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words of the spirit bannerFall 2013-Winter 2019

01/15/2019 11:29:54 PM

“Dear Members of Or Haneshamah,
As many of you are aware, there was a massive accident yesterday morning in Ottawa involving an OC Transpo bus and a Via Rail train.” 
That was the opening of my very first message to you as a community, early in September 2013.
What a shattering afternoon it was this past Friday for our city. Again, eerily, an OC Transpo bus was involved in a tragic...


“We Are All Dor Hadash”

A message from Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton

As we at Or Haneshamah learn about the shooting in Pittsburgh, the distance between our two communities shrinks. We stand side by side with our sister affiliate Dor Hadash, with the entire Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha community where Dor Hadash holds their services, and the Jewish community of Pittsburgh as we attempt to come to grips with the horror, the loss of life, and the profound violation of the sanctity of our sacred space. 

Yes, it is our sacred space as well, for we share in the openness, the welcome and the value of welcoming the stranger that led Dor Hadash, along with many other synagogues across the US, to be marking National Refugee Shabbat.

Our sense of security has been pierced by armed hate. Our response must be to deploy connection, compassion, and solidarity. Our people have been targeted, and in our shock, fear, anger and brokenness, we must - we must - hold on to a vision of a world built of love, olam hesed (Psalm 89:3)

Hold each other, let others hold you. Cry out, lament. Rage, grieve. Know that there are as many different responses as there are humans, so let us all support each other, and the community around us.

Olam hesed yibaneh - we shall build a world from love. We shall stand together in the face of hate, of this tragic act of Anti-Semitism. We shall support the mourners, the survivors, and each other. 

Rabbi Liz
October 28, 2018

Hear Rabbi Liz on CBC Ottawa Morning on October 29, 2018, speaking about the Pittsburgh attack.

On November 3, 2018, Or Haneshamah joined with congregations across north America to mourn those who perished in the massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27 at a special Shabbat service. We were joined by many members of the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, faith leaders, elected representatives, and other members of the community to stand in solidarity against anti-Semitism, racism, violence, and hatred. Members of the congregation offered reflections on the tragic events at Pittsburgh and its significance.  You may read those reflections here [log-in required]

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.

Thu, January 17 2019 11 Sh'vat 5779