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Connect, belong and be joyful with Or Haneshamah – "Light of the Spirit" – Ottawa’s Reconstructionist Community. We are egalitarian and inclusive, with an open door, open hearts and open minds.

If you are looking for an authentic relationship with Judaism from a place of questioning, or if you want to belong or “return” to Jewish connection and spirituality, Or Haneshamah welcomes you. You will explore Jewish identity informed by Reconstructionist philosophy and the extended network of Reconstructionist communities.

Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton is our dynamic spiritual leader serving as rabbi and cantor. With her guidance, we share traditional rituals, meaningful prayer and meditation, Torah study and joyous song. She brings wisdom and fresh spirit to the wider Jewish community and to interfaith relations.

We provide creative learning for adults, children and youth. We commit to helping others, and sharing what matters in our lives, our community and our planet. At all times, we seek to help members as individuals, and our community as a collective, to flourish as Jews in the 21st century.

We enthusiastically share the responsibilities that make our community thrive, not only through financial support but also with the intentional commitment of our time towards ritual events, community activities and leadership, each of us according to our abilities and means.

If our community values resonate with you, check us out. Send your inquiries to

jewish jumpstart

Are you new to Ottawa? Not currently a member of another Ottawa congregation? Were you a member of OrH or another congregation more than three years ago and wish to join again? OrH is a participating in the Jewish Federation of Ottawa's Jewish Jumpstart program, which will subsidize your membership up to 75% of our regular annual donation rates. This is a substantial savings over our already-reduced new member rates. And if you plan to join us for High Holidays this year, you might consider a Jump Start membership instead.  Learn more here

pride shabbat graphic

words of the spirit bannerTisha B’Av: Mourning, Memory and Meaning

08/06/2019 06:25:56 PM

This mid-summer holiday-that-is-not-a-holy-day, mourning a historical event to which we have difficulty relating, is among the least-observed date on the calendar in liberal Jewish communities. Perhaps the early rabbis felt its difficulties as well, and so added to this fast day commemorating the destruction of the First (586 BCE) and Second Temples (70 CE) in Jerusalem a cumulative list of disasters that have befallen the Jewish people, such....


Learn about Or Haneshamah's weekly Machaneh Shabbat for children (ages 4-13).

Machaneh Shabbat (Shabbat Camp) is an inclusive, family-based weekly Jewish learning adventure providing an in-depth Jewish education for families with children of all ages. Welcoming the participation of parents, grandparents, and younger siblings, our camp model allows us to explore Torah, prayer, Hebrew and the Jewish year through field trips, drama, art, social action, cooking, building and more! We believe that we can ignite the lifelong spark for Jewish living and learning through community connection and taking the time to live Jewishly especially on Shabbat. This spark is the key to raising engaged and informed Jewish young people!


Visit the Machaneh Shabbat page or contact for more information.

Wed, August 21 2019 20 Av 5779