Judaic community in the Tidewater area of Virginia. In our remote location, we want to serve the needs of Jewish people who reside in, visit, or vacation in the Outer Banks. We know we need to offer a flexible program in which Jewish people of different backgrounds will feel comfortable.
On a ritual level, this means offering a reform/conservative-themed Shabbat and High Holiday Services. Our monthly Friday night or Saturday morning services take place even if a minyan is not present. For our Saturday service we combine our Friday night service with a Torah service to create a unique Saturday morning experience. In the event of a weather emergency, we merge or reschedule services so that our members (and guests) will be able to participate in the event to its fullest. This model seems to have worked quite well since we began holding services in early 2004.
Flexibility means that the JCOB is unaffiliated but uses Reform prayer books for Shabbat and High Holiday services. We invite you to join us at our casual Friday night or Saturday morning service, held the third Friday or Saturday of each month, or at any of our other activities and celebrations.
The JCOB Torah came from Gush Katif, Israel, which was an Israeli settlement area in Gaza that was liquidated by the Israelis in 2005 as part of the agreement to leave the area to the Palestinians. Shortly after we purchased the Torah in 2012, we bought a lovely sterling silver breastplate which we dedicated to the memory of Marvin Fabrikant. This Ark and Eternal Light are the newest additions to our ritual items. They were a gift from Gomley Chesed in Portsmouth, VA, a synagogue that is in the process of closing. The Ark is about 75 years old, and we painted it and added a shelf so that we can more easily remove our Torah from the original ark. The Eternal Light is attached to the Ark with an adjustable support system. We also added a base in which we are storing our High Holiday prayer books as well as the materials we use for our Friday Night Shabbat Services.
In 2019, a Path of Life Board was attached to the side of the ark. It was dedicated to Marvin Fabrikant but a plate was included to remember the 11 Jews who were killed in the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Members (and non-members) may purchase a plate for any life event. The Board is shown in March of 2019.
We are proud to have held a Second Night Community Passover Seder and a Yom Hashoah Memorial service for the past 12 years. George Lurie, our lay leader, has been in charge of all of our religious activities since 2004.
Current JCOB Officers
President – Frank Lacher
Vice President – Robert Jacobs
Secretary – Anne Lyons
Treasurer – Marc Samuels
Lay Leader – George Lurie
We look forward to meeting you. Shalom.