Or Shalom Synagogue

Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program

LAST REVISED: July, 2012


Welcome to a year of immersion into Jewish study and participation in the communal life of Or Shalom!


The B'nei Mitzvah Program at Or Shalom includes the following components.  These components are described below.

Bar(t) Mitzvah - eligibility and ceremony
Reserving a date / summary of fees / membership in Or Shalom
Group study and mitzvah projects and participation in family programs
Guided individual preparation for the ceremony
Kiddush Lunch Celebration

About Bar and Bat Mitzvah


“Bar Mitzvah” literally means “son of the commandments” and “Bat mitzvah” literally means “daughter of the commandments” – but the words are more accurately translated as “a person of religious commitment.”  Traditionally, the Bar or Bat mitzvah ceremony marks a young teenager’s willingness to make a commitment to the Jewish path.  In order to do so, the teen is expected to have some familiarity with Judaism.  Typically, a teen is expected to have a basic acquaintance with Jewish ethics, Jewish prayer, a section of Torah, Hebrew reading, and the cycle of the Jewish year.  Or Shalom welcomes students with various levels of advance preparation, and provides the resources for Jewish study.


At Or Shalom, most youth come up to the Torah for an aliyah (Torah blessing), read a short segment of the weekly parashah (Torah portion) from the Torah scroll, present a short d’var Torah (teaching), and lead one or more short prayers.


Students with a strong background in Jewish study and practice are welcome to lead more of the service.  We also work with students with special needs to adapt the ceremony to their interests and abilities.


Other members of the family are also welcome to participate in leading prayer or reading from the Torah.  Non-Jewish family members may read poems and psalms, or join Jewish family members as they come up for an aliyah.


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Who Is Eligible for Bar and Bat Mitzvah?




Usually, becoming a bar or bat mitzvah (a person of religious commitment) is celebrated at age 13.  However, a person can celebrate any time after reaching age 13.  If a child is not prepared emotionally or intellectually at age 13, he or she may choose to celebrate later in their teens.  Adults who wish to renew their commitment to Judaism and have completed a course of study may arrange for a celebration at any time.  In certain circumstances, a girl from an observant Jewish background with strong preparation may celebrate at age 12.


Jewish Identity


Or Shalom accepts the traditional view of halakhah (Jewish law and custom) that Jewish identity is passed from mothers to their children.  If a birth mother is Jewish at the time her child is born, the child is considered automatically Jewish.   If the mother is not Jewish at the time of birth, if the child is adopted from unknown or non-Jewish parents, or if only the child’s father is Jewish, we ask that the youth participate in a conversion ritual shortly before the bar or bat mitzvah. Please let the rabbi know during your initial conversation if Or Shalom will need to arrange for this brief but meaningful ritual.  Or Shalom welcomes interfaith families into its bnei mitzvah program.  Please speak with the rabbi at any time if you have any questions about your child’s Jewish identity or about the rituals for affirming Judaism.



Jewish Education


Or Shalom welcomes students with various levels of advance preparation.  Some of our bnei mitzvah students have attended Jewish Day School throughout elementary school, others have attended synagogue religious school or studied with a private tutor.  If your child has little to no Jewish literacy, please speak with the rabbi about options for preparation, so that Or Shalom can connect you with an appropriate program or tutor.


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Reserving a date for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and Summary of Fees


1.     Contact the rabbi to discuss possible dates for the ceremony.  Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan will give you information about the Jewish ritual calendar, the Torah portion of the week, and availability of your proposed dates, and help you make a final decision.  The rabbi can be reached at 604-872-1614 or reblaura@orshalom.ca.


2.     Fill in the form on the last page of this booklet in order to enroll in the B’Yachad group study program.  Tuition for the B’Yachad program is tax-deductible.  Send the completed form along with a $180 cheque for the B’Yachad tuition as indicated on the form to Office Manager Lily Salja, 710 E. 10th Avenue, Vancouver BC  V5T 2A7.  Lily can be reached via email at office@orshalom.ca and by phone at 604-872-1614.


