Since October 7th, the Israel/Palestine conflict has been weighing heavily on our synagogue community. We feel deep grief and compassion for those who are impacted directly and indirectly by this crisis, many of whom have lost their lives, their homes, their loved ones, and their sense of hope for the future. The Or Shalom Board recognizes how crucial and urgent our response to the unfolding events is for many of our members.

The Board recently held a facilitated discussion to determine how to move forward on this issue in a way that is consistent with our foundational values. In this discussion, we identified three core values we believe are critical to holding our community whole at this time: inclusivity, spiritual growth, and synagogue sustainability.  These values provide principles to guide our responses to the crisis in Israel/Palestine.

We interpret these principles as follows:

Inclusivity means that:

  • We will value diverse opinions without being positional.


Spiritual Growth means that

  • We will celebrate our Jewishness, our community, and our commonalities to affirm, validate, enrich, and empower spiritual growth.
  • We will encourage opportunities for people of diverse opinions to find validation. acknowledgement and appreciation, in order to foster spiritual growth.
  • We will promote learning and understanding around different points-of-view.


Synagogue Sustainability means that:

    • We will communicate clearly with the Or Shalom community about Board discussions and decisions in order to build and maintain trust.
    • We will address the priorities identified through our strategic planning process, including gender-inclusive Jewish descent, our relocation and renovation, and determining rabbinic leadership, to ensure our community continues to thrive into the future.
  • We will hold space and allow opportunities for self-expression around the evolving situation in Israel/Palestine to ensure people feel heard, to strengthen relationships, and to learn from each other.

To the best of our abilities, the Board’s decision-making process with respect to Or Shalom’s response to the conflict in Israel/Palestine will be guided by the overarching goal of holding our spiritual community whole. As we continue to receive your communications around this issue, please know that they will all be met with thoughtful consideration, empathy, and – when deemed appropriate – action. We commit to responding to all communications and requests with transparency, integrity and accountability, and to uphold our core values as exemplified in the above practices.