Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions

Amy Gewirtzman Story

Amy Gewirtzman Talks About Or Hadash


What I love about Or Hadash is that it is about the people. It does not matter how much money you earn or donate. It is not about getting your name on a plaque on the wall. It does not matter how observant you are, what you wear, or who you know. What matters is your participation. Or Hadash is made up of its members and the energy they bring to whatever aspect of the community they feel affinity for. Everyone’s voice is heard and everyone’s presence is valued. You do not have to be a past president, a founding member, or even the rabbi to be able to suggest a new idea, offer a skill or service, or start a new tradition. The community is open to different points of view, different modes of observance, and different styles of connection.


My family has also benefited from the progressive teaching style in the Religious School. The classes are conducted in a participatory way and the meaning behind the prayers and rituals are stressed. The kids are allowed to explore their beliefs and encouraged to figure out how Judaism fits into their lives.


The adults and the children in our family have appreciated the open-minded attitude, progressive approach, and family-like community of Or Hadash.