November means 2x Shabbat Evenings to Experience!

The days are getting shorter here on the West Coast, but luckily Shabbat nights will be warm and cozy at Vancouver’s East-Side Shul. Or Shalom has two Kabbalat Shabbat evenings in November fit for all ages.

Or Shalom’s adult-oriented Kabbalat Shabbat evenings, Shabbat Soul, have always been a musically joyful experience. Our first one for 5780 is on Friday, Nov. 22. Take this opportunity to wind down the week and settle into the island in time that is Shabbat – a mix of joyful welcoming and restful introspection.

Kabbalat Shabbat service begins at 7 p.m. and will be led by Rabbi Hannah featuring Charles Kaplan, Martin Gotfrit and Noah Gotfrit. Followed by a relaxing vegetarian potluck dinner between spiritual friends at 8 p.m. Everyone welcome at no cost.

We’ve put a twist on our adult Shabbat Soul and have made one special for kids – Kidsoul! This special program to invite children to enter the wonders of Shabbat is geared for ages nine years and younger. Join in sweet community, rejoice in one another, and enter the delight of Friday night!

Join Rabbi Hannah and guests for this child-oriented evening that includes blessings, stories, and song. Please RSVP.

A brief Kabbalat Shabbat service begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by kiddush and a vegetarian dinner (salad, pizza, and fruit dessert provided). Later, we’ll gather in the sanctuary for storytelling and age-appropriate Shabbat liturgy. Everyone welcome at no cost.

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Get into Jewish Studies with Zusia

Or Shalom’s house of study for adults returns for its second year this November with all-new course offerings. Zusia: The Bet Midrash is transformative, communal learning that is inclusive, non-dogmatic, and opens doorways in both the mind and the heart. Last year, dozens of students from all learning backgrounds came together on Tuesday nights to enrich their understanding and explore Jewish texts and teachings.

Check out the full 2019-20 catalogue and register for courses online.

This year we’ve also introduced two-tier course fees: members of Or Shalom receive a discount on all courses. As always, course fees are eligible for a charitable tax receipt.

Courses are already filling up – be sure to register soon to get your spot.

Courses Beginning on November 12:


Join us for this in-depth ten-class course on the thought and practices of Hasidic master Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810). Rebbe Nachman’s teachings are widely admired for their psychological insight, down to earth practicality, and leaps of poetic and visionary brilliance. We will look at the overall shape of his thought and his approach to Torah, prayer, mitzvot, and d’veykus (union with the Divine). We will also take a close look at some of his most commonly quoted and taught torahs (teachings).

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Step into Your Island in Time on Shabbat

Koreh: Writers in the Sanctuary returns for its 5780 season this November. The kickoff program is an open mic on Shabbat, Friday, November 1.

The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. with refreshments and conversation in the social hall (enter the building from the front door under the stairs). Later, in the sanctuary, open mic readers will have 5-7 minutes — storytelling and poetry welcome. Spaces are limited – sign up in advance.

For those who will be spectators and not readers, here’s a taste of what to expect from the poets, storytellers, and writers:

We invite stories about what it means to rest and re-ensoul. What is repose for you? How do you create sacred time, or what makes time stop for you? What are your stories that replenish? Tell us a story about your longing for rest. Read us a poem about your touchstone for restoration. What are the sabbaths of our lives? And, in a world that can push us towards burn-out, how do we know how to stop?

Everyone will be treated to musical entertainment from Noah Gotfrit and Wendy Rubin. Noah has performed for Shabbat Soul programs and Wendy is a Chanting & Chocolate band member.

No cost to attend and all are welcome. See you on Shabbat!

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