3.     Send $500 for facility booking, plus a $200 security deposit to the Or Shalom Office Manager, Lily Salja, 710 E. 10th Avenue, Vancouver BC  V5T 2A7.  The office manager can be reached via email at office@orshalom.ca, and by phone at 604-872-1614.


4.     Please make sure your Or Shalom membership is in good standing by checking with the Or Shalom Office Manager Lily Salja.  All bnei mitzvah families are expected to commit to at least two years of membership in Or Shalom.  Costs of membership are detailed on the next page.  If you are not currently a member of Or Shalom, please request new member materials from the office manager.



-       2 year membership in Or Shalom

-       Bar/bat mitzvah booking fee ($500)

-       B'yachad course tuition ($180)

-       Refundable security deposit ($200)

-       Building fund contribution ($2500)

Fees for tutoring & catering are arranged privately with service providers.


Participation in Or Shalom should not be hindered by one’s ability to pay dues and meet other financial obligations. Please contact treasurer treasurer@orshalom.ca or leave a phone message in the Or Shalom Office.


Membership in Or Shalom


Or Shalom (Light of Peace) is a Jewish Renewal community seeking to live an authentic, creative and deeply satisfying spiritual life.  We are committed to the integrity of our Jewish tradition and its continual evolution.  Women and men share and participate equally in all aspects of our community’s religious life.  We are dedicated to providing an inclusive community and resources for individuals to explore their Judaism and the modern era.  Our uniqueness expresses itself in the melodies, poetry, visual arts, creative liturgy and new ceremonies created by our members.


Or Shalom was founded by Rabbis Daniel and Hanna Tiferet Siegel in 1979.  We began as a havurah (circle of friends) and moved to our bayit (home) at 710 East 10th Avenue, Vancouver, in 1992.  We are affiliated with ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal and draw on the strengths and beauties of the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements.  Or Shalom and the Jewish Renewal movement attribute their origins largely to the intellectual and spiritual insights and teachings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.


Or Shalom offers its members religious services, holiday celebrations, lifecycle events, adult and youth education, social action projects, rabbinic consultation, conversion study, artistic opportunities, social events, and opportunities to get involved with synagogue life.


The financial responsibilities of membership consist of ongoing annual dues and a one-time contribution of $2,500 to the building fund.  Participation in Or Shalom should not be hindered by one’s ability to pay dues and meet other financial obligations.  Please contact Or Shalom’s treasurer to discuss an alternate financial arrangement if required.  Please leave a message for treasurer@orshalom.ca. Confidentiality is assured.


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Group Study and Mitzvah Projects: The B'Yachad Group


B'Yachad is the Hebrew word for "together."  At Or Shalom, all students preparing for bar or bat mitzvah enroll in the B'Yachad Program during the school year leading up to their ceremony.  Students with varying levels of previous Jewish education study, socialize, celebrate, and contribute to the community as a group.  The rabbi teaches in the B'Yachad program, along with various learned members of the Or Shalom community.  The program director coordinates the program's communication and logistics.


The B'Yachad program includes the following commitments:


·       Meeting eight Sunday mornings during the school year (as outlined in the year's calendar) from 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon. 

o   On many of these Sunday mornings, students study topics that help them prepare for their bar or bat mitzvah: writing creative prayers, acting out interpretations of Torah through bibliodrama, trying on tallit, discussing the nature of God and Jewish ethics.  These Sunday mornings begin with a light breakfast, provided by parents on a rotating basis.  Parents whose turn it is to provide breakfast arrive 15 minutes early to help the program director set up.

o   On some Sunday mornings, b'nei mitzvah students and their families join with other students in the religious school and their families for active, youth-oriented holiday celebrations. These family celebrations often run from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon instead of the regular B'Yachad time.  Please stay tuned in to the year's specific schedule.


