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Or Ami as an Ever-Expanding Group of Centers

What’s a synagogue? 

The traditional answer (in Talmud Bava
Metzia 28b) is a synagogue is a Beit Midrash (house of study), a Beit Knesset
(house of assembly), and a Beit Tefillah (house of prayer). Many synagogues
today add a fourth, that it should also be a Beit Tikkun Olam (house of social

At Congregation Or Ami, we see our synagogue as a series of
intersecting circles, a community of communities.  Where the Talmud speaks about three Bayit’s (houses), we
tend to talk about an ever-expanding group of Centers. Like the Kabbalistic sefirot which are interrelated, each Center addresses
meta-concerns of overlapping communities within Or Ami and our surrounding Valleys. 
At present, we have two formalized Centers:

  • our Or Ami Center for Jewish Parenting, which helps us –
    parents, teachers and other adults – to discover healthy ways to raise ethical,
    Jewishly connected young people and guides us as we become “parents” for our
    aging parents, and
  • our Or Ami Center for Tikkun Olam, recently inaugurated,
    which aims to nurture young people who are committed to and skilled at being
    Jewish social justice activists.
I dream of a third center, an Or Ami Center for Jewish
, which would bring Jewishly-relevant arts, music, drama and other
media, to Congregation Or Ami to elevate our aesthetic sense of Judaism. 

While the creation of this third Center for Jewish Culture is still a way off, I invite you to join me this Sunday night (November 20th) from
5:00-7:00 pm at our Mureau Road sanctuary for a fantastic performance

Actor and Playwright Tom Dugan will perform selected
scenes from his critically acclaimed one-man play, Nazi Hunter: Simon Wiesenthal
, followed by a question and answer
period. Nazi Hunter: Simon Wiesenthal was
written and is performed by Mr. Dugan. This one-man play is historical and
provides a narrative of Wiesenthal’s life as he transforms himself from a
victim of the Nazis into the renowned hunter of Nazi war criminals. Nazi Hunter: Simon Wiesenthal has
been nominated for three LA Theatre Ovation Awards. Click
here for the flyer
. RSVP by email to Joy Haines.
To read glowing reviews of the play, Nazi Hunter, click
here for LA Times review 
and click
here for Jewish Journal review
.  This event is open to adults of all ages.  Come join us for an enjoyable

One comment

  1. rscoach says:

    Love that you want to bring the arts to the synagogue – as a mixed media – collage – assemblage artist it warms my heart :)) and here's a 2 thumbs up for the one-man show "The Nazi Hunter" saw it recently @ the Colony Theatre – very well done – thought provoking – endearing and yes…funny in parts – not to be missed –

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