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meet angelique von halle

I never realized we needed or wanted to actually join Or Shalom until I became a parent.  In the early 2000's, when I was single and childless, I went to services at Or Shalom alone - or sometimes with a friend - for High Holidays. I loved it. While my internal Chabadnik found comfort in Or Shalom's warm embrace of Jewish tradition, music and Hebrew prayer, my commitment to social change and justice found warm welcome too. My ambivalence about Israel/Israeli politics was nothing I needed to hide at Or Shalom; it was shared with others. And when I brought my butch-identified, non-Jewish spouse to services, nobody batted an eye, and we felt completely welcome. This is a group of Jewish-oriented families and individuals who, as a rule, greet people and ideas with love, respect and a goal of connection and understanding. 

Highlights of being part of Or Shalom have been:

  • watching my 8yo child run ahead of me to connect with friends and teachers at Bet Sefer (aka "Hebrew School") the first day back after summer break;
  • participating on a small committee with a bunch of super smart people to assess and modify Bet Sefer, and then seeing those changes in action;
  • filling my plate Friday nights with a variety of vegetarian yumminess, always followed by incredible desserts and a lively, engaging service at Shabbat Kulanu;
  • taking a beautiful hike during a congregation-wide retreat in Marin while other members kindly kept eyes on my son as he climbed trees with new friends;
  • learning about Torah and Jewish teachings through an academic lens with the wise Rabbi Katie and a group of other (adult) thinkers -- far different from anything I'd experienced previously, and completely satisfying/worthwhile.


It gives me great nachas to say these things with complete conviction.  As a newly single mother navigating life's constantly shifting tides, I'm so grateful to have Or Shalom as an anchor.

Sun, December 15 2019 17 Kislev 5780