Or Shalom Concert Series – Jake Shulman-Ment

Internationally acclaimed musicians from New York and France, Jake Shulman-Ment and Eleonore Weill share an exceptionally expressive and intimate understanding of klezmer and Yiddish folk song. In this program, they perform old songs of political and social resistance, wandering, and love, instrumental dances and improvisations, and spiritual melodies. Combining music they have played since childhood with material they have collected along their many roads through Europe and North America, as well as original compositions, they explore the boundaries of Yiddish music with creative repertoire, instrumentation, and interpretation.

Jake Shulman-Ment– violin, vocals, accordion, guitar

Eleonore Weill – vocals, flutes, accordion, hurdy gurdy

7:30pm, Thursday November 29, 2018, 710 East 10th Avenue, Vancouver BC.

Recommended ticket price is $36, Or Shalom policy includes allowing people to attend who cannot afford the full ticket price by choosing a price.

Posted in Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Vancouver Writers Read on Roots & Family

As part of our new series, Koreh: Writers in the Sanctuary, Or Shalom is pleased to welcome four talented writers on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Karen X. Tulchinsky a.k.a ArenLeah HorlickRhea Tregebov, and Amal Rana will each read from newly published works and works-in-progress on the topic of roots and family.


Rabbi Hannah Dresner and poet Alex Leslie host the evening. Sit back and enjoy the words of these award-winning writers. Refreshments will be served and a selection of books by each writer will be available for purchase (cash only). This is a free event.

About the Writers

Karen X. Tulchinsky (a.k.a. Aren), is a writer, director and video editor. Tulchinsky’s novel, The Five Books Of Moses Lapinsky, was a Toronto Book Award Finalist and won the One Book One Vancouver Prize. Tulchinsky’s short film, Ms. Thing, has screened at 55 film festivals internationally and won Audience Choice Award at QueerFruits Australia. Tulchinsky works as a video editor on Canadian television series and is currently writing a new novel set in 1930’s Berlin.

Leah Horlick is a writer who grew up as a settler on Treaty Six Cree territory in Saskatoon. She is the author of two books of poetry: Riot Lung (Thistledown Press, 2012), and For Your Own Good (2015, Caitlin Press), which was named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association in 2016. She is a past winner of the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBT Writers and this year, she was lucky enough to win ARC Magazine’s Poem of the Year prize. She spent the last five years working with Estlin McPhee to run REVERB, Vancouver’s only queer and anti-oppressive literary reading series.

Rhea Tregebov’s seventh collection of poetry, All Souls’, was published in 2012. Her poetry has received the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize, Honorable Mention for the National Magazine Awards, and the Readers’ Choice Award for Poetry from Prairie Schooner. Her work is characterized by a strong poetic voice, intellectual honesty, and a compassionate engagement with the extraordinary lived experience of “ordinary” life. Tregebov is also the author of an award-winning historical novel, The Knife-Sharpener’s Bell, and five children’s picture books. Having retired from teaching in June 2017, she is now an Associate Professor Emerita in the Creative Writing Program at University of British Columbia.

Amal Rana is a poet and interdisciplinary performer. Her writing has appeared in multiple journals and anthologies, including: Room Magazine, Canadian Theatre Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Adrienne: A Poetry Journal for Queer Women, Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, The Feminist Wire and more. Amal is currently working on an interdisciplinary project exploring the intersections of queerness, race and mixed Muslim Jewish familial roots. For the past several years, she has been working with Cambium Arts & Education as a curator and educator, specializing in collaborating with communities on the margins and anti-oppression training. Amal ran the first, free LGBTQ2+ creative writing series for youth in the Lower Mainland for several years. She is a founder of Breaking the Fast, an annual arts showcase featuring self-identified Muslim women and LGBTQ2+ Muslim artists. Amal is also a teaching artist with Reframing Relations, a project that brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to facilitate workshops on reconciliation in schools and community centres. As a member of the Interfaith Institute for Justice, Peace and Social Movements, she works with various faith communities to envision new futures centering deeply radical and liberatory spiritualties. Find out more about her work at cambiumarts.com.

Posted in Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

In Solidarity with Tree of Life, Vancouver Memorial

One thousand people gathered at the memorial for Pittsburgh held at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver on October 28, 2018.

Or Shalom’s Rabbi, Hannah Dresner, who is also chair of the Rabbinical Association of Vancouver, gave these opening remarks at the Vancouver Memorial in Solidarity with Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Synagogue, Pittsburgh:

The atrocity we are here to mark is the largest single attack on a Jewish institution in the history of North America. It has occurred within a framework of hating many Others. Not just Jews or Muslims, but also People of Color, Women and Queer Folk, and on. Our hearts grieve for the Pittsburgh Jewish community, and for the growing anti-Semitic tendencies evident in our society.

In many ways, we Jews have healed past victimhood. We are in positions of comfort and in a position to offer aid to less enfranchised peoples. It is my fervent hope that we will not allow an act of terror to reduce us to a state of victimhood again (and to the entitlement victimhood sometimes engenders).

The message that arises in my heart is one of encouragement – to stay strong for the sake of the work it is ours to do as we enact the great Jewish mandate to repair our world. 

We must stand with immigrants and other minorities and together defeat hate and violence, anti-Semitism, sexism, and racism.

We must combat hatred with pride in our self-worth – with nobility, goodness, and with radical love, being affected by this massacre not just to protect our own, but to strengthen our empathy for marginalized peoples and strengthen our resolve to each do the job that is uniquely ours to do in creating a heaven right here on earth.

But first, of course, we must grieve, and we do grieve a Jewish injury and a Jewish loss.

Later in the service, this interpretive memorial prayer by Alden Solovy was read aloud.

Adapted for the people of Pittsburgh
a prayer “After a Deadly Anti-Semitic Attack”…
© 2014 Alden Solovy

Author of life,
Man has turned violent,
Cutting down innocents
Crushing lives,
Upending dreams,
Attacking hope with hatred.

Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of murder at the Tree of Life Synagogue,
Whose lives were cut off by violence,
An act of witless aggression
And calculated anti-Semitism.
Remember the survivors of this horror,
And the victims of any violence, suffering or despair.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
And devotion to each other.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Put an end to anger and hatred,
Bigotry and fear,
And lead us to a time when no one
Suffers at the hand of another.

For the sake of our people,
And for the sake of Your Holy Name,
Grant the Jews of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing,
And Your peace.

Posted in Rabbi's Message | 4 Comments