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!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

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

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