Temple Beth Orr is proud to have established the Maccabee Leadership Academy over 10 years ago. This unique program was named after the “…Hebrew: מכבים‎ or Maqabim, מקבים,means “Hammer…” The Maccabees were a Jewish rebel army that took control of Judea which had been a client state of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled from 164 BCE to 63 BCE, reasserting the Jewish religion and expanding the boundaries of the Land of Israel by conquest.

Today, we celebrate the Maccabees by nominating 15 congregants as candidates each year to participate in a special 3 session course. Here they learn the inner workings of TBO and we get to know each candidate a bit more. A “blue ribbon” committee selects outstanding members to take part. The course concludes with the candidates leading a Shabbat service. Although the graduates are not asked to make a commitment of any kind, many go on to sit on committees, chair committees, sit on the Board of Trustees, and even go on to preside over the congregation!