Come together for the New Year for Trees

Tu B’Sh’vat is on the 15th of Sh’vat, falling on Jan. 21 in 2019. Or Shalom is leading up to the New Year for Trees with two special evenings: Shabbat Soul on Jan. 18 and Tu B’Sh’vat Open Mic on Jan. 20.

Shabbat Soul – Friday, Jan. 18

Join us for this Tu B’Sh’vat Celebration & Kabbalat Shabbat service and welcome Shabbat with feeling!

Vegetarian potluck: 5:30-7 p.m.
Bring a dish in the shape of a tree
Fruits of the season desserts provided

Music for young children and families: 6:30 p.m.

Kabbalat Shabbat service led by Rabbi Hannah Dresner and accompanied by our band: 7:30 p.m.

All welcome at no cost. Bring friends and meet new ones! Please RSVP here for dinner so that we can provide ample desserts for all – no RSVP required for the service!

Tu B’Sh’vat Open Mic – Sunday, Jan. 20

Our next instalment of Koreh: Writers in the Sanctuary is an open mic with special guests Renée Sarojini Saklikar and Mark L. Winston. Our open mic spots filled in advance and will feature seven readings including prose, poetry, and memoir on the theme “the human relationship with the environment.”

The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. We acknowledge that this event takes place on the traditional unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh people.

About Renée and Mark:

Photo credit: Sandra Vander Schaaf

Renée Sarojini Saklikar recently completed her term as the first Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey, British Columbia. Her latest book is a B.C. bestseller: Listening to the Bees (Nightwood Editions, 2018). Renée’s first book, children of air india, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry. Renée co-edited The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press/SFU Public Square, 2015,) a City of Vancouver book award finalist. Renée’s chapbook, After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees, (above/ground press, 2016), was a finalist for the 2017 bpNichol award. Her poetry has been made into musical and visual installations, including the opera, air india [redacted]. 

Renée was called to the BC Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor, served as a director for youth employment programs in the BC public service, and now teaches law and ethics for Simon Fraser University in addition to teaching creative writing at both SFU and Vancouver Community College. She curates the popular poetry reading series, Lunch Poems at SFU and serves on the boards of Event magazine and The Capilano Review and is a director for the board of the Surrey International Writers Conference.

Renée belongs to the League of Canadian Poets and The Writer’s Union of Canada (TWUC) and is active on the TWUC Equity Committee. She is currently working on an epic-length sci-fic poem that appears in journals, anthologies and chapbooks.

Mark L. Winston is the recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction for his book Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive. One of the world’s leading experts on bees and pollination, Dr. Winston is also an internationally recognized researcher, teacher and writer. He directed Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue for 12 years, where he founded the Centre’s Semester in Dialogue, a program that creates leadership development opportunities that equip and empower students contribute to social change in communities.

As a consultant and thought leader, Dr. Winston partners with universities, corporations, NGOs, governments and communities to advance communication skills, engage public audiences with controversial issues through dialogue, and implement experiential learning and community engagement in educational institutions. As an award-winning writer and editor, he works with students, scientists, other professionals and writers to develop compelling non-fiction, from proposals and newspaper opinion pieces to manuscripts and books.

He currently is a Professor and Senior Fellow in Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, and a Professor of Biological Sciences.

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March 9 Concert – Tribute to Myrna Rabinovitz

We at Or Shalom are grateful to our community’s wonderful singer and songwriter Myrna Rabinowitz for her many contributions to our prayers and niggunim. This year as part of the Light in Winter Concert series, we will celebrate Myrna’s music with a concert of her songs, played by musicians in and around Or Shalom and our wider communities.

Performance at Myrna’s concert will require submitting an audition – there will not be an opportunity for “open mic.” You may choose from any of Myrna’s recorded compositions listed on the event web page. Myrna has many beautiful songs that we don’t sing regularly at Or Shalom, so we encourage you to explore her music and perhaps find a new song that speaks to you.

Deadline for Submission of auditions is February 14, 2019.

Click here for Myrna’s Song List and instructions on how to request to perform at this tribute concert.

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Coming Up This Winter at Or Shalom

Stick this on your fridge!

We’ve created a handy calendar for you so you can keep your eye on what’s coming up at Or Shalom.

Click on the calendar to download.

All members were mailed a printed copy of this calendar of events scheduled from January to June 2019. Stick it on your fridge or post it in your office for a quick reference of what’s coming up at your synagogue.

Download the Or Shalom Winter-Spring Calendar here and share it with your friends! Check out some of the highlights below.

Learning and Study opportunities:

For Adults

Zusia: The Bet Midrash
Courses begin:

  • Jan. 8
  • Feb. 12
  • March 26
  • April 30

Exploring Judaism

More Talmud

Men’s Torah Study

Women’s Torah Study

For Kids


Shabbat Sheli

Holidays & Shabbat:

– Shabbat Soul Dinner and Music – Jan. 18 and March 1

– Purim – March 20

– Pesach – April 20

– Shavuot – June 8

Gatherings & Spirituality

– Rosh Chodesh

Chanting & Chocolate

Special Programs

Koreh: Writers in the Sanctuary

Light in Winter Concerts

– Interfaith Social Action Day for Teens – May 5

– In-Town Community Building Retreat – May 19

Be sure to save these dates in your personal calendar. Please contact our program coordinator for further details on any of our programs or to get involved (we’re always looking for volunteers).

Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter, the Doar Shalom.

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