In 2018, Or Shalom Spiritual Community turned 40 years young. It took many hands for us to arrive where we are now – over 200 members strong, each one a vital reason the Or Shalom flame has burned so brightly in the Vancouver and area Jewish community.
The decades have been filled with many proud and invigorating moments, sweet and bittersweet gatherings. We’re celebrating all of that and more with a four-part series as we look back at the people and the memories of this community. We’ll start with the origins of Vancouver’s Spiritual Playground, explore our connections to the greater community, have a look at some of the celebrations over the years, and of course, the ways in which Or Shalom expresses spirituality.
Be sure to look through the photos unearthed from the archives. Have memories or photos to share? Leave a comment or post on our Facebook page.
Part 1: Origins
When Rabbis Emeriti Daniel and Hanna Tiferet Siegel left the fledging Or Shalom to build community in New Hampshire, the chavura wove a spiritual umbilical cord to join us together across time and space. This multicolored cord still adorns our Aron Kodesh.
The first gatherings took place in their home on 22nd Street in Vancouver, but soon began to outgrow those walls. The chavura continued to grow and continued to hop from place to place. In 2000, long-time Or Shalom member Harley Rothstein wrote about the early years of Or Shalom, where he documented the many efforts and stories of that period.
Up next: Part 2 of our series – Community
Wear your pride with one of our 40th anniversary hats.