Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions

Rabbi Josh Waxman Story

Rabbi Josh Reflects on Or Hadash

Or Hadash is my home because the people here care about the same things I do and are excited to build up a community rooted in them. It’s a community of people who want to be engaged in Jewish life in ways that are dynamic and creative, in ways that are rooted in values but not platitudes: Jews by birth, Jews by choice, and non-Jewish members of Jewish families all connecting to the beauty and wisdom of Jewish teaching and living, but without any stuffiness or pretentiousness. It’s a community of people who want to learn, want to grow, want to consider important questions about how Judaism informs their lives, to understand not merely how to be Jewish, but why, and who recognize that the people with whom we engage those questions will profoundly shape the answers we uncover, and even the reasons that we ask. It’s a community of people who care about the world – about how our obligations to pursue social justice and to do our part to make the world more loving, compassionate, and just are an expression of our core Jewish commitments to be a covenant people. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a community of people who profoundly care for one another – who enjoy each other’s company without any cliques or in-groups, who respect the diversity of our community, who celebrate with one another in times of joy and support one another through times of hardship, who know how to have fun together. It is a place where I can pray, learn, grow, explore, connect, raise a family, live out my Jewish values, and find joy – and one where I am proud to be the rabbi who helps nurture this precious community that is my home.