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		                                    We are a progressive community		                                </span>
		                                		                                
		                                		                            	                            	
		                            <span class="slider_description">Where people from all backgrounds are welcome.</span>

We are Or Shalom (Hebrew: Light of Peace) Jewish Community

At a time when so many of us crave a sense of hope, Or Shalom is a testament to the power of building more goodness through Jewish practice and community. We are a progressive community where people from all backgrounds are welcome. You don't need to be Jewish to be part of our community. 

Our membership includes atheists, agnostics, interfaith families, Jews by choice, LGBTQ+ individuals, people of all races, people from Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox traditions, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jews, and non-practicing Jews. Everyone is equally important in our community.

While we celebrate the diversity of our community throughout the year, we also take deliberate opportunities to highlight specific issues and peoples both during services and in learning opportunities.

Along with other Reconstructionist communities, we recognize that we have much more work to do, and are committed to pursuing ways to expand access to Jewish life and community.

Our work to heal the world has brought comfort and support to countless community members and friends, both the familiar and the stranger. Or Shalom Jewish Community continues to thrive as the sole source for Reconstructionist observance in the greater San Francisco area.

Within our logo, take note of the orange flame created by the curves of a dove’s wings. The dove symbolizes our community's mission for peace and it is positioned to open up each inner corner of the Star of David to represent our openness and refusal to be constrained by religious or cultural edict. 

Or Shalom is a warm, welcoming, and musical community united in the desire to support one another and mend the world through individual awakening, social action, and the pursuit of social justice.

 

In our approach to Judaism, we are committed to deep mutual acceptance, progressive values, the spirit of questioning, and a dynamic balance of tradition and innovation.

 

 If you want there to be a space for inspiration and community building that brings our ancient Jewish values into new found expressions in radically inclusive modern ways, and you believe that we must engage in the next generation in that holy work, please consider making a donation.

 

You are part of our story and we hope you consider Or Shalom part of yours. Your gift directly supports our ability to lead hundreds of people toward greater purpose, connection and inspiration.

 

History

Or Shalom began with a group of San Franciscans who wanted a Judaism for their children that would teach peace, welcome interfaith families and allow diverse, questioning voices to be heard. From our founders’ aspirations came the name Or Shalom, Light of Peace.

In the beginning, our founding rabbi, Pam Frydman, taught classes for children in members’ living rooms. The shul’s principle, revolutionary at the time, was that attendance should be a child’s free choice. Religious school could not be required by the parents.

Over the next few years, a more formal organization for the community developed, and Or Shalom incorporated in 1991. At the outset, much of our liturgy was inspired by the Jewish Renewal movement. We met for services in members’ homes, a practice we maintain with our monthly Friday night service, the Traveling Shabbat. Over the years, we rented space from Synergy School, Noe Valley Ministry, St. John’s United Church of Christ and Congregation Ner Tamid.

Rabbi Katie Mizrahi joined us in 2007, leading our services with prayer, drash, drumming, chanting and singing. Our members voted to affiliate with the Reconstructionist denomination in 2008. In February 2014, we moved to the Brandeis School of San Francisco. We carried our Torah scrolls beneath the ceremonial chuppah built by our children, singing our way across the Sunset District for the 2-mile hike to the building we shared with Congregation Beth Israel Judea.

 In our religious school, children from toddlers to high school age still affirm their choice to attend. Our services are still filled with music, and we continue to seek a Judaism that makes our lives richer and our world more peaceful.

Fri, June 14 2024 8 Sivan 5784