Community Letter from Reb Hannah

Dear Kehilah Kedosha – Dear Holy Community,

Here we are in a new bond, and I want to reach out to you in happy anticipation! Many of you have written to welcome me and I am grateful for your friendliness. Now, I anticipate truly coming to know you and gaining your trust. 

I have great respect for Or Shalom’s legacy of rabbinic leadership and feel honoured to serve as the next link in that chain. I am also aware of the caliber of the candidates for this position of service and I know that such choices are never unanimous. So, it is with humility that I ask for your acceptance and support as I prepare for my big move. 

May I be blessed to learn from you each and all. May we share our hopes and dreams freely, brainstorm together with abandon, and unite in cultivating joy and spreading peace. May we lean into one another’s strengths, build on the security of Or Shalom’s deep foundation, and create just the community we want and need. 

I come to you with open curiosity and a collaborative spirit. And I will minister to you with gentleness, even as I hold the community with strength.

At the Ohalah conference for Jewish Renewal clergy, a few weeks ago, I found myself within a whirlwind of congratulations from colleagues and teachers acquainted with Or Shalom. Each offered the same affirmation: “What a perfect match!” 

Kein yehi ratzon – May it be so! 

I have been impressed by the high level of member participation in Or Shalom’s rabbinic selection process and am now moved by the care I see the community taking to respectfully acknowledge any pain individual members might experience as the congregation moves through this transition. I see how valuable you are to one another and this endears you all to me. 

I look forward to joining you soon and to becoming a part of you.

With blessings,

Reb Hannah

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