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January 23, 2020
26 Tevet 5780
Parashat Vaeira
Candle lighting 5:02 pm
In this Issue
This Shabbat at Ohr Kodesh
Parashat Vaeira

Tot Shabbat:  5:45 PM in the Cohen Chapel
Open to all families with children up to age 5. Welcome  Shabbat  with family and friends during an interactive service, followed by a  Shabbat  dinner in the Kaye Social Hall. Reservations for dinner are now closed. Please email Rachel Evenson at  if you have any questions.

A Path Forward:  OKC hosts the Torah Cover donated to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA

Click here for the  text o f an article in the Washington Jewish Week headlined "Ohr Kodesh to Host Torah Cover Honoring Tree of Life". It is dated January 16, 2020 with a byline by Samantha Cooper.

Kabbalat Shabbat   5:00 PM
Kabbalat Shabbat and Arvit will be led by Cantor Hinda Labovitz. Community Dinner involving a learning program and discussion with our members who are connected to the Pittsburgh community. Reservations for the dinner are now closed.

Shabbat  Morning - 8:45 AM 
Shacharit will be led by Chuck Fax and Musaf will be led by Cantor Hinda Labovitz. Rabbi Fishman will speak about how we move forward from hate. One of our Sifrei Torah is covered with the Torah cover.  Please feel free to take advantage of our coffee, tea, and comfy chairs in the conference room. " Shabbat  Break Room," which is open during  Shabbat  services to everyone, including parents with small children. 

Mini- Minyan  (Gr. K-2) - 10:30 to 11:30 AM in Room 5. 
Led by Raviv Brooks.  Babysitting will be available from 9:30 am.

Storytime for Families with Young Children
After the haftarah in room 7. Babysitting will be available from 9:30 am.

The Kiddush will be sponsored by Ohr Kodesh Congregation. 

Jews for Exegesis  will meet during the Kiddush at a table in the corner of the Social Hall. We'll study Rashbam's commentary on Parashat Vaeira, about the first of the plagues, and including Rashbam's view about the hardening of Par'oh's mind.

Community Safety Panel 1:00 PM
Elected officials will join us for a town-hall format discussion about community safety. Babysitting will be available.

Minchah  - 4:50 PM 
This Coming Week 
Ongoing Classes This Coming Week
Sunday, 8:00 AM - Talmud Class, Tractate M'gilah with Rabbi Fishman 
Tuesday, 10:00 AM - Issues in Jewish Political Tradition
Tuesday,  8:30 PM - Talmud class, Tractate Shabbat with Richard Friedman 
Wednesday, 10:00 AM - Enhancing Biblical Literacy with Rabbi Fishman
Wednesday, 12:30 PM - Biblical Hebrew with Rabbi Fishman
Wednesday, 1:45 PM - Conversational Hebrew with Hagar 

Machar Tu BiSh'vat Seder (Gr. 3-5)
Sunday, January 26,  12:00-1:30 PM
Cost: $5 for members; $8 for non-members
Come celebrate the Birthday of the Trees by trying some new foods,  playing games, and doing a little mid-winter planting! RSVP at  by TONIGHT  to be included in the celebration. Questions? Reach out to Jessica Morris at .

Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat: Lighten Up Your Winter Meals
Sunday, January 26 at 7:30 pm in the Ohr Kodesh Kitchen
Our own Paula Shoyer will share her chef-worthy tips for lightening up traditional food and lead us in preparing a delicious recipe. Join us for an evening of flavors and friends old and new as we come in from the cold and share some warmth in the kitchen together. A donation of $10 is requested to cover supplies.  Click here  to RSVP or contact Katherine Ralston at or 240-367-3349.

Our Boys- Israeli Mini-Series Screening
Wednesday, January 29, 7:00 PM in the Salzberg Family Library
Join our Sh'lichah Hagar for the screening of the 7th and 8th chapter of the 10-chapter Israeli-American mini-series in the Salzberg Family Library, followed by a conversation. Email Hagar at Everyone is welcome. The 9th and 10th chapter will be screened February 5, 7:00 pm.

