As Congregation Or Ami enters its 16th year and the Jewish world begins its 8 nights of Chanukah, we – your president, rabbis and cantor – rededicate ourselves to this incredible Jewish community.
16 years ago, Grammy award winning Cantor Doug Cotler was engaged as the first clergy member of a new community, dedicated to communal caring, Torah learning, effusive thanking and musical energy.
14 years ago, Rabbi Paul Kipnes was inspired to join Or Ami by the warmth of the community, and the dedication of our membership to innovation, to deep Jewish spirituality, to Henaynu caring and to social justice activism.
3 years ago, Rabbi Julia Weisz was charmed by Or Ami’s educational creativity and the commitment of the parents and leadership to learn and grow alongside the children.
1 year ago, Helayne Sharon accepted election as president of Or Ami, based on her strong commitment to a vibrant Campaign for Youth Engagement, a vigorously active Board of Directors, and a vital board-clergy partnership.
Daily we are energized, uplifted, and humbled by the remarkable Jewish community we experience at Congregation Or Ami.
We feel blessed to work in partnership with our hard-working and diligent Board*, self-reflective and inspired adults, and amazing young people – the very people who are ensuring Jewish continuity today and a Jewish future for tomorrow.
During this Festival of Lights, we celebrate these numerous Or Ami miracles:
1,408 sufganiot (jelly filled donuts) to be hand-delivered at Chanukah
1,190 worshippers at our Yom Kippur service
987 pages of music, prepared for our Or Ami chorale
613 marshmallows consumed at our campfire Shabbat services
320 adults at a recent parenting lecture
300 comfort bags filled on Mitzvah Day for foster kids
285 children in our school programs
173 times per day we buzz people into the synagogue
162 adults at a congregant-led evening all about deli
131 thousand dollars in our rainy day savings account
115 youth involved in our new Triple T: Tracks for Temple Teens
103 at risk children touched by our social justice programs
54 B’nai Mitzvah celebrated annually
41 rabbis and educators who served as our faculty and interns
39 families studying Torah in Mishpacha
26 mini-Torah scrolls for new primary school students
24 board members overseeing our sacred congregational work
21 empty nesters, active adults at a pot luck dinner
20 LoMPTY teens attending a regional NFTY retreat
18 adult B’nai Mitzvah this past year
12 musicians in Jewrassic Park, our Shabbat band
9 national congregational awards earned by Or Ami in our first 15 years
5 detailed financial reports prepared monthly by our finance committee
2 new exciting youth retreats (for 7th-12th and 4th-6th graders)
1 amazing Congregation Or Ami!
During Chanukah, we Jewish families put a chanukiah in our windows to illuminate all that is holy and true.
Congregation Or Ami is holy and true. We feel blessed to be part of it and we are thrilled that you are part of our family.
Chag Chanukah Sameach – Happy Chanukah!
President Helayne Sharon
Rabbi Paul Kipnes
Cantor Doug Cotler
Rabbi Julia Weisz
* Thank you to our Board and Officers: President Helayne Sharon, VP Debi Young, VP David Silverstone, VP Vadim Parizher, VP Hedi Gross, Secretary Stephanie Blau, CFO Steve Goldstein. Board Members: Eddie Bauch, Michelle Feinstein, Heidi Friedman, Dianne Gubin, Gary Kaplan, Cheryl Lederman, Steve Martini, Kevin Palm, Debby Pattiz, Melinda Pittler, Amir Rudyan, Jeff Singer, Cathy Spencer, Jon Wolfson. Ex-Officio: Rabbi Paul Kipnes, Cantor Doug Cotler, Rabbi Julia Weisz, Immediate Past President Lucille Shalometh Goldin; Past President/Advisor Michael Kaplan, LoMPTY President Noah Kipnes