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Congregation Or Shalom
835 Darby Paoli Road
Berwyn, PA 19312
Tel: 610-644-9086


Kami Knapp

Andrew Levin

Education Director:
Larisa Averbakh

Office Manager:
Lauren Porter

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Welcome to the Or Shalom Website!

Shabbat Services:  Friday night 7:30 pm and Saturday morning 9:30 am

2020 APRIL Horizons

If anyone wants a printed copy, Please copy it after downloading it


Dear Friends,

As we all know, Covid-19 has dramatically changed our lives.  In these troubling times, we don’t know when the social-distancing and shelter-in-place directives will be lifted.  Despite the challenges, our congregation has been busy in providing support for the community.  Our rabbi continues to find ways to provide online vehicles to keep us together.  Beth Zatuchni has established a phone chain to make sure our members do not feel alone, allowing us to reach out to those who are in need.  Your board of director is meeting weekly (now via Zoom) to determine our way forward.

One of our most pressing issues probably comes as no surprise.  Prior to the Covid-19 emergency, we were facing financial challenges.  Now, with the opportunity to hold a fundraiser in the spring seeming unlikely, we find ourselves needing to dig deeper.  Our tenant, Cambridge has asked to defer their April rent.  Hopefully they will resume payments in May.  We need to generate revenue of $20,000 per month to stay out of the red.  While we have long depended upon our line of credit at some point in the fiscal year, we have never needed to tap it so early in the year.

As a congregation we have dealt with and overcome challenges in the past.  I am confident we will overcome the challenges ahead of us this time.  Therefore, I am encouraging all members who still owe money on your pledge, please pay it now.  If your pledge is paid in full, please consider a special donation of $500, $1,000, $10,000 or more.  We need your support so we can successfully support you and the community.

In last week’s parsha Rabbi Kami emphasized the line:

קְחוּ מֵאִתְּכֶם תְּרוּמָה, לַי-ה, כֹּל נְדִיב לִבּוֹ

“Take offerings to G-d, all that your heart moves you…”  (Exodus 35:5)  

Moses issues this call as the Israelites set out to build the Mishkan. A place that G-d may reside and be close to the Israelites, a place where the Israelites can find G-d and comfort among them. Just as Moses stood and asked the Israelites to reach deep within their hearts to assess what they could bring to the community, we too find ourselves in a similar place. We ask for you to look within your heart and think deeply about how much you can contribute financially to ensuring we can continue, especially in this time when people are in desperate need of being close to G-d, to each other, and finding a place of comfort. We want to continue to provide this place, but we need your help to pay our employees and utilities as well as to continue to make payments on our mortgage.  The closure of the Cambridge school has forced them to delay their rent payment since their parents pay weekly.  Their rent covers our mortgage payment and most utilities.

May we be like Moses and the Israelites of our past.  I look forward to the day I can deliver the same message as Moses in Exodus 36:6:

אִישׁ וְאִשָׁה אַל-יַעֲשׂוּ-עוֹד מְלָאכָה לִתְרוּמַת הַקֹדֶשׁ

“Let no man or woman make further effort toward gifts for the sanctuary!”

 Thank you for your support and hopefully prompt payment of outstanding pledges and special donations.

Andy Levin, President for the entire synagogue board.