Welcome to the Congregation Or Hadash building web page! This is the place for news, information, photos and discussions about our new home. Together, we are building our first permanent home. Comments are welcome, leave yours today!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our Building-Our Future: Mah Nishtanah?

Why is this time different? 

The excitement generated by the Exodus of Egypt is a true testimony of faith and Divine-Human partnership.

Every year we prepare ourselves and our homes for the celebration of Pesach. There are memories from the past and joy for a refreshed opportunity to bring new customs and to refresh our spirits when the Spring Holiday of Freedom is coming.

Mah Nishatnah? How is this year different? As an extended family at Or Hadash, we have walked our own desert in a nomadic way, from social halls to churches, to Jewish day schools and high school. We have invited and still invite all those who are physically hungry and spiritually looking for a home to be part of our open tent. We have been telling our story and asking many different questions. We have been working very hard to move each step forward.

Mah Nishtanah? Why is this year different for our Or Hadash family? Because we are sitting around our table knowing that we have now a permanent home, a home we will build with and for each one of us. Each person counts and we count on each one of you. The Exodus was filled with questions, uncertainty and anxiety but hope and faith illuminate the light within the people.

This is an invitation to be part of this journey and to help us build a dream come true.

Pesach Kasher v'Sameach!

Rabbis Analia & Mario

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our Building-Our Future: Building Progress Report

Aleph 4.037During the past nine months, we have had the honor of leading the capital campaign to help our Or Hadash community realize the vision of a new home. From our congregation's beginning, the culture and values of our community have been clear-- the importance of belonging to a truly spiritual community, the comfort of knowing there are others to celebrate times of joy and provide support at times of sadness, the exuberance of music and prayer, and the endless possibilities of learning, regardless of age or background. Like our unique community, it was clear from the start that our capital campaign and the building we create would also need to be uniquely Or Hadash - a home for communal worship, shared simchas, a place to break (and make) bread, watch our children grow into mensches and Jewish leaders, study, schmooze, or simply meditate in a spiritual Jewish space.

With the involvement of the majority of our community to date, we have been able to raise over $4 million. While cause for celebration, we are not "there" yet. As a community which respects the importance of each member, we look to each of our members to stand up and say "Hineni" and be a part of what we are building together. Excited by the vision of our new home which has engaged over 240 of our members, the input of an incredible building committee, and our two creative and visionary architects, we now turn back to our community to help us finish the task of raising the funds to realize our new spiritual home.

For those of you who have not yet participated in our efforts, we ask you to join in to help make our dream a reality. To those who have already pledged--THANK YOU! If you are able to add to your pledge or would consider adding a 6th year to your commitment, it will help us close the gap between what we have raised so far and what we need to finish the job.

Many of us started this Or Hadash journey seven years ago, with much uncertainty. Today we are a vibrant spiritual community on the threshold of realizing a spiritual home we can call our own. Thank you to everyone who has helped us to get to this point and thank you to those who are now stepping up to say "Hineni" and help us get the rest of the way.


Abby Friedman and Harry Heiman
Melinda and Steve Wertheim

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Building-Our Future: Our New Home

Our Building-Our Future: The Synagogue, A Member's Perspective

During Shabbat morning services, a few weeks ago, each aliyah was taken by someone celebrating a wonderful occasion, a celebratory milestone. The next day, I was back at Or Hadash, sadly, for a memorial service. As I was walking into the building, it occurred to me that there are not many places where we go both to celebrate the happiest occasions in life and to come together as a community for the saddest ones. A synagogue, a place of prayer, community and learning is very special in that way.

For me, the synagogue is like an envelope, gently wrapping itself around my family's life, nurturing spirituality, holiness and responsibility. It was within this environment that we brought our daughter, Johanna, into the world. We celebrated her baby naming at Or Hadash, then located at the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church. A few years later, she was marching through Or Hadash at The Weber School, with her religious school class, waving a flag and receiving her first milestone of Jewish learning.

We are now peeking into the next place, a permanent home for Or Hadash. When I look into this new space, I see all of us, but mostly I see Johanna. She is moving through the hallways, lit with gentle sunlight, from religious school class to the sanctuary. She is playing outside with her friends, rushing in to Kiddush to find the desserts, and only too soon, studying in the Rabbis' offices for her Bat Mitzvah. What I see in this building is a space where the most meaningful parts of her life will take place.

Or Hadash has been a bright light for our family, and we are looking forward to the warmth of this new light wrapping itself around us once again.

Michelle Epstein

Our Building-Our Future: A Little Bit More

All through my life and still to this very day
I love to write poems for what I want to say

So please won't you give me your attention
I have a vital message I want to mention

Our shul is on its way to having a permanent home
No longer will we be nomads, continuing to roam

Creative architects have developed a vision that is exciting
Welcoming, inspiring, green space and natural lighting

Over $4 million dollars is the number we did raise
Can we stretch to $5 million in the next 42 days?

Have you made your pledge, now don't be left out
Everyone's participation is what Or Hadash is about

There's a message that I will surely adore
"You've made your pledge but can stretch a bit more"

The very best way we can bring $5 million near
Is if all of us who have pledged will add a 6th year

So let us hear from you right away
We need to make progress every day

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all that you do
Together we will make this dream of our new home come true

Call the office, sent an email or tell me any time
That you're ready to participate....that's the end of this rhyme
Sherry Z Frank