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Or Atid Happenings

Rabbi Sherry reciting the Kiddish.

Not only was July 1st Rabbi Sherry Grinsteiner’s first day, but it was also Shabbat! She hit the ground running with lively, interactive, and meaningful services.

Seeing so many congregants back in the sanctuary and on Zoom was especially lovely! We also had many Zoom participants from Rabbi’s previous congregation.

It’s been quite a fantastic summer (so far) at Or Atid! We welcomed Rabbi Sherry Grinsteiner on July 1st, and our congregational committees are active and already meeting to plan out the year.

In addition, we have already had some great activities and social events, with more to come!

Congregation Or Atid Welcomes Rabbi Grinsteiner with a Shabbarbeque

On a beautiful summer evening on Friday July 15, Congregation Or Atid officially welcomed Rabbi Sherry Grinsteiner and her husband, Leo, with a celebratory Shabbarbeque.

After starting the evening with the customary blessing over candles, challah and the Kiddush wine, everyone enjoyed a delicious cookout dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and numerous side dishes. After dinner Rabbi Sherry led us in a participative and spirited Birkat Hamazon, Grace After Meals. Following the dinner everyone was treated to a warm and inspirational Shabbat service led by Rabbi Sherry.

If you weren’t able to attend the July Shabbarque, you won’t want to miss the last Shabbarbeque of the summer on Friday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m. To make your reservation contact the synagogue office at: office@oratid.org  or (804) 740-4747.

The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond awards a $9,500 grant for the Gan Chesed Initiative

We are excited to announce that JCFR has awarded a $9,500 grant to once again support Congregation Or Atid’s Gan Chesed initiative. The Gan Chesed kindness garden, is a universally accessible, sensory-based outdoor play area and Jewish-themed Garden focusing on natural elements to engage all the senses in a safe manner. Inspired by Jewish practices and teachings, Gan Chesed offers new learning opportunities and programs for all ages and abilities in the spirit of inclusion.

COA is very thankful that JCFR has continued to provide this significant grant to support programs at the garden. We are also grateful for various other community and synagogue partners who have provided support for this initiative.

As of this writing, COA has made several donations to the JCC Elmer Toth Food Pantry for distribution. Vegetables harvested have included broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, kale, radishes, green beans, as well as herbs (see pictures below).

A huge thank you goes to our COA Garden Keepers and Shari Menlowe Barck at the JCC, who coordinates the food distribution.

Even with this grant funding, the Gan Chesed kindness garden still needs support. If you would like to donate to Gan Chesed or volunteer your services to support this initiative, please contact the synagogue office at (804)740-4747 or email wschweiger@oratid.org.

Sara Rosenbaum’s Presentation on JCFR Trip to Poland

Sara Rosenbaum

At our July 9th Shabbat service, we were happy to welcome Sara Rosenbaum, Chief Impact Officer at the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.

Sara spoke to our congregation about her experiences and reflections from a recent trip to Poland and the Ukrainian border with the Jewish Federations of North America Fly-In mission. She shared stories and events that she experienced and conveyed them in an impactful and interesting presentation.

One of Sara’s roles is to oversee JCFR’s work in Israel and overseas and to help to build relationships with their sister cities in Israel and Zaporozhe, Ukraine.

Sara related the purpose of the trip was to bring leaders and donors to see the work, firsthand, so they could return to their respective communities and share their stories. She further indicated the trip allowed them to witness collective Jewish agencies work in support of the refugees of the Ukrainian war.

She traveled with two other Richmond community members, JCFR President Ellen Renee Adams and board member Brian Greene. and joined 20 Americans from all around the country.

They were also able to bring in about 900 pounds of over-the-counter medical supplies and Passover supplies that were so desperately needed. These medical supplies were donated by so many people from the Richmond community. In total, the group brought in over 150 huge duffle bags of supplies.

Many community members have already contributed to the Ukraine emergency fund, but there is still so much more we can and need to do. If you would like more information on how you can help, contact Sara at srosenbaum@jewishrichmond.org.

We genuinely appreciate Sara’s taking the time to visit us and thank her for sharing the details of her memorable trip.

School Preparations Underway

The Helen and Sam Kornblau Religious School is getting a makeover!

We are excited to present a new curriculum program and are eager to share the different learning innovations that will be implemented in this coming school year with our students. Rabbi Grinsteiner has been instrumental in helping develop our plans for the upcoming year.

At this time, we are recruiting for teachers for the upcoming school year. If you are interested in a teaching position or know of someone who may be interested, please email our office at office@oratid.org, attention Lynn Landsman

If you are interested in learning more about our school and/or the new curriculum, please email our office at office@oratid.org.

See a few more photos from the Garden and the Shabbarbeque.