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Or Ami Happenings

Students drumming with our Rabbi.

Religious School students have been enjoying class outdoors on warm and sunny days.

As we transition into winter and see more of our students getting vaccinated, we will be switching to primarily indoor classes with masking, increased ventilation, and HEPA air filters.

The fall semester was focused on Jewish Social and Emotional Learning. The spring semester be-ginning in January, will focus on Jewish life-cycle events.

On Friday, Dec. 3, we have a special Chanukah Shabbat service scheduled for the sixth night of Chanukah. Please remember to bring your Menorah and seven candles to light the window at Or Ami. It’s a beautiful way to celebrate as a community.

  1. The following week, on Friday, Dec. 10, during our 7:30 p.m. Shabbat Service, we will be hosting a guest speaker, Dr. Hyojin Im, from VCU’s School of Social Work over Zoom. She will discuss refugees’ unique traumas and resilience to increase our understanding of Afghan refugee experiences.

Please get in touch with us through the Or Ami website if you would like to receive the Zoom link.

On the COVID pandemic front, two pioneering Or Am

 Vaccine Studies

i families stepped up to pave the way by enrolling their young children in vaccine studies.

Heather and Nicole Rossi were able to enroll their 11-year-old son, Micah. Heather works at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and has been caring for children who have COVID since the beginning of the pandemic.

Both parents received vaccines as soon as possible and knew they wanted the same protection for their son. When hearing about a study to trial the vaccine for 5-11-year olds, they called, but it was months before the study actually began.

They explained the purpose of the study to Micah, and he was excited about it.

When the time came for the study to start, he was told the night before. His response was awesome. He said, “YES! I won’t be excited while I’m actually getting a shot, but I’m so excited to be safer.”

Shauna and Oren Ely heard about COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials for children when their daughter, Ilana, was three months old and entered her information into Pfizer’s clinical trial registry when they had any openings nearby.

So far, Ilana has had two shots. Since the study is double-masked, they won’t know if she received the vaccine or placebo, nor will the clinical staff administering the shots until February.  If it was the placebo, they will administer the vaccine at that time. She has reacted well to both shots.

Shauna Ely is an experienced research lab technician and familiar with the process. She says the most challenging part of the trial was when they had to draw blood, but she knows it’s an experience every parent/guardian has to go through eventually.

When asked what advice she would give to parents who are uncertain about the COVID-19 vaccine for children, Shauna replied, “The only advice I can give is to talk to their pediatricians and ask questions, even if they seem silly.”

By their participation in these trials, these parents have demonstrated the value of well-informed decision making – always, but especially during COVID and our combined Or Ami hats are off to them!

Or Ami Book Club

Ongoing groups within Or Ami include our Book Club. Currently, we are Zooming our meetings, but we are staying flexible as conditions change. Upcoming selections include:

  • Dec. 6, Kim Ghattis, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East.
  • Jan. 3, Mitchell Kaplan, By Fire By Water.
  • Feb. 7, Lisa Napoli, Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR.

Join us for both our interesting books and lively discussions. Links to these meetings are available through our office.

Shabbat Services

Our in-person Shabbat Services for masked, and fully vaccinated adults, are held Friday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30. Children may attend with their parents, and children over the age of 3 must wear a mask.

Onegs are currently suspended. You may view our services on YouTube or Or Ami’s Facebook page.

Torah studies (fully vaccinated and masked) are held in-person, and virtually most Saturdays at 11 a.m.

Links for our virtual Shabbat services and Torah study are sent via email on Fridays. If you would like to be added to the list, please email communicate@OrAmi.com.

Would you like to know more? Please get in touch with our office at (804) 272-0017 or communicate@Or-Ami.com, or check us out at www.Or-Ami.com. You can follow us on Facebook or catch us on Twitter. All inquiries are always welcome.