·       Meeting six Shabbat mornings at Or Shalom (as outlined in the year’s course calendar) from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

o   Services on these Shabbat mornings (10:00-12:30) will include a balance of participation in the regular service and special activities for the bnei mitzvah. Some of these mornings coincide with family Shabbat, including a humorous parashah play by bnei mitzvah and older children in the congregation. Services are followed by potluck lunch with the whole congregation. After lunch (1:00-2:00 pm) students meet for a one-hour class with the Rabbi, continuing the curriculum outlined above.


·       Mitzvah projects

o   Mitzvah projects are community service tzedakah projects.  These are hands-on commitments to putting Jewish ethics into practice.  The class will join together for at least one significant project. The Or Shalom staff, tikkun olam (repair of the world) committee, and Family/Youth/Children’s committee work with parents to arrange for the project. In the past, students have participated in cooking and serving lunch at a homeless shelter, raising money for earthquake relief, collecting food for a food bank, collecting clothing for a clothing bank, sorting goods for a food bank.


·       Schul (synagogue) improvement project

o   We ask each B’Yachad class to make a helpful contribution to Or Shalom’s physical facility and resources.  Past classes have funded a stained glass window, created a group mosaic, inventoried and restocked the kitchen utensils, funded the purchase of new books for the library.  Sometimes Or Shalom staff organize a creative project.  However, we invite parents and students to think creatively about making a contribution to Or Shalom.  In order to begin the process, parents are invited to consult the “wish lists” prepared by the various Or Shalom committees. Proposed improvement projects should be approved by the Rabbi (who will consult with the Board), in order to avoid people accidentally working at cross-purposes.


·       Shabbat and Holidays at Or Shalom

o   In addition to the eight scheduled Shabbat morning classes, B’Yachad families are asked to attend Shabbat morning services one more time each month. Attendance at services helps youth get acquainted with the service that forms the foundation for their bar or bat mitzvah ceremony. Students are also encouraged to attend all weekly Shabbat services for the month preceding the bar or bat mitzvah celebration.

o   B'Yachad families are also asked to attend family holiday celebrations at Or Shalom, in addition to those held on Sunday morning.  Attendance helps students gain familiarity with the cycle of the Jewish year, and gives them additional opportunities to enjoy Jewish practice at Or Shalom.


·       Attending one another's celebrations

o   B'Yachad students are expected to invite one another to their b'nei mitzvah ceremonies and celebrations.  Please send each student in the class a formal invitation.  Early in the school year, the program director will distribute contact information for all the members of the class.


·       Purchase of Books

o   All families in the B'Yachad program are expected to own a copy of Siddur Eit Ratzon, the siddur (prayerbook) that is used at Or Shalom.  Students may make notes or place post-it notes in their own prayerbooks to help them prepare for the service at their ceremonies.  Prayerbooks will be available for sale early in the year at a Sunday morning B'Yachad meeting.

o   Families are also expected to have at home any edition of a Chumash in order to facilitate study of the Torah portion.  Please note that the usual gift from Or Shalom to each bar or bat mitzvah at the ceremony is an Etz Chayim Chumash with English translation, selections from traditional commentaries, and Haftora (selections from the Prophets).


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Guided Individual Preparation


    Students work with tutors as well as with the rabbi in order to prepare for their individual ceremonies and, in some cases, to supplement their Jewish education.  Tutors charge a fee per lesson, and the fee varies by individual tutor.  Typically, students will study with their tutors: Hebrew reading, trope or cantillation (notes for Torah reading), the student’s particular Hebrew Torah reading, selected prayers, the content of the day’s Torah reading.  Many tutors also help students increase their background knowledge of Judaism. Each tutor should stay in touch with the rabbi about each student’s learning.


    Each student has the opportunity to meet with the rabbi for four one-hour sessions beginning approximately 6-8 weeks before the bar or bat mitzvah ceremony. Together they will study the parashah and prepare the dvar Torah. The rabbi will schedule a rehearsal in the Or Shalom sanctuary approximately one week before the ceremony. At that rehearsal, the bar or bat mitzvah will practice reading directly from the Torah scroll, delivering the d’var Torah, carrying the Torah scroll, and other contributions to the service.


