Selichot Story Slam

Or Shalom will commune with Selichot on Sept. 1 with the launch of our new literary series, Koreh: Writers in the Sanctuary, featuring readings from Or Shalom writers and beyond.

The Selichot launch begins with a teshuvah-themed story slam and is an opportunity for Or Shalom members to sign up to read original writing on the following themes: wayward wandering and return. Writings can incorporate one or both themes. Prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction – it’s open to you.

The story slam will be mc’d by poet Alex Leslie who was a finalist for Arc Poetry Magazine’s 2018 Poem of the Year. Feature performer is storyteller Cecil Hershler, who performed at Or Shalom’s Selichot 5777 to glowing reviews. He’ll perform his most recent work.

The evening will close with a musical improvisation of Kol Nidre by David Kauffman and Martin Gotfrit.

Be a part of the creative flow. Sign up below for a five-minute spot to share your story. Only six spots are available.

Never been to Or Shalom? Come see what our warm community is all about. Email our program coordinator if you’d like to connect with someone at our synagogue.

  • Sign Up to Participate in the Story Slam - All Spots Full! Come check out the storytellers on Sept. 1

    Stories are limited to five minutes each. Only six spots available. You'll receive a confirmation for whether you have a spot reserved. Sets will begin at 8:15 p.m. Mic and music stand will be set up.

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Or Shalom at 40 – A Four-Part Retrospective

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.

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Tisha B’Av 2018 – Longing & Lamentation

On the day of communal mourning, the ninth of Av, Or Shalom will commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem with a reading of Eicha and a teaching.

Our Rabbi Hannah Dresner and rabbis emeriti, Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan and Rabbi Hillel Goelman and other Or Shalom members will each read a chapter from Eicha. Plus, Rabbi Benjamin Barer returns to Or Shalom on the heels of his ordination from Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Boston. He’ll grace us with a teaching.

Not a member? No problem. Or Shalom welcomes all who are interested in attending our services.

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