Koreh: Writers in the Sanctuary

A new series co-created by Alex Leslie and Rabbi Hannah Dresner

KOREH/קרא is a series of events featuring Or Shalom writers and friends reading in the Or Shalom sanctuary. The evenings will alternate between curated readings and story/poetry slams inviting your contributions.

In exploring the connection between artistic expression and identity, our intention is to honour the writing and story-telling talent in the greater Or Shalom community and to open Or Shalom as space where artistic practice is celebrated.

Karen X. Tulchinsky a.k.a. Aren reads from his novel-in-progress set in 1930s Berlin.

Past Evenings:

Friday, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Island in Time: Rest and Restoration

Koreh returns with an open mic Shabbat evening. The evening will begin with refreshments and conversation in the social hall (enter the building from the front door under the stairs). Each open mic reader will have 5-7 minutes — storytelling and poetry welcome. Sign up below!

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?

  • Sign Up to Participate in the Island in Time Open Mic on Friday, Nov. 1.

    Stories are limited to 5-7 minutes each. Limited spots available. You'll receive a confirmation for whether you have a spot reserved. Mic and music stand will be set up.

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, 5:15 p.m.
In the Belly of the Whale: A Chorus of Human and Whale Voices and Prayers of Supplication

Created in collaboration with guest composer Leah Abramson. Five community members offer five prayers of supplication, answering, what do you call into being for yourself? for humanity? for the earth?

This evening of Koreh is the Yom Kippur Mincha and takes place at the JCC Wosk Auditorium. Free and open to all.

Leah Abramson is a singer, composer, and instructor from Vancouver, B.C. After touring internationally with indie rock and folk bands, as well as her previous project, The Abramson Singers, Leah recently released her fourth album of original songs. Along with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (focus on lyrics) at the University of British Columbia, Leah has studied classical music at Capilano University, and traditional Appalachian balladry. Leah teaches and facilitates workshops to people of all ages, and has taught at the University of British Columbia (Creative Writing), The Roundhouse, The Vancouver East Cultural Centre (The Cultch), and non-profit organization Instruments of Change.

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Mame Loshn

Co-sponsored by Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture

Mame Loshn, which means mother tongues, will feature Faith Jones, Seymour Levitan, Rachel Mines, and Helen Mintz, four Yiddish translators who will be presenting a range of Yiddish works from Ashkenazi communities, in English translation. The works they have translated range from fiction to poetry to erotica. Amal Rana will be presenting a work-in-progress exploring her relationship to her white Jewish grandmother and growing up in a mixed faith, mixed raced family. It’s a mix of memoir and poetry — a work of poetic memoir. Read more about the presenters.

Sunday, January 20, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Tu B’Sh’vat Open Mic

Our next Koreh will be on January 20, 2019 for Tu B’Shvat (the New Year for Trees). The open mic filled up fast with folks wanting to share a story, poem, or song about the human relationship with the environment. We’re looking forward to their offerings as well as hearing featured writers Mark Winston and Renée Sarojini Saklikar.

We acknowledge that this event takes place on the traditional unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh people.

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
KOREH: Readings from the work of Aren Tulchinsky, Leah HorlickRhea Tregebov, and Amal Rana

These award-winning authors and poets will read from new works and works-in-progress on the topic of roots and family.

This is a free event. Refreshments will be served and a selection of books by each writer will be available for purchase.

Read more about each of our writers.

Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, 8 p.m.

Wayward Wandering and Return, a Teshuvah-themed story slam for the eve of Selichot.

This evening will include six five-minute slam stories and an original work by story teller Cecil Hershler.

Sign up here to read your original writing at this story slam!

The evening will begin with Havdalah and end with a Kol Nidre improvisation played by Dave Kauffman and Martin Gotfrit.


Never been to Or Shalom? Come see what our warm community is all about. Email our program coordinator if you’d like to connect with someone at our synagogue.

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