    If your tutor is not one of the tutors familiar with Or Shalom on the list below, please encourage them to begin to be in close touch with the Or Shalom rabbi as early in the process as possible.


    Tutors include:

    Harriet Frost, 604-295-0977, hfrost@telus.net

    Rabbi Dina-Hasida Mercy, 604-876-2770, dhasida@shaw.ca

    Asaf Pomerantz, 778-329-1045, acate@shaw.ca

    David Medzon, 604-469-6630, dmedzon@telus.net


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The Ceremony




The bar or bat mitzvah ceremony is integrated into a prayer service.  Most ceremonies take place during a Shabbat morning service (10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)  A ceremony can also take place during a Shabbat afternoon service (4:30-6:00 p.m., with slight variations according to seasonal sunset time).  Please speak with the rabbi about the advantages of each of the different services.


When inviting your guests, please ask them to come at the beginning of the service.  This is particularly important so that guests who are unfamiliar with Or Shalom can be greeted, get oriented, and feel comfortable.


Welcoming Guests

Our sanctuary holds up to 250 people.  On a Shabbat morning, expect approximately 50 Or Shalom members in addition to your guests. In order to accommodate this maximum number of 250, it may be necessary to rearrange pews and chairs.  Please check with the office manager for guidance on the set-up.  If you rearrange the sanctuary, please designate someone to return it to its original configuration.


Please note that the sanctuary is heated but not air-conditioned.  If you are expecting a very hot summer day, consider making small bottles of cold water available to your guests at the door.  You may also wish to consider bringing oscillating fans.


Designated greeters can be helpful.  Arrange for friends to take turns to welcome guests, hand out booklets (see below), kippot, direct the overflow of coats downstairs and the gifts to a table or box that you should provide and have watched.  It may also be useful to designate one person for the role of “floor manager” or “usher” to ensure that every guest finds a seat.


Neighbourhood folks sometimes wander in and it is our custom to welcome them into the service and the eating. However, in order to discourage theft, you should ensure supervision of the valuables your guests may have left near the front door. 


Order of the Shabbat Morning Service


1.     Psukei D’zimra – Psalms and Blessings. The bar or bat mitzvah may receive a talit and say the blessing; may also lead prayers or songs along with family members or tutors.


2.     Shacharit – Affirmations of Faith and Silent Prayer.  The bar or bat mitzvah may lead Barechu, Shema, and possibly other prayers.


3.     Torah Service: (Opening the Ark through Candy Throwing)


4.     Opening the Ark: An honor often given to family members.


5.     Taking out the Torah Scroll, singing Sh’ma, carrying the Torah in the procession: Usually done by the bar or bat mitzvah.  Family can join the bar or bat mitzvah for the symbolic passing of the Torah from one generation to another.


6.     Hagbah - Raising up the Torah scroll: An honor often given to physically strong family members or friends.


7.     Five Aliyot – Being called up to the Torah for a blessing: One aliyah is for the bar or bat mitzvah, one for community healing, three to honor parents and other family members/close friends/teachers.  Please provide the rabbi with English and Hebrew names of those being called up.  The bar or bat mitzvah usually reads at least one aliyah worth of Torah verses.  Other readings may be done by the bar or bat mitzvah, the tutor, the rabbi, friends, family members, or community members appointed by the gabbaim – the ritual committee representatives.


8.     D’var Torah - Torah commentary given by the Bar/Bat Mitzvah


9.     Parent’s Blessing – 3 minutes of good wishes. Many parents prefer to offer these during a family party. 


10.  Presentation by board member - Bar or bat mitzvah receives as a gift from Or Shalom an Etz Chayim edition Chumash, certificate, and JCC membership.


