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Activities at P’nai Or for 2021

Activities at P’nai Or for 2021

Due to Covid 19, activities are now online until it is safe to return to in person activities.

Tikkun Olam Committee – Guided by the Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam (a Hebrew phrase meaning “repair of the world”) the committee brings together principles of social, economic and climate justice, ecological renewal and peaceful coexistence with their spiritual practice. Thus members engage in activities that promote healing and transforming our world. One of these is guiding the congregation every year to select an organization, called a Tzedakah (in Hebrew “Justice”) Partner whose goals coincide with theirs. The Committee then supports and provides opportunities for congregational involvement with the Tzedakah Partner throughout the year. It meets monthly. Contact Hilda Welch to participate or for more information at 503-227- 4981 or

Chantlings - The P’nai Or Chant Group is known as the Chantlings. While primarily focused on chants written by Rabbi Shefa Gold, the Chantlings also draw from other chant leaders and some of Linda Zahavi’s niggunim. They are accompanied by shruti with occasional light drumming and movement. The emphasis is on meditation and prayer through chant, rather than performance. However, the Chantlings also lead chants at some P’nai Or services, interfaith events, and rituals. The Chantlings usually meet on the 4th Sunday of each month. To participate, or for more information, contact Zahavi (her preferred name) at or 503-231-8895.

P’nai Or Zingers (Choir) - The P’nai Or choir is known as the Zingers. During services, they lead the kahal (congregation) in song and prayer. The Zingers sing arrangements of congregational melodies, and the kahal is always invited to sing with them. Their sources include traditional Sephardi and Mizrachi (Middle Eastern) melodies as well as modern Jewish American folk melodies by Shlomo Carlebach, Nathan & Joseph Segal, Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin, Debbie Friedman, and of course, songs by P’nai Or’s own Aryeh Hirschfield (zt’l). The Zingers are most active at High Holy Days. For more information, contact Baruch Morris at

Religious Life Committee – This committee works with Rabbi Hannah to plan services, celebrations and other religious observances. For more information, contact Zmira Lovejoy at

Kabbalah Study – The Kabbalah group studies various texts ranging from the Zohar to the teachings of Rabbi Isaac Luria of Safed. They meet the last Sunday of the month at a private home near St. Mark’s. Contact John McManus at or 503-891-1711.

Making Sense of the Siddur – This intro class will present a "macro" view of the prayer book, about how the morning prayer service takes us through the four worlds of Kabbalah and, in doing so, mirrors how we received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. With this perspective, we'll take a quick walk through the individual prayers and see how they fit in to this journey. If we have time, we'll take on one example of the challenge of prayers that can be off-putting because of their apparent inconsistencies with our personal values. We'll do so by taking on one of the most uncomfortable - and most frequent - words in our blessings: "Melech," usually translated as king. We'll unpack alternative interpretations of this word. Open to all who are interested, but especially new and prospective members. If you’d like to attend, please contact Bob Lowe at for location and reading material.

Rosh Chodesh Women's Group – The Rosh Chodesh Women’s Group provides an opportunity for P'nai Or women to gather together around the time of the new moon to explore the intersection of women's issues and Judaism. For more information, contact Zmira Lovejoy at

Men’s Group – The P’nai Or Men’s Group focuses on men’s issues and spiritual life. For more information, contact Mark Nedleman at or 503-803-2768.

Community Food Program – From early summer until Rosh Hashanah, the P’nai Or Community Food Program purchases food from a local organic farm and makes it available at P’nai Or services to congregation members in need. Contact Gila Ormiston for more information:

Craft and Chat Group - On the first Sunday of each month, Patti DeWitz and Emily Polanshek invite you to join them from 1:00-3:30 for a relaxing oasis from daily demands. Our goal is to visit together while our hands create. Emily will be starting a new yod, he, vav, he banner and you’re welcome to join her. Patti will likely be knitting. But there is no pressure to engage in a craft. Bring mending or materials for any quiet, non-machine activity or just bring yourself. Maybe you’ll be inspired by what others are doing! For more information, call or text Emily at (503) 545-1513 with any questions.