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Or Ami Happenings

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“A Dynamic Sacred Community Grounded in Reform Judaism”

Are you or someone you know thinking about possibly converting to Judaism? Or just interested in learning more about Jewish religion and culture on an adult level?

If so, you do not want to miss Rabbi Ahuva’s Introduction to Judaism course. Beginning on Jan. 11, this course offers you an incredible opportunity to explore many aspects of Jewish life on a deeper level.

Over 16 weeks, you will learn about diverse voices in Jewish thought, Jewish life cycle events, holidays, and major Jewish values.

The class is open to everyone. You do not have to be Jewish or a member of Or Ami to register, so tell your friends and neighbors who are curious about Judaism.

The class will meet over Zoom every other Tuesday, beginning Jan. 11, and go from 7-9 p.m. each session.

Tuition is only $50 ($36 for Or Ami members). You can have a partner, family member, or a friend join you in the class at no additional cost. You can register online at

https://or-ami.com/intro-to-judaism/ or call the Or Ami office at (804) 272-0017.

Or Ami Religious School

The Religious School had a wonderful fall semester focused on Social and Emotional Learning from a Jewish perspective.

Students learned the meaning of Simcha (joy), how to comfort those who are sad, as well as how to manage their anger, fear, jealousy, and other emotions based on Jewish teachings.

As part of this curriculum, students also had fun completing numerous art projects, playing games, practicing martial arts, learning meditation techniques, and even making their own video game as a final project to showcase their learning.

There is still time to enroll your children or grandchildren in the Religious School for the spring semester, which begins on Jan. 9.

The spring semester will focus on Jewish life cycle events, including Brit Milah/Hebrew Naming Ceremony, the beginning of Jewish education, B’nei Mitzvah, Confirmation, conversion, weddings, funerals, and new Jewish rituals to celebrate reaching other milestones in life like getting one’s driver’s license or graduating from school.

Visit https://or-ami.com/registration/ for more information.

Or Ami Social Action Committee

At Reflector print time, Or Ami has yet to meet the Afghan family it will help transition to life in RVA. The International Rescue Committee volunteer coordinator met with 15 congregants on a Sunday afternoon for orientation on what’s expected and what to expect. We will likely be working with a family currently in a long-term stay hotel for whom resettlement staff has yet to secure housing.

After the rushed evacuation of at-risk Afghans, U.S. forces brought families to military bases for security screenings, medical checks, and vaccinations. They were sent to resettlement agencies for housing and core services.

These services include: finding affordable, safe housing (ideally on a bus line), furnishing the apartment, including linens, cookware, toiletries, and initial food; assisting with school enrollment, health appointments, job search; setting up a bank account; tutoring /practicing English, and explaining how things work.

The family likely had little time to plan their departure from Afghanistan. They brought what they could carry – and many came with only the clothes on their back. They leave behind loved ones and worry they are in danger.

What lies ahead for them is unknown and scary. We can help reduce the fear factor by presenting a warm welcome and a helping hand.

Refugee resettlement is always a public/private partnership; community support is essential to see that needs are addressed, and bridges of understanding occur.

The arrival of so many refugees at one time put an extraordinary strain on local agencies; volunteers will make a difference for our new neighbors and our community.

Or Ami looks forward to embarking on this transformational journey and sharing the experience with other area congregations.

General Information

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:

  • 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.

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 OrAmi’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 emailed on Fridays. If you would like to be added to the list, please email communicate@OrAmi.com.

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