Enter the Days of Awe with Jewish Mysticism Scholar Dr. Daniel Matt

Pre-eminent scholar of Jewish Mysticism, Dr. Daniel Matt, will share the wisdom he has procured over the last 20 years to spiritual seekers here at Vancouver’s Spiritual Playground.

Dr. Matt, one of the world’s leading authorities on Kabbalah, recently completed an 18-year project translating and annotating the central text of Jewish mysticism, The Zohar. The Zohar: Pritzker Edition is the result of sifting through multiple manuscripts to produce the most accurate English translation from the original Aramaic. He has received several awards for this effort, including the Koret Jewish Book Award, who described his ninth volume as “a monumental contribution to the history of Jewish thought.”

Dr. Matt will be in Vancouver for three days, first giving a talk at the Vancouver School of Theology at UBC followed by two days at Or Shalom Synagogue in East Vancouver. The program at Or Shalom opens on Friday, Sept. 20 for Shabbat with a vegetarian potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m.; it will be followed by Dr. Matt’s talk on Shekhinah, the Feminine Half of God, which will discuss the nature of divinity as presented in the Zohar. On Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m., the evening begins with short teachings interspersed by songs on the theme of yearning to join with the One. Dr. Matt will then deliver a teaching titled How Kabbalah Can Stimulate Us to Renew Our Lives. A reception follows.

Space is limited for some evenings – register now to get your seat!

Plans to bring Dr. Matt to Vancouver began over a year ago. Join us for this free-of-charge program made possible by a grant from the Phyliss and Irving Snider Foundation. The special weekend is sponsored by Or Shalom Synagogue, the Inter-Religious Studies Program at Vancouver School of Theology, and University of British Columbia Diamond Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics.

Posted in Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Don’t Miss Out on Our Summer Shabbat Concert

Join us for a summer Shabbat of sacred storytelling, music, and delight as Renée Brachfeld and Mark Novak return to Or Shalom to share their magic for a Saturday night concert for adults on July 6.

Renée is a storyteller and juggler. Mark is a musician, rabbi, and hazzan. Together, this husband-wife duo have been presented as artists in residence at over 150 synagogues throughout the US and Canada. They have performed and taught at LimmudFest in England; the International Storytelling Festival in Seattle; The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; and at Aleph Kallah.

Saturday, July 6 at 8:30 p.m.
Buy tickets online now!

Please note, as it will be Shabbat, there will be no ticket sales at the door.

Mark and Renée will also be participants in Saturday morning Shabbat service on July 6 and will present a family-oriented story during the Torah service. All are welcome and young children will also enjoy this service.

Posted in Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Welcome to Our Newest Staff Member

Dear Friends,

It is my delight to welcome Matthew Gindin to our staff in the new role of Master Teacher. Matthew will be tasked with teaching our twice-monthly Little Lights program for six-to-eight-year-olds, participating in teaching our Simchat Mitzvah students, and offering classes in Zusia: the [adult] Bet Midrash. He will also work closely with Rabbi Hannah on curriculum for all our spiritual education programs, and help our families with children to form community and engage in lay-led projects of their own invention.

Matthew Gindin

Matthew comes to Or Shalom with experience in teaching a wide variety of age groups and subjects at many of Vancouver’s Jewish institutions as well as in holistic medicine, meditation, and yoga contexts. In addition, he is an active journalist, writing for the Jewish Independent, the Wisdom Daily, the Times of Israel, and more. We look forward to the stimulating conversations and experiences he will inspire in our community.

Please join in our official welcome on Shabbat morning on July 6. To celebrate, we have engaged performers Rabbi Mark Novak and Renée Brachfeld (who will be visiting from Washington, DC) to present a story at the centre of our service, in lieu of the Dvar Torah. The davening will be followed by a kiddush/lunch made up of your festive contributions.

Matthew is married to Miriam Leo Gindin and together they have a young son, Zev. I hope you will join me in welcoming the whole family to our Or Shalom community.

Shabbat Shalom,


Martin Gotfrit, Or Shalom Board Chair

Posted in OrShalomInfo | Leave a comment