11.  Returning the Sefer Torah and closing the Ark: Usually done by the bar or bat mitzvah, though a family member or friend can close the ark.


12.  Candy throwing:  Some teens like to be showered with candy, thrown by the younger members of the congregation.  Younger siblings, friends, or relatives often enjoy passing these out.  Candies should be passed out after the bar or bat mitzvah has finished presenting their d’var Torah (ideally during the final Torah procession) so that no rattling wrappers drown them out.  The only approved candy is individually wrapped soft gummy circles from Pini’s Kosher Corner.


13.  Mourners’ Kaddish: Led by the adult service leader.   Special mention may be made of deceased family members who are greatly missed at the event.


14.  Closing Song(s): Can be led by the bar or bat mitzvah with siblings and friends.


15.  Kiddush and HaMotzi (Blessings over wine and challah): May be done in the sanctuary at the end of the service or in the social hall at the beginning of the meal.  Can be led by the bar or bat mitzvah with siblings and friends. Please arrange to provide wine and challah for the blessings.



Order of the Shabbat Afternoon (Mincha) Service

1.     2 Short Opening Prayers

2.     Torah Service with 3-5 aliyot (includes all the components of the morning Torah service) – Please note that on Shabbat afternoon we read and study the next week’s Torah portion.

3.     Amidah

4.     Mourner’s Kaddish, Closing Songs


Booklets for the Service

            Together with the Rabbi, the Or Shalom communications coordinator prepares a weekly Shabbat bulletin that includes a d’var Torah, information about the service and its leaders, weekly announcements, and basic synagogue information. The usual bulletin is four sided, 4 1/4” x 5 1/2”.  We are happy to adapt this bulletin for bnei mitzvah.  At the very least, we will include in our usual space information about the service leaders and Torah readers for your special day.  We can also include the names of people being called up for aliyot, a description of the service and bar or bat mitzvah ceremony, a special message from the family to its guests, words to special songs that might be sung, a poem by or photos of the bar or bat mitzvah.  We are happy to add an additional four sides with no extra charge or negotiation.  The rabbi has sample booklets on file.


            Some families choose to prepare a longer booklet that contains additional family information, more detailed descriptions of the service and its meanings, extra transliterations, or color photographs.  If you are interested in preparing one, the rabbi has sample copies on file for you can look at.


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Planning the event


Information needed by Or Shalom


6 weeks in advance: Tutor or family should request from the rabbi an outline of the service, and let the rabbi know who will be leading which portions of the service and who will be reading from the Torah.  The rabbi and gabbaim (prayer service organizers) can identify additional leaders and Torah readers, if necessary.


10 days in advance: Family should contact the rabbi to go over the final plans for the service.  Family must finalize with the rabbi any inserts for the Shabbat bulletin.  The family and rabbi should schedule the rehearsal.


Family should let rabbi or Torah service leader know who will be called up for the aliyot and their Hebrew names.  Family should give the rabbi the full Hebrew name (including parents’ Hebrew names) of the bar or bat mitzvah. 

Invitations to the Ceremony

            If you are sending invitations, we recommend that you organize them three or four months before the date.  The rabbi has sample invitations, if you wish to review them.  Many families prefer to prepare invitations on their own computers.  For professionally prepared invitations, note that local printers who are familiar with Hebrew letters can be found through the Vancouver Jewish Community directory.  Mail out invitations about seven to eight weeks prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  The community at large will be informed of the upcoming ceremony through the quarterly calendar mailout and the weekly Shabbat bulletin distributed at services. However, a general announcement does not have the warmth of a personal invitation, so make sure that those you want to reach personally do receive an invitation.



            Flowers make a beautiful addition to the sanctuary on a special occasion.  Many people choose to set one vase on the round stands at either side of the ark.  Or Shalom has vases available for this use, donated by b'nei mitzvah families.  If you order flowers for the sanctuary, please avoid heavily scented flowers such as calla lilies.


