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Or Ami Happenings


By Lenette Howard

Or Ami is co-hosting and participating in the Bon Air Interfaith Trialogue during the first three Thursdays in May. Weather permitting, some of these sessions will be held outdoors.

We will explore the theme of the unique blessings and tragedies of being human. If you’ve ever wanted to ask a rabbi, priest, and imam some of life’s most challenging questions at the same time and place, you won’t want to miss this three-part series as we explore the purpose of creation, human nature, how to understand blessings and tragedies and respond to them using the collective wisdom of our three faith traditions.

Interfaith Clergy at Or Ami

Food, friendship, and meaningful conversations are available all evenings between 6:15 and 8 p.m. You don’t have to be a member of Or Ami to join the Jewish con-tingent of our interfaith dialogue group, and we hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 4th

6:15- 8 p.m. Islamic Center of Virginia, 1241 Buford Road, North Chesterfield 23235

Topic: The purpose of creation and human nature

Thursday, May 11th

6:15- 8 p.m., St. Edwards Catholic Church, 2700 Dolfield Drive, Richmond 23235

Topic: How we respond to tragedies

Thursday, May 18th, 6:15 – 8 p.m., Congregation Or Ami, 9400 Huguenot Road, Richmond 23235

Topic: How we understand blessings

For more information, please see or-ami.com/interfaith-trialogue/ 

Focusing on Gender Diversity

On Friday, May 19th, we will have a special Shabbat Service celebrating gender diversity. This service will culminate our year-long adult educational series on gender diversity in the Jewish community and was made possible by a generous grant from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond which began on Dec. 4th, 2022 featuring Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi and non-binary Jewish actor Bonz Swencionis, taught us about the six different genders mentioned in the Talmud (1500+ years ago) and what it is like to be non-binary in the Jewish community today.

On the second event on Friday, Feb. 24th, in our gender diversity series, the executive director of He She Ze and We, Shannon McKay, spoke about their non-profit organization (He She Ze and We).

This organization supports the parents of transgender and non-binary children as they navigate their children’s gender journeys. That evening two incredible panelists also shared their experiences of what it is like to be Jewish and transgender.

The third event in our gender diversity series took place on Sunday, March 19th. We partnered with the Virginia Holocaust Museum and Diversity Richmond to bring in Dr. Jake Newsome to speak about LGBTQ experiences during the Holocaust. The pink triangle (a patch gay men were forced to wear in concentration camps) became a meaningful symbol of resistance with the support of Jewish LGBTQ activists in the decades after the Holocaust.

In April, we began working on a unique prayer book for our last event in this series. This new prayer book features reflections on gender from a variety of Jewish perspectives as well as original art made by talented community members.

We invite you to join us for this meaningful Shabbat Service on Friday, May 19th between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. with a delicious Oneg (reception) to follow.

We Had the Happiest of Passovers

Just Look at These Happy People

On the second night of Passover, nearly 100 people – members and guests – gathered at Or Ami for our community Seder.


Rabbi Ahuva led the festive crowd through a brisk service and added some amusing ad-lib moments. These included a “Dating Game,” in which “bachelorette” Joel Moses queried three contestants about what Seder plate items they most resembled.

Later, Rabbi and Rachel conducted an improv exercise in which the Rabbi in-terviewed Rachel for the job of parting the Red Sea — needless to say, she nailed the interview and got the job!


Our delicious meal – entirely created by Or Ami members and other attendees — included a choice of entrees and a wide array of side dishes and desserts. And Renee Gould ladled out Matzo Ball soup for all. After the meal, the Afikoman was found (thank goodness!), the meal was completed, and a small army of participants stayed around to help clean up. As always, we say, “Next year in Jerusalem.” But just in case we don’t make it there, we’ll see you at our community Seder in 2024!

Or Ami Seders Are Dinner and a Show!


We Couldn’t Eat From Laughing

Next Year in Jerusalem

Or Ami Book Club meets on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. On June 5th, we will discuss and enjoy Michael Twitty’s, “Koshersoul.” For more information or to join, email bookclub@orami.com for your Zoom link.

Reel Theology Movie Night Sunday, May 5th, 6-8 p.m. Bring yourself and some-thing for the potluck supper, and stay for the conversation after the movie!

Regular Shabbat Services are held in-person and online Friday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30.

Torah Study is held virtually most Saturdays, from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Contact our office for a link if you wish to attend.

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