Congregation Or Chadash is a warm and welcoming community where all can experience God. Our mission reflects a commitment to our values.
Our Mission – We have joined together to create a religious community. We take seriously the spiritual dimensions of our tradition. We are committed to a synagogue that offers weekly services, Hebrew instruction, family study, holiday celebrations and life cycle events. This is being accomplished by continuous discussion and the creativity and commitment of the participants.
You may have heard that the guardian (who was not on our campus) of one of the JCC Taglit participants tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Taglit is a day program for young adults with disabilities and it is considered part of emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic. With Board approval, we rented our classrooms to JCC for their Taglit program this summer (while our campus is otherwise closed). No one from Or Chadash is at risk as a result of this situation. The letter that JCC sent to their members is below. It explains the situation in detail and describes their CDC-compliant, pre-planned responses.
Elaine Jones, PhD
President, Congregation Or Chadash
The Board met via Zoom again in April to receive updates in a variety of areas. The pandemic has rendered our financial situation unpredictable. We have applied for relief under the Paycheck Protection Program, but we have not received any funds yet. Mark Ross is continuing to work to expedite the process.
The transition to online religious and Hebrew School has been quite successful, with a high attendance rate. Rina invited the board to attend the end-of-year assembly on May 3. She is also working with a joint committee to prepare for the new, combined religious school this fall.
For your health, and for the well-being of our staff, the office is closed until further notice. You can still reach us by phone at (520) 512-8500, but we may not answer your call right away. Please leave a message, and we will return your call as soon as we can! You may also email us. Visit our Staff Directory to find the email address for the staff person you’re looking for. For general inquiries, you may email Eileen Cook, Executive Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Social Justice and Action Committee has long-standing partnerships with charitable organizations all over Tucson. Today, more people than ever are in need of the support these organizations provide. Because of the pandemic we cannot support our partners with our volunteerism, but we can support them through our donations. Your contribution of any amount will enable our continued mission of Tikkun Olam – making the world a better place.
The board met via Zoom in March due to COVID-19 precautions. The board first reviewed the newly negotiated contracts for the Rabbi and the Cantor, and approved them in executive session. We received reports on the effects of COVID on our community and the measures being taken to mitigate the spread while continuing to serve our congregants in various ways. The proposed 2020-2021 budget was discussed. The Finance Committee projects a shortfall of $82,000 next year, and the board discussed the sources of that deficit and possible ways to remedy them. The budget was approved as presented.
At the February meeting the board reviewed our fundraising efforts, which in combination with the cost-saving change to paperless communication, lead to a break-even projection on the fiscal year. The slate for next year’s board was read into the record. The board got a presentation from Rina Liebeskind and Dr. Abby Limmer, Director of Education at Temple Emanu-El, on plans to merge our religious schools. The board voted to go forward with combining our schools in the fall regardless of the status of the congregational merger. We formally endorsed the passage of the MOU, and received updates on next steps, including applying for grant funds and the process for hiring lawyers and a consultant to assist with the process.
Today is the first of Nisan, reminding us that Passover is just two weeks away. There has been talk online that, on Passover night, many will refer to COVID-19 as a plague equivalent to the ten disasters God inflicted on Egypt, including swarms of locusts, hordes of frogs, a scourge of boils, pestilence of livestock, and the death of firstborn sons. Might I suggest we not do that.
The novel coronavirus is an epidemic disease, and now, a pandemic because it has spread around the world. And, like a plague, it is causing widespread affliction, as well as pain, loss, and distress. So, shall we liken it to the biblical plagues of our ancestors? I should say not. More