OKC Evening Book Group - K A novel by Nathan Englander
Thursday, January 30,  7:30 PM
This novel is a streamlined comic masterpiece about a son's failure to say Kaddish for his father. The evening book group meets every 6 weeks. If you would like to be added to the email list, contact Ellen Elow-Mintz at
Plan Ahead
Next Shabbat, January 31/February 1

Ohr Kodesh's Congregational Retreat - Winter 2020 - Jan. 31- Feb. 2, 2020
Questions? Barbara Libbin (, Nina Glasner (, or Rachel Lang ( See more here.

Kabbalat Shabbat at OKC 5:05 PM

Kehilat Tefilah  - A Youth-Led  Shabbat  Service for Children in Gr. 3-7
1 0:30-11:30 AM in Room 2. Led by  Shabbat  Crew teens and Leah Miller. 

Babysitting will be available from 9:30 am.

Book Club
Wednesday, Feb. 5, 12:00-1:30 PM in the Salzberg Family Library
A Death in Jerusalem: The Assassination by Jewish Extremists of the First Arab/Israeli Peacemaker by Kati Marton will be discussed. Feel free to bring a dairy or parve lunch to eat before the discussion begins. Coffee will be provided. Questions? Contact Book Club Coordinator Barry Cantor at 301-933-3776 or

Our Boys  - Israeli Mini-Series Screening
Wednesday, February 5, 7:00 PM in the Salzberg Family Library
Join our Sh'lichah Hagar for the screening of the final two chapters, 9 & 10, of the Israeli-American mini-series in the Salzberg Family Library, followed by a conversation. Email Hagar at Everyone is welcome. Feb. 12 we will meet to wrap up the series at 7:00 pm.
Parashat Hashavua Class at OKC
Friday, February 7, and mostly every other Friday through June 26, 9:30-10:30 AM 
It's not too late to join the  Parashat Hashavua  class.The class is open to all learning levels and is led by Rabbi Avi Strausberg, the director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and Rabbi Penina Podwol Alexander, assistant principal at B'nai Israel Congregation. For more information and to sign up, please contact Nicole Rosen at . Next class will be Feb. 21.

The Arts at Ohr Kodesh (AOK) Committee Presents in Concert Marak HaYom
Shabbat Shirah, Saturday, February 8,  after Kiddush
Marak HaYom is an independent group of Jewish a cappella singers made up of very talented teenagers from the Washington metropolitan area. Everyone is invited to attend the free concert. Ohr Kodesh thanks Len and Saradona Lefkowitz who have generously underwritten this program. Contact Jane Rushefsky at 301-495-0784 or with any questions.

Purim - Mishloach Manot Project
Send Purim greetings by having cards sent to family, friends and other community members acknowledging that a contribution has been made in their honor. The majority of the proceeds from the Mishloach Manot project will go to Ohr Kodesh, but some portion will also be distributed to two other tzedakah projects - our USY Tikkun Olam program, and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. New this year: Send greetings to the entire congregation and staff for on a low price of $500.  Forms are available on the table outside of the sanctuary and  online at All forms must be received in the synagogue office no later than Tuesday, February 18 at Noon. If you have any questions, please contact Dennis Concepcion (240-450-0672) or Jerry Kiewe (240-450-3486) at the Ohr Kodesh office.

Join us for the OKC Challah Bake 
Wednesday, February 26,  7:00 PM at OKC 
Learn about the spirituality of challah baking and the tricks of making and braiding delicious challah from The Kosher Baker Paula Shoyer. Everyone will take home a challah to bake. 
Cost: $10 materials charge for members (elementary school age and older, please)
Please RSVP by February 10 at and indicate whether you can volunteer the day of event at 4:00 pm.

Women of OKC: Oasis
Sunday, March 15
Women of OKC, are you thinking about joining us for Oasis? 
We only have a few spots left! Sign-up while there is still space!
Please use this link to register by Friday, January 31:   Contact Oasis co-chairs Sharon Light  at  or Dana Pelzman at  with any questions.
The Ohr Kodesh Endowment Fund is Seeking Grant Applications

The Ohr Kodesh Endowment Fund is seeking grant applications from Ohr Kodesh members to maintain and to expand the religious, educational, cultural, social and philanthropic activities of the Ohr Kodesh Congregation.

If you have an idea for an activity or program that you have not yet seen at Ohr Kodesh and want to carry it out with the support of the Fund, then this is your chance. All that is required is a simple proposal. The deadline for submitting your proposal is Thursday, February 27, 2020. Please submit all proposals to Jerry Kiewe, Read the details and find the application form  here .

