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Or Ami Happenings


Or Ami recognizes extraordinary community volunteer

At Congregation Or Ami’s May 6 Shabbat Service, Ellen Hofheimer was recognized for her many years of service to Or Ami.

Ellen has been a member of Or Ami since the late 1970s.  She has been at Or Ami through all of its highs and lows, including when there was no Rabbi for a year.

Ellen has done almost everything feasible in a volunteer capacity, which includes starting on the Board as secretary when she joined, teaching Sunday School, serving on the Bylaws Revision Committee, and beginning in 1992 and continuing until last year, overseeing the Or Ami Cemetery.

This enormous task included being “on-call” to assist families at the cemetery and maintaining the records. She has served on just about every committee at Or Ami and is still a part of the Finance Committee.

If you have a question about ANYTHING at Or Ami, Ellen is the one to call.  She has been the synagogue historian for more years than even she can remember.  Ellen and her late husband, Herold, have always been quietly supportive when financial needs presented themselves.  In honor of Ellen’s contributions to Or Ami, a golden leaf has

been added to Or Ami’s Tree of Life.


Bright and early on May 1, Kindergarten through Second Graders from Or Atid and our Preschool TorahTots” along with the K through 2nd class from Congregation Or Ami gathered at Or-Atid’s new garden to celebrate a very important birthday!   Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day!

The day began with handing over “tickets,”getting on a plane, and “flying” to Israel. Once they arrived, students broke into groups and planted blue and white flowers in the “Bahai Garden,” build sand castles on Tel Aviv’s beaches, went to the prayer wall and inserted messages, or into the Shuk. They enjoyed singing Hebrew songs and dancing with Ellen Bernstein.

The event could not have taken place without the support of Or Ami, Or Atid, and particularly Gan Chesed from Or-Atid who assisted with the new garden and the plantings for Yom Ha’atzmaut.

Gan Chesed is a community-wide initiative to embed Jewish values, love of Israel and remembering the Holocaust through this Kindness Garden. It requires community support to continue to thrive. All donations to Gan Chesed go 100% to Garden. This is the only place of its kind in Richmond for all children, families and people of all abilities. Please consider supporting this wonderful effort. If you have a green

thumb, you may also want to volunteer your time and skills. Click on Gan Chesed information on the right-hand side of their website – https://www.oratid.org/ to learn more.

Upcoming Events

On Friday, June 3, there will be a special service for the holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the revelation of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.

On Saturday, June 18, we will celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Alex Rothfleisch. Then on Friday, June 24, we will have a special Pride Shabbat service.

All are welcome to attend these services. More details can be found on our calendar or in our weekly email.

Annual Meeting

Mark your calendars: Or Ami’s annual meeting will take place on Sunday, June 12, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. We will be voting on the new board slate, a new contract for the Rabbi, and revisions to our bylaws.

Or Ami’s book club is meeting on June 6 and celebrating the last meeting before a summer break with a potluck dinner. This month we are reading Scott Seligman’s “The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902: Immigrant Housewives and the Riots that Shook New York City,” which tells how a group of women took on the Meat Trust at the beginning of the 20th century. The book club will not meet in July and August. For September, we plan to read “The Last Kings of Shanghai” by Jonathan Kaufman.

Lastly, Or Ami’s Reel Theology (movie-based class) will meet again on Sunday, June 19. At 6 p.m., there will be a potluck supper with the movie at 6:30 p.m. Rabbi Ahuva will lead a short discussion after the movie. All are welcome to attend this class.

Shabbat Services

Shabbat Services are now mask-optional and held in-person and online Friday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Torah Study is also held virtually and in person on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Links for virtual Torah Study are sent via email on Friday. If you would like to be added to the list, please email communications@or-ami.com.

For more information on any of our programs or to obtain links to zoom events, please get in touch with our office at (804) 272-0017 or office@or-ami.com.

Would you like to know more? Contact us at Belong@Or-Ami.com or check us out at www.Or-Ami.com. You can follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/OrAmi-Richmond, or catch us on Twitter@oramirichmond.

All inquiries are always welcome. Congregation Or Ami, 9400 Huguenot Road, Richmond, VA  23235