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When we offer of ourselves, our time, our hearts, our ideas, to our beloved community, we are participating in acts that are radical and spiritual, classical and contemporary, personal and communal. We are doing what we have always done, ledor vador, from generation to generation, yet with a clear-eyed view from the 21st century.
- Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton

As members of Or Haneshamah, we are partners with our Rabbi in the hands-on work of creating a vibrant and engaging experience of Reconstructionist Judaism.

To ensure that the work needed to sustain that experience is balanced among all members, we have adopted a new Many Hands membership model for 2019-20/ 5780: Whether you’re new to OrH or renewing your membership, during the registration process, you’ll decide which of three teams to join, each responsible for a set of ritual events foundational to our community – Shabbat, Tishrey and Festivals.

In joining a team, each member commits to giving 10 hours towards making happen one or more of the ritual events for which their team is responsible. When the team's events require less than 10 hours of a member's time, they can Get Involved to organize other activities. The more faithfully members contribute 10 hours over the course of the year, the more OrH can offer its members individually and as a community. The Team Coordinator will help members to contribute according to their abilities, and there are how-to guides for events on the OrH Resource Hub to make participating simple and straightforward.

All members of OrH decide on which team they will join in order to host Shabbat, Tishrey or Festivals. The significance of each team and the set of ritual events it’s responsible for hosting are described below. Also included are the dates for the events for which each team is responsible. Detailed how-to instructions and guidelines for events are available on the OrH Resource Hub and Team coordinators will be available, all making participating simple and straightforward.

If you are currently a member or have initiated the new member registration, you may access a list of members that have already joined a team by logging in to your account and going to the Teams 2019-20 page.

How many people can join each team varies, depending on the number needed for each ritual event and the number of events on the calendar. The Shabbat team, with the most events on the calendar, calls for the most members; next is the Festivals team, while the Tishrey team requires the least as its responsibilities are concentrated in a short period. Altogether, there’s enough space for all adult members of our community to sign up.

If the team you’d prefer has already reached capacity when you register, please choose another.

Once registrations and renewals are completed, you’ll be contacted by the coordinator for the team you’ve joined.

Shabbat Team
Festivals Team
Tishrey Team
Frequently Asked Questions

Honouring the day of rest – the heart and soul of the Jewish week. Each time we hear and wrestle with Torah, each time we delight in the range of ages circled around our space, each time we take the time as family, friends and newcomers to show up for each other to recite Mourner’s Kaddish, we rekindle the spark of peoplehood. Showing up for Shabbat!

Nature of the events and tasks:
- regularly scheduled for Saturday mornings
- set up begins around 9a.m. with take down following the service and minor clean up after the kiddush lunch
- While this team has the most events, planning is minimal and set-up is much simpler than the other teams
- three people are needed for each Shabbat service

Dates of Shabbat services for 2019-20:

 September 7, 2019
 October 5, 2019
 November 2, 2019
 November 23, 2019 (Bar Mitzvah)
 December 7, 2019
 January 4, 2020
 February 1, 2020 (Bar Mitzvah)
 February 15, 2020
 March 7, 2020
 March 21, 2020
 April 4, 2020
 April 18, 2020
 May 2, 2020
 May 16, 2020 (Bat Mitzvah)
 May 30, 2020 (Bar Mitzvah)
 June 6, 2020
 June 20, 2020 (Bar Mitzvah)

Shabbat Team members and service Sign-up sheet for 2019-20: click here

Celebrating the most joyous dates on the Jewish calendar. By observance as well as custom, the festivals and holidays bring delight to the senses. We dance, sing, eat, learn, remember and pass along a heritage that interweaves thoughtful reflection and unbridled joy with concern for the well-being of all.

The Festivals team is responsible for organizing and supporting our main festival events over the course of the year (other than Tishrey), including Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hannukah, Tu Bishvat, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot.

Nature of the events and tasks:
- great team to join if you’re a young family
- team is divided into smaller groups, one for each event
- each event has its own unique requirements for planning and set-up
- 6 people minimum are needed for each event

Festival dates for 2019-20:

 September 21, 2019  Selichot
 October 19, 2019  Shabbat Sukkot
 October 20, 2019  Simchat Torah
 December 22, 2019  Hannuakh Party
 February 9, 2020  Tu Bishvat Seder
 March 8, 2020  Purim celebration
 April 8, 2020  Passover Seder
 May 28, 2020  Shavuot

Festivals Team members for 2019-20: click here

Reconnecting, renewing and reclaiming each year our Jewishness in community – the heart and soul of the Jewish year. Hearing those expressive melodies we sing just during Tishrey sets us on a course of connection and commitment to ourselves, to each other and to the divine through the cycle of Shabbats and Festivals.

The Tishrey team is responsible for organizing and supporting the Tishrey high holy days events.

Nature of the events and tasks:
- the largest and most public facing event offered by OrH
- involves early concentrated planning beginning mid/late August and early September
- each event has numerous aspects requiring coordination
- this team has an intense short-lived amount of work
- 6 people minimum are needed for each event

Tishrey dates for 2019-20/5780:

 September 29, 2019  Erev Rosh Hashanah
 September 30, 2019  Rosh Hashanah day 1
 October 8, 2019  Kol Nidre
 October 9, 2019  Yom Kippur (morning)
 October 9, 2019  Yom Kippur/Yizkor (evening)

Tishrey Team members for 2019-20: click here

Questions and Answers

What resources are available to explain how to organize and set up an event?
All information you need is available in the OrH Resource Hub. We have included detailed step-by-step instructions. If something is missing, or unclear, please contact your Team Coordinator.   


Each team has a Team Coordinator: What’s the coordinator’s role?

The team coordinators are part of a Ritual Committee, working with the Ritual Coordinator on the Board. The team coordinator’s role is to ensure that all tasks are allocated to team members. They also create, update, and edit the relevant how-tos for all events. The coordinator is the person you go to with questions or concerns.

Who will be on my team?
That depends on who signs up. If you’re interested in having friends join you on a particular team, let them know and invite them to sign up at the same time. Once a team is full, you’ll need to sign up for a different team. You can see a list of current team rosters on the Teams 2019-20 page.


Can I switch teams once I’ve signed up and the teams are full?
Yes you can, as long as there is space available in the other team or you can arrange with somebody from the other team to switch with you. Contact your current Team coordinator or the Ritual Coordinator on the Board to arrange this.


Suppose I’m away for the winter months?
You can work out the schedule of your participation with your team coordinator.

Who will monitor my volunteer hours?
You are responsible for tracking your own hours.


What if the events I contribute to take less than 10 hours?

When the team's events require less than 10 hours of a member's time, they can Get Involved to organize other activities. The Teams are designed to deliver only our core services and events. Want other activities? Make them happen! The more faithfully members contribute 10 hours over the course of the year, the more OrH can offer its members individually and as a community.


What if none of the Teams interest me? Can I volunteer to do something else?
Our three Teams constitute the core of our ritual activities. It is vital that we have sufficient volunteers to provide these core services to the congregation. There are a range of tasks involved on each of the teams and we are certain we can find something that suits your interests and abilities. While signing up for one of the three Teams is part of membership, we also welcome your contribution to other activities that fall outside of the Teams' purview. If you have other activities that you would like to be involved with, please visit the Get Involved! page or contact our Membership Coordinator or our Ritual coordinator on the Board to discuss your ideas.

Sun, June 7 2020 15 Sivan 5780