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Principles & Governance

Click here to watch our 4 1/2 minute video about P'nai Or.

P'nai Or of Portland welcomes you and invites you to share in the wellspring that is Jewish Renewal!

P’nai Or (Faces of Light) celebrates the divine image reflected in the rich tapestry of individuals and families – LGBTQ, interfaith, Jews by birth, and Jews by choice – who journey with us. We are a vibrant, egalitarian Jewish Renewal congregation founded by Rabbi Aryeh Hirschfield, zt"l.

Whether you are steeped in the wellspring of Jewish knowledge, part of an interfaith family, or know very little about Judaism but want to learn more -- you are welcome!

Our inspiration draws from Torah, Kabbalah, the teachings of the Chassidic masters, and Jewish and non-Jewish contemporary sources, as well as our community and visiting rabbis throughout the year. 

We support each other in our spiritual practices, our studies, our children’s education, and our lives. Through the practice of mitzvot (sacred deeds) and tikkun olam, we strive to heal ourselves and the world.

We are affiliated nationally with ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal, the organizing body for Jewish Renewal, founded by Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, zt"l.

P’nai Or Principles

How do we bring into being a community that will thrive? A living, growing, Jewish Renewal community requires the following: 

The gifts of belonging, meaning, and purpose.  We ask people who come to us to do as much as they can to commit and participate.  The gifts of meaning and purpose in building community can then grow.

The gift of respecting and appreciating one another: We respect the rights and individual beliefs and needs of each of our members. We support the health, security, and sacred space of our community. We take a non-hierarchical approach to spiritual community, careful and kind listening, and generous acknowledgment of all kinds of contributions.

The gifts of rich and deep relationships. We are a community of loving people, where deep, sustaining relationships and friendships develop when we accept some measure of responsibility for nurturing our community. Providing support during times of trial, as well as celebration, is holy work.

Gratitude and forgiveness. As we come together in the spirit of sustaining and growing our community, while helping each other evolve and heal from old wounds, we hold each other with the grace of gratitude and forgiveness.

P’nai Or Governance

We are a community of volunteers with an elected Council. We are committed to actively and democratically including our community in major decisions.

We encourage the creative expression of each person’s talents and abilities to serve our community, organizing around community interest, plans, and personal energy.

Our council focus is to develop and support structures so that congregants feel effective and fulfilled when they contribute their time and effort. Guided by our bylaws, the council also serves to assure the integrity of our budget, policies, communications, and religious practices, working with our committees to initiate religious and community events in a timely manner. All council positions are filled through congregational elections that occur twice a year.