New Members Dinner and Jazz Kabbalat Shabbat

On March 1, we will welcome Shabbat with feeling and officially welcome our newest members to the Or Shalom community with a special dinner and service. Hosted and organized by the Membership Committee, we’ll be honouring members who have joined Or Shalom in the past year and give all our members an opportunity to connect and rejoice on Shabbat.

Last year a similar evening was held and it proved to be highly popular. The Membership Committee has been working hard these past weeks to design a memorable evening, including serving appetizers and a tasty entree, encouraging long-standing members to bring some specialty dishes to the potluck dinner and dessert, buying flowers and decorations, and attending to the many details to ensure a warm and satisfying evening for all.

Due to popular demand, the dinner is now waitlist only! RSVP here to be placed on the waitlist for dinner!

For the service, Rabbi Hannah is planning a unique jazz-infused Kabbalat Shabbat service with Noah Gotfrit and friends. This musical service is sure to get into your body and soul. Read more about Noah’s musical background.

Schedule for the Evening:

5:30 to 7 p.m. — A festive potluck Shabbat dinner (planned and provided by our long-standing members!)
6:30 to 7 p.m. — Candle Lighting for Children
7:15 to 8:15 p.m. — A jazz-centric Kabbalat Shabbat service with Rabbi Hannah, Noah Gotfrit, and friends
8:15 p.m. onward — Dessert served (potluck dessert items welcome)

Dinner seating is limited for this intimate evening so long-standing members will need to make sure they RSVP beforehand in order to get a seat. New members have been contacted by the Membership Committee already. Once we reach the dinner seating limit, a waitlist will begin and you’ll be notified of any cancellations. If you would only like to attend the service and dessert afterwards, you’ll have an option to indicate this in your RSVP.

Childminding will be available for ages three to nine during the service, but only for those who RSVP beforehand.

Noah Gotfrit is a 23-year-old double bassist/composer born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. He has been involved in the Or Shalom community since he was a kid and has played at many synagogue events over the years with his father, Martin. He has spent four out of the past five winters living in New Orleans soaking up the tradition and working as a musician with many of the local groups down there. He has also toured in Europe, Western Canada, and the United States with various acts, mostly in the jazz idiom. He is now back living in Vancouver and studying in the contemporary music program at Vancouver Community College.

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Help End Violence Against Women

Stylin’ Or Shalom returns to raise funds for Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) and you’re all invited to come have a good time while supporting a Vancouver non-profit.

Ten enthusiastic members of the Or Shalom community are going to be doing their little turns on the makeshift catwalk at the My Sister’s Closet Pop-Up Shop on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Join us for this empowering night and fun fashion show!

In 2017, Or Shalom held its first fundraiser for BWSS. We raised over $1,000 in one evening through entry donations to the fashion show as well as through shopping the great selection of womenswear and menswear available at My Sister’s Closet.

We have a fantastic program this year – your donation includes wine and refreshments and you’ll hear from the people at BWSS themselves about the impact their work has had on the people that they support.

Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) provides education, advocacy, and support services to assist all women in its aim to work towards the elimination of violence and to work from a feminist perspective that promotes equality for all women.

Founded in 1979, BWSS provides support and advocacy for women who have experienced abuse, as well as community education and training about violence against women. Programs and services provided include:

  • Counselling & Advocacy
  • Support Groups 
  • Indigenous Women’s Program
  • Legal Services & Advocacy Program 
  • Crisis Line & Survivor Support
  • Education & Training
  • Retail Program & Social Enterprise (My Sister’s Closet eco-thrift store)

According to BWSS, on average, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner every week. One in every three women in British Columbia has experienced violence. Almost a million women are either assaulted or sexually assaulted in Canada each year. In Canada, one in every five women abused by a partner is assaulted during pregnancy. More than a million children in Canada have witnessed violence against their mother by their father or father figure.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. The suggested donation is $20 at the door – limited seats are available so you’re encouraged to reserve yours in advance. Clothing donations will also be accepted. Bring some friends along to this great evening in East Van.

Location: My Sister’s Closet Pop-Up Shop
1151 Commercial Drive

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Lebedik Brings Their Yiddish Songs and Stories Back to Or Shalom!

Thursday February 7,  7:30pm at Or Shalom

Tickets available here – $18/$36 or at the door for $20/$40

Lebedik returns to Or Shalom! Sasha Lurje (Latvia), and klezmer/bluegrass violinist, Craig Judelman (USA), explores the journey of Yiddish songs from Eastern Europe to America. Based in Berlin, the musicians bring their own special relationship to the songs, drawing equally from the traditions of old world and the new. Together they have been captivating European and American audiences with this new program and they are thrilled to be joined by legend of the klezmer low end, Mark Rubin (New Orleans) as well as accordionist Ilya Shneyveys

Eastern European Jewish immigrants flocked to the new world in the late 19th century, bringing their songs and stories with them. The songs born from this new Yiddish American culture – and the older ones that survived the journey – offer unique insights into their personal and generational experiences. They tell of the emancipation of women, the growth of the labor movement, the dangers of war and of course, love. In this special program of rarely heard songs collected from old recordings and transcriptions, the artists continue where the old recordings left off, letting their various influences and intuitions take over. The result is a repertoire that is simultaneously deeply traditional yet brand new and accessible to all audiences. The natural amalgamation of Eastern European and American instruments and idioms gives the songs a powerful sense of timelessness and universality. At a time when politicians exploit and fuel our sense of difference, this message could not be more relevant and we are excited to bring this seldom heard music to the Pacific Northwest.

Please find a video of the band here:

A bit about the performers:

Sasha Lurje is one of the leading voices in the contemporary Yiddish scene, known equally for her extensive musical and cultural knowledge, extraordinary vocal talent, and engaging, educational and passionate performances. Sasha has performed and taught at numerous festivals in Europe and America with her own bands (including Semer Ensemble, Forshpil) and as a featured artist with groups such as The Klezmatics, Daniel Kahn & the Painted Bird, and more. Growing up speaking Slavic and Baltic languages, she brings a unique ‘old world’ perspective to the repertoire, and is internationally renowned as one of the foremost specialists in Yiddish lyric songs and ballads. (

Craig Judelman grew up in Seattle, but made his name in New York, where he helped found the band Litvakus, one of the only klezmer bands devoted to Litvak (northern European Jewish) music. Recently relocated to Berlin, he is quickly becoming a sought after performer and instructor in the klezmer world. Besides having played klezmer music for 20 years, Craig’s background in American and other folk music gives him a unique perspective perfectly suited to playing the American iteration of Jewish music presented in this program. 

Ilya Shneyveys is an international performer, accordionist and multi-instrumentalist, teacher, composer, arranger and producer of contemporary Jewish music, from klezmer and Yiddish folk song to fusion and experimental projects.

For this tour, we are thrilled to feature Mark Rubin, who has been one of the most sought after klezmer bass and tuba players for over 20 years. He has performed with Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All Stars, The Other Europeans, as well as numerous acts in other genres, from country to cajun to swing to balkan music as well as with his own alt-country band, The Bad Livers.

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