Traditional, Egalitarian & Participatory Conservative Synagogue
127 East 82nd St, New York, NY 10028  |  Tel: 212.452.2310
Scott N. Bolton, Rabbi  |  Marc D. Ashley, President
a Conservative synagogue on the upper east side of nyc
O"Z Events & News
Sabbath Morning Youth Programs
Or Zarua Talmud Class 2017  
The Passover Seder in the Talmud
Wednesday evenings from 7:30 - 9:00 in the Library.
On February 1, 2017, we begin our study of the last chapter of Tractate Passover, dealing with the haggadah and Passover rituals, as well as everything from demons to desserts to Shabbat rituals!
Join us for our 28th year studying Talmud together! No previous participation is needed.
Anyone may join the class at any time. No prior knowledge of Talmud, Hebrew, or Aramaic is required.
If you can't make every class, please join when you can; it's easier than you think to be a Talmud learner and to enjoy the material. Contact Rabbi Bolton directly with any questions. All you need to bring is your life experience. Bring your family, friends, and associates, and share the news.
Registration is NOT required for this class.
Exploring the Siddur: History, Meaning and Commentaries on the Jewish Prayerbook
Thursday mornings, following minyan, from 8:40 - 9:40 am in the Library.
Explore the history of our prayer book, the meaning of the prayers, and Jewish law and teachings about prayer in a new class led by Rabbi Scott Bolton. Prior attendance is not required.
Registration is NOT required for this class.
Book Discussion Group
Sunday, April 30, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Library
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer.
The title of Foer's book is a reference to Abraham's response to God before he's told to sacrifice Isaac. Foer deals with the challenge of balancing various responsibilities we have to the different people in our lives while maintaining one's identity.
Please join us for our next Or Zarua book discussion on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
For more information, please contact Reed Schneider at 212.860.8611, or contact Deborah Wenger in the Synagogue Office at 212-452-2310 x12 or
Registration is not required.
Taste of Talmud - Moses and Ramses: Recovering the Unwritten Rivalry
Rabbi Mordecai Schwartz, Ph.D.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at 7:30 pm
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. In the biblical story of the Exodus, and in passages from the Talmud and Midrash dealing with the Exodus, we'll examine at its core the sub-text of families searching for happiness. We will attempt to sketch out the ideal picture of family that is presented in the Passover narrative.
Registration is not required.
Oral Law Seminar - Elisha's Apostasy: Reward and Punishment in Jewish Thought
Four Sundays between Pesah and Shavu'ot - April 23 & 30 and May 7 & 21 at 10:00 am
For more than a decade now, on several Sunday mornings between Pesach and Shavuot, O"Z congregant Marc Ashley has taught an annual adult education course covering a variety of core theological, legal and historical issues. With a recurring focus on the origins and authority of the Torah she'be'al peh (the Oral Law in Judaism), we have examined wide-ranging issues including the ideological foundations of denominational differences, parameters of Jewish pluralism, reasons for the commandments, sources of authentic Jewish knowledge, subjective dynamics of halakhic decision-making, and seminal historiography of Yosef Yerushalmi.
Does it make any sense to believe that God rewards virtue and penalizes misconduct?
In classical Jewish thought, God rewards the righteous and punishes sinners based on our performance of the commandments, But that notion of strict accountability flies in the face of reality. Good people sometimes suffer and bad people often thrive. God's allotment of reward and punishment can seem arbitrary. It is challenging to believe with confidence that divine justice actually flourishes in our world. If we possess free will to do good or evil, isn't God paying attention to our choices?
The clash between concept and reality can be jarring. The Talmud relates that Elisha ben Abuya, a respected rabbinic scholar, was led to apostasy when he witnessed a young boy fall to his death when climbing a ladder at his father's instruction to send away a mother bird before capturing the nestlings. While fulifilling two comandments the Torah expressly states will prolong our lives, this dutiful boy was deprived of life. In the face of this inexplicable tragedy, Elisha's religious faith was irrevocably shattered, leading to his notorious heresy.
This theological challenge still resonates today, particularly in the shadow of the Holocaust during which God's indifference to redical injustice seemed to reign. The unsettling disconnect between goodness and success can lead to religious doubt.
Please join us on four Sundays in April and May as congregant Marc Ashley leads his annual adult education course through a survey of Jewish thought on the important topic of reward and punishment. We'll survey classical Jewish texts and modern commentaries as we explore the continuing relevance of this provocative doctrine.
All congregants (and their friends) are welcome to join the discussion.
No prior knowledge of any kind is required for this adult education course and all congregants are encouraged to attend.
Classes will meet in the Or Zarua Library.
Attendance at all classes is NOT required; if you can't attend all sessions, come to the ones you can attend. Please contact Marc Ashley with any questions.
Registration is not required.
Scholarly Shabbat in Honor of Yom Ha'Atzma'ut
Professor Fred Lazin
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Fred Lazin, Professor Emeritus, Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva
Chair, RC05 Comparative Studies of Local Government and Politics, International Political Science Association
At services:
Making the Desert Bloom 2.0: A survey of the 21st century Ben Gurion University
From Desert Studies to CyberTech - hear how BGU is making a global impact.
Post-Kiddush Lecture:
Israel in China: A visiting scholar presents Israel to the Far East
What was the first documentary film about Israel shwon on Chinese national TV> What questions wre most often asked of the professor? Jewish or Israeli - which defined a visiting scholar? Professor Lazin will share his experiences in China from when he was a guest scholar there.
Registration is not required.
Tpward a Jewish Iconography: The Art of Mark Rand
In the O"Z Gallery
The art of Archie Rand, Professor of Art at Brooklyn College, speaks to the development of images and symbols in Jewish art. "Using illustrations from his five decade career, Professor Rand will show how the inventions of a textually obedient and midrash-based use of Jewish symbols became transformed. Rand's experience in painting many commissions for religious institutions caused him to realize a radically new understanding of art's function, both from within and outside the community. With his revolutionary painting The 613 and his subsequent best-selling book The 613, whose groundbreaking images individually address the 613 mitzvot, Rand re-establishes and manifests the necessity for a visual primacy in Jewish and all religious painting."
Archie Rand, a Brooklyn native, received his BFA in Cinegraphics from Pratt Institute. His works have been presented in over 100 solo shows and 200 group exhibitions. He is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Bibliotheque Nationale, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Or Zarua History Wanted
Or Zarua is recording its oral history and creating an archive. If you have information, memorabilia, photos, or other material to be