Child Minding

            Or Shalom provides one child-minder for Shabbat morning services.  Our child-minder takes care of the children on Shabbat from 10:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in the same room downstairs where the kiddush is set up. 

            Please bring or ask your caterer to provide a snack for 12 children, plus more if additional little guests are attending a Bat/Bar Mitzvah.  Otherwise they will be tempted to help themselves to the food as it is being set out!

            If you are expecting many guests with children, we ask that you hire an additional child-minder.  Please let the Or Shalom education director know 3 weeks in advance of the event if you would like Or Shalom to identify an additional childminder.  Any later than that and we will ask you to identify one.


Building Access

            As of spring 2010, the office hours at Or Shalom are: Monday –Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Fridays by special prior arrangement only.  The office is closed on statutory holidays and on Jewish holidays.  

            Please check with the Office Manager at least one week in advance regarding delivery times for rentals.  Rental pickups should be arranged to take place during normal business hours the week following the bar or bat mitzvah.

            Access to Or Shalom outside of these hours must be arranged with the office manager.  Simply leaving a phone message does not guarantee a completed communication!  Please plan well in advance.  A charge of $25 per occasion may be deducted from your security deposit for access to the building outside of normal office hours, such as late Friday afternoon set-up or Shabbat morning access before 9:30 a.m.


Support Groups

            If all of this sounds a bit overwhelming, please note that in past years, some families have coordinated support groups with other willing parents of that year’s B’Yachad class.  The group members assist each other with such details as greeting, set-up, etc.  It is also possible to organize a group of friends and relatives to help with food preparation, driving, schlepping, set-up, clean-up, etc.


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Kiddush Luncheon



            Halacha (Jewish law and custom) mandates that following a life cycle ceremony we invite our guests to a se’udat mitzvah, a meal.  At Or Shalom, every Shabbat morning bar and bat mitzvah invites the entire congregation along with their guests to a Kiddush luncheon held either in the Or Shalom social hall or at a neighborhood location within walking distance.  Every Shabbat afternoon bar and bat mitzvah invites the entire congregation along with their guests to a light snack immediately after the ceremony.

            If the cost of a luncheon is prohibitive, please check with the rabbi.  It is possible to arrange a potluck meal or self-catered meal instead of a professionally catered meal. If you are going to use a caterer, please book their services early.


Approved Bnei Mitzvah Caterers

The Or Shalom Board has compiled a list of approved caterers for bar and bat mitzvah luncheons at Or Shalom.  These caterers are familiar with Or Shalom – its kosher/dairy standards, its kitchen, and its procedures. If you wish to use a different caterer, please contact the rabbi.


-       Lazy Gourmet, 734-2507

-       Sabra, 733-4912

-       Solly’s, 872-1821 or 738-2121

-       Shlomo Yekutieli, 738-1304

-       Nava Creative Kosher Cuisine (JCC), 676-7579

-       Suzie Segal, 272-2103

-       Ayal Worth, 261-1217



            If you fill our sanctuary to capacity (250 people) for the ceremony, there will be standing room only for your kiddush luncheon. For this reason many members have chosen to rent various sized tents. During the summer one can gamble on the weather and plan for some guests to eat outside in the garden.  Please consider the need to arrange for renting additional tables, chairs, tablecloths, plates, etc. 


Children’s Play Area

            When you, your helpers, or your caterer are setting up the room for the lunch, please make sure that the children’s play area, including its table and chairs, are not disturbed.  This will ensure that the children have their regular indoor play space and will not disrupt the rest of the setup!



Kitchen Inventory

            An inventory of the Or Shalom kitchen was conducted Sept 11 2005 by bnei mitzvah class parents.  The inventory, presented below, lists the utensils that Or Shalom owns.  If you expect that you will need more than this for your Kiddush lunch, please arrange to rent what you need. 

