Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions


Adult Ed Committee -- Manny Rosenberg, chair

The Adult Education Committee of Or Hadash strives to provide challenging, interesting and relevant educational programming for adult congregants and guests.  We are mindful of the yearly congregational themes, such as Israel and Storytelling, and work hand-in-hand with the Spiritual Life and Israel Committees to mutually enhance our offerings.  Appropriate material is open to older adolescents, and most of our programs are free and open to the general public.  Our hope is to also provide an avenue for future OH membership, as well as appeal to the sharp intellects of our current community.  The Rabbi is an ex officio member of our committee, and plays a very active role in recommending themes and programs.  We are always open to new ideas, new members, and additional points of view. 

Building and Grounds Committee -- Warren Young, chair

The Building and Grounds Committee oversees the maintenance, improvement, and long-range assessment of the synagogue’s building and grounds. Its members coordinate and supervise all work that impacts on the building.
The Aesthetics Sub-Committee proposes designs and discusses issues to help enhance, maintain, and refurbish the building and grounds. 

Community Life Committee -- open

Development Committee -- No chair, committee lead 

The Development Committee organizes the Annual Campaign to Renew and Sustain Or Hadash through voluntary gifts of any amount that helps fill the gap between what is raised by dues and the amount of our expenses. An important goal, in addition to our financial one, is that every single member family of the congregation give something -- as generously as they can, no amount is too large but no amount is too small -- in order to feel a part of the community.

Education Steering Committee -- Jen Lavenberg, chair

The Education Steering Committee supervises and works closely with the Education Director in carrying out the Religious School’s goals. We strive to ensure that the educational program includes an interactive curriculum that encourages critical and creative thinking.  We focus on developing our students’ relationship with Judaism in numerous ways, including the practice of social action and the study of Torah. To that end, the committee is responsible for reviewing and updating curriculum, coordinating school-wide educational and social programs, approving B’nai Mitzvah projects, creating and reviewing the school’s annual budget, and creating and updating school policies and procedures.

Finance Committee -- Steve Burns, chair

Gun Violence Prevention -- Dan Schwarz, chair

Or Hadash is now a part of a coalition of synagogues to prevent gun violence and the letter in the file attachments below is an effort to offer congregations an opportunity to write letters to take to the 2023 Advocacy Day in Harrisburg. The flier for that Advocacy Day may be found below, too. 

Hesed Committee -- Elley Rosenberg and Edith Lane, co-chairs

Holocaust Memorial Project Committee -- Dan Schwarz, chair

This committee was formed to discuss, and administer the design of, the memorial that Or Hadash members would like to erect on the congregation's property. A sculpture proposal has been accepted and installation was started mid-June 2018. A dedication occurred October 14, 2018.

Israel Committee - open

Inclusion Committee - Wendy Elliott-Vandivier, chair

The Inclusion Committee incorporates a wide variety of concerns. They include mental, physical, and emotional disabilities; welcoming people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning, and their allies; hearing and vision issues; interfaith couples; and people with concerns about multicultural issues. The common denominator is that these are all concerns that might make a person feel less welcome, less a part of, a synagogue. At Or Hadash, we want all people to know that they are completely welcome and can be an integral part of the community.

This committee brings together people who have expertise and interest in various aspects of inclusion to share their wisdom. It also makes inclusion the responsibility of a specific group at OH, just the way that Social Action/Tikun Olam is the responsibility of a specific committee. The Inclusion Committee works closely with multiple committees (school, spiritual life, building, kitchen, adult ed., etc.), looking at varied facets of congregational life, large and small, and attempting to be proactive, rather than waiting for a problem or complaint. Sometimes, it’s the seemingly little things that go unnoticed except by the people that they affect…and then they aren’t small at all.

All who have an interest in working on inclusion at Or Hadash are invited to join the committee. Those who have personal experience or professional knowledge to share, or just feel moved to help the Or Hadash community continue working towards being its best self should join by contacting Committee Chairperson Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg. Your ideas and your help are most welcome.  To read more about what the Inclusion Committee has been and is currently working on, please click on the attachments below. 

Kitchen Committee - open

The Kitchen Sub-Committee provides a kosher dairy kitchen that supports Or Hadash events. The committee is responsible for providing paper goods, coffees, teas & extras for Onegs and Kiddushes. In addition, we stock and organize the pantry, kasher the kitchen for Passover, coordinate with the synagogue administrator in hiring and supervising the shammas, and oversee the kashrut policy with the Spiritual Life Committee. Congregants interested in supporting this committee financially or through participation can contact the synagogue administrator.

Marketing and Communications Committee -- open

The Marketing and Communications Committee is focused on increasing awareness of the synagogue, school and synagogue
programs within the outside community, and promoting the synagogue to potential members, working in partnership with Membership, Education Steering Committee and other relevant committees.

Membership Committee  -- Gillian Szymanski, chair

The role of the Membership Committee is to develop new membership (outreach) as well as retain present membership (inreach). Committee members connect with potential members to provide information about all aspects of religious and social life at Or Hadash as well as interface with the Religious School Director to introduce our educational programs.  There is a mentoring program in which new members are ‘buddied’ with existing members to facilitate transition into the community.   The Membership Committee also oversees the congregation's programming which presents a wide variety of educational, social and spiritual programs each year.  In the past year these events have included dinners and 'schmoozes', trips, new havurot, coffeehouses and holiday based events.

Publicity Committee -- Carol Mueller-Bell, chair

Publicizing Or Hadash’s many and varied activities in print, electronically, and through social media with the overall goal of enhancing membership and the awareness and image of Or Hadash in the community is the role of the Publicity Committee. Its responsibilities include making contacts with members of the media, writing and submitting articles and press releases, and placing ads in key newspapers.

Rabbinic Transition Committee -- Alisa Belzer, chair

Safety and Security Task Force -- Eileen Kupersmith and Babette Zemel, co-chairs

The stated mission of the Safety and Security Task Force is to identify best practices and formulate recommendations regarding procedures, processes, equipment, training and building modifications necessary to address legitimate safety and security concerns of the Or Hadash Congregation. These recommendations will be presented to the Board of Directors and implemented by Board designees. Please see the attachment below for more information about this task force. 

Social Action/Tikkun Olam (SATO) Committee -- Shelley Sanders and Vivien Kane, co-chairs

SATO is the acronym for Social Action/Tikkun Olam.  This committee organizes and promotes programs to engage Or Hadash in the work of helping to make the world a better place by using our energy and resources to help combat problems locally and globally.   Recently our work has focused primarily on hunger reduction.  We are also responsible for hosting families through the Interfaith Hospitality Network with a buddy congregation.  Although we do not meet as a committee, we are always looking for program coordinators to take the lead in organizing our events.

Spiritual Life Committee -- Cheryl Berson and Carolyn Savitzky, co-chairs

This committee works closely with the rabbi to promote spiritual growth and exploration. Our efforts aim to provide religious services and programs that engage us with Judaism through liturgy, study, social interaction and celebration of Shabbat and Jewish Holy Days. When questions arise that concern Jewish practice and policy at Or Hadash, the rabbi and the committee study and discuss issues such as kashrut or participation of non-Jewish members at services and in synagogue life, before making a proposal to the Board of Directors.  Coordination of opportunities for congregants to participate in Torah leyning (chanting), lay led Torah study and lay led services is handled through the Spiritual life Committee.  Membership in the committee is open to all congregants.