Doctoral Student Seeking  to interview teens about Jewish Identity
Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath is a doctoral student in Jewish Education at Gratz College in Philadelphia seeking to interview teens about their Jewish identity. For more details click here.
Elsewhere in the Community
We are so proud of our vibrant Jewish community and want to make you aware of what is going on in our wider neighborhood; however, Ohr Kodesh does not necessarily endorse these programs. 

Join us to learn more about the Charles E Smith Jewish Day School!
Information session at a home with the chance to meet with JDS parents and administrators in a comfortable, private setting outside of school. 
January 29, 7:30 PM - Shepherd Park/Chevy Chase Community 
RSVP to for the address.  If this date does not work for you and you are interested in learning more about the school, please email us for a private tour. 

Ari Zymelman Parenting Conversation: Bill Stixrud - Helping Children Develop Confidence and Motivation
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 8:30 AM at Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School, 6045 16th St. NW, DC.
Register at events@miltongottesman.orgor 202-882-4747. See flyer for details.

Scholarship for High School Students to Engage in Technical Projects at the Technion in Israel  SciTech Madaras Scholarship Awards provide generous scholarships to DC area high school students who attend the Technion's SciTech 2020 summer program (July 13-Aug. 6) in Haifa, Israel. SciTech offers students the opportunity to perform high-level research alongside Israel's top scientists, while making friends from around the world.. DC area juniors and seniors with an aptitude in science, math or engineering are invited to apply to the program. Click here to read a letter for parents, students, and educators. Visit the SciTech website at Applications are due by February 2. Contact Irv Elenberg at or 301-654-4773 with any questions.

Annual JCRC Maryland Advocacy Day will be held in Annapolis
Tuesday, February 18
This event attracts Jewish leaders from Maryland to meet and dialog with their top state-wide elected officials on issues of importance to the Jewish and general communities in Maryland.  See the flyer with details.

MoEd (at Ohr Kodesh) is the Place for Your Kids to be After School!
The curriculum has an emphasis on immersive Hebrew language combined with a fun and inclusive environment for kids to build self-confidence and celebrate Jewish culture. To register or for questions, see, or contact Executive Director Orna Eldor Gerling at

MoEd's Summer Camp Program June 16-July 31, 2020
Our theme is Superheroes of the Holy Land! Each week is dedicated to a different group of superheroes from Jewish and Israeli history. We'll learn about heroes from Tanakh (the Bible), heroes that created the State of Israel, heroes of performing arts, sports, science, art, fashion, and more!  To register or for questions, see , or contact Executive Director Orna Eldor Gerling at .

Ramah Summer Programs
Ramah Israel June 30-August 9
Asiyah: Internships and volunteer tracks
Poland Journey June 21-30

Haberman Institute Offerings
Click here  for upcoming programs, and here for classes.

AU Center for Israel Studies
Click here for upcoming programs.

JSSA - Jewish Social Service Agency
Click here for Workshops and Groups

Get Well
Ohr Kodesh extends get well wishes to: Miriam Bobrow, Katie Loewy, Shoshana Urquhart, and Bruce Volat.  Please do not hesitate to contact these individuals. They would be pleased to receive a call, a card, or a  visit. If you need contact information for any of the members listed above, please contact Tami Lautman at 240-450-3489. We would also appreciate it if you would make us aware of others who are in need of well wishes and support. If you are able to help a congregant in need of assistance with a meal or a run to the store contact Elisabeth Boas, or Joan Levy,  

Ohr Kodesh maintains a daily minyan in both the morning and evening.
Next week's minyan times (Jan. 26-31) :

Sunday morning: 8:45 am
Monday-Friday mornings: 6:45 am
Sunday-Thursday evenings: 8:00 pm
Next Friday evening: 5:05 pm 

Evening and morning minyanim are an integral feature of our community. Please make every effort to participate whenever possible, especially on your assigned dates.
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"A heavenly voice emerged [in response to the debates of the schools of Hillel and Shammai] declaring, 'eilu vaeilu divrei Elokim chayyim - these [discussion points] and these [counter discussion points] are the words of the living God." Babylonian Talmud, Eiruvin 13B
Let us strive to discuss and debate respectfully and constructively in all our life conversations.
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