            Forks 295; Spoon (soup) 75; Spoons (tea) 173; Knives 264; Large plates 231; Medium sized plates (glass) 114 ; Plates (china medium sized) 26; Plates (pink) 22; Small plates (china) 4; Bowls (large, serving) 18; Bowls (medium serving) 17; Bowls (small, serving) 7; Mugs (coffee) 130; Wine glasses 24; Glasses (drinking) 67 ; Glasses (wine) 30; Drinking glasses (small) 19; Cream servers 3; Trays (large, serving) 29; Coffee urn  2; Vase (flowers) 21



Food Policies


"Dairy Vegetarian"

       At Or Shalom, we maintain a “dairy vegetarian” standard in our kitchen. The tradition at Or Shalom is to serve dairy vegetarian foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, dairy, etc.

            Meat, shellfish, and foods containing rennet and gelatin are NOT acceptable.


For Higher Kosher Standards

            Some of your guests may require a standard higher than our dairy-vegetarian standard.  If you are using one of our approved caterers, please discuss your guests’ needs with them to make sure they can be met, before you sign a contract with the caterer. Please discuss with the caterer Or Shalom’s commitment to Eco-Kashrut, and arrange for use of non-disposable Kosher plates. Alternatively, if you are preparing a potluck, a table for these guests should be set with koshered plates, cutlery and cups from a kosher kitchen, and with food prepared in a kosher kitchen.  Please place a sign that says “reserved” on that table.


Kosher symbols:

            Various symbols found on packaged food indicate rabbinical approval of the ingredients and processing of a product. Typical symbols found on products on BC grocery store shelves are: BCK, COR, MK, WK. Certified kosher retail outlets in Vancouver include Sabra's, Omnitsky's, Kosher Food Warehouse, and Pini’s.
            The Vancouver organization that supervises British Columbia Kosher - BCK - will provide you with up-to-date information of currently approved foods. You can call their office to receive a copy of the current list at 604-275-0042.




Eco-Kashrut provides an ecological perspective to Judaism by including environmental practices as part of our religious practice. Please try to respect this practice at your Kiddush lunch.  Eco-kashrut practices include:

·       being careful to avoid using disposable plates and cutlery.

·       minimizing the amount of packaging used for foods.

·       cleaning and recycling the containers we bring into the building.

·       avoiding genetically engineered foods.



Luncheon Cleanup      

            Be clear with your caterer or helpers about the responsibility to set up and to clean up.  It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that the kitchen and sanctuary have been restored to the condition they were in when you arrived to set up.  Following the celebration Or Shalom will vacuum the sanctuary and wash the downstairs floors.  Sweeping downstairs is part of your responsibility.  Your security deposit will not be refunded if there is damage or if the following conditions are not met: 


·       Garbage is to be bagged and taken out to the appropriate area in the back lane.

·       Tablecloths must be shaken out and put in the hamper in the kitchen closet.

·       Freezer and refrigerator doors should be securely closed.

·       Cups, glasses, plates and cutlery must be brought in from the back yard.

·       Cups, glasses and plates must be rinsed and wiped clean before being put in the sterilizer.  It is not a dishwasher!  Be sure that you or your designate understand the operation of the equipment before use.  Sterilizer instructions are posted near the appliance.

·       Cups, glasses, plates and cutlery should be returned to their original location on the appropriate shelves after cleaning.

·       All stove burners and the oven must be turned off before leaving

·       Caterers should take all recyclables with them when they leave, including cardboard boxes, etc.  Glass and plastic bottles may be put in the designated recycling can under the coat rack.

·       Any pews, chairs, tables or other furniture that are moved by you or your helpers for the event must be moved back to their original location soon after the event, e.g., chairs from downstairs go back downstairs.



Food Storage

            All foods stored at Or Shalom must be in animal-proof containers. There is a side-by-side fridge/freezer available to store foods. Anything stored in the fridge, the freezer or on the counter for the lunch (brought in prior to Shabbat) must be clearly labeled.  All refrigerated foods used for the lunch must be taken home after the lunch or donated to Food Runners at 604-889-4018.


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