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Omer Campaign

The mitzvah of counting the Omer connects the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. This period symbolically links Pesach and the Exodus to Shavuot and our arrival at Mt. Sinai, and is an opportunity for internal reflection and growth. Each of the next seven weeks has a corresponding theme to help guide us:

  • Chesed חסד: loving-kindness
  • Gevurah גבורה: strength
  • Tiferet תפארת: balance
  • Netzach נצח‎: endurance
  • Hod הוד: glory
  • Yesod יסוד: connection
  • Malchut מלכות: leadership

Here at OT, we are proud to reflect on a successful year and we hope you will help us reach new heights in the next year.

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The first week of the Omer is the week of chesed, loving-kindness. Our Social Action initiatives embody chesed every day to help us feed the hungry, replenish the blood supply in Northern Virginia, provide social connections for the elderly, build cross-cultural interfaith friendships and give needed supplies to families in shelters. Your donation to Olam Tikvah supports these wonderful programs and so much more!

The second week of the Omer is the week of gevurah, strength. Whether you participate in a social group like our Youth groups, Sisterhood, Men's Club, ABBA, Young Families, or join in our congregational picnics and dinners, social life is one of OT's strengths.

During the week of tiferet, balance, we want to share how OTRS brings our time-tested Jewish values to the modern lives of our young people. Finding balance in our lives can be a challenge, all the more so for our very busy students. This year the entire school focused on studying the value of Derech Eretz, respecting others. Together we learned about ways to bring balance to our lives, our friendships, our classrooms through the way we communicate and treat one another. Through balance the students of OTRS learned about personal strength, connection to others, how to be leaders in their classrooms and most importantly the value of treating themselves and others with loving-kindness. All these are themes of the Omer, all of these values help to make OTRS an incredible place of learning and exploration of Jewish Identity and Judaism.

The fourth week of the Omer is the week of netzach, endurance. We are proud of the endurance of our Jewish values, which we see every day in our intergenerational community. 

Every week we see a true embodiment of l'dor v'dor, from generation to generation, as our building is filled with young people learning about, growing into and connecting with their Judaism and their Jewish community. Our Youth groups bring together third graders through high school seniors to participate in social activities from bowling and laser tag to zombie lock-ins and scavenger hunts. Young Families play dates give toddlers the chance to build friendships and provide social time for parents. But they're not just engaged in social activities - we have Young Families holiday programs and Youth Shabbat services, and, of course, people of all ages participate and lead services in our sanctuary.

The fifth week of the Omer is the week of hod, glory. There is no better week than the week of glory to celebrate our ritual life. We strive to create opportunities for all of our congregants to celebrate and find meaning in Shabbat and holidays. Rabbis Kalender and Ravski and our many lay leaders create opportunities for spiritual growth. Celebrating a simcha is that much sweeter when done with our OT family, and the outpouring of support from our community is a comfort in difficult times. We feel the glory of our community in these rituals and in the friendships and connections fostered here.

The sixth week is the week of yesod, connection. There are many ways that we celebrate the connectedness of the Jewish community here at OT, one of which is our amazing commitment to incorporating Israel into the everyday life of our congregation. Whether you and your family learned from Noy about Israeli culture, politics and food; celebrated Israeli music and dance with Men's Club; attended AIPAC; or plan to join Rabbi Kalender on his upcoming OT trip to Israel, there is no shortage of opportunities to connect with Israel.

The final week is the week of malchut, leadership. As we finish counting and prepare to celebrate Shavuot this weekend with late night study and cheesecake, we are proud to reflect on all of the educational opportunities we offer throughout the year. Our adult education offerings reflect the lifelong learning that is an integral part of Jewish engagement, and empower each of us to grow our Jewish knowledge.

Did you attend weekly Mishnah, Talmud, or Hebrew classes? Did you learn a new recipe, debate kashrut standards, or add potatoes to your seder plate after Dr. Kulp's Scholar-in-Residence lecture? Do you think about reason and faith differently after reading As a Driven Leaf, or approach the meaning of life with new eyes after diving into the Book of Kohelet?

Thank you to everyone who teaches and learns here at Olam Tikvah. You make our Adult Ed programs shine.

Sat, May 30 2020 7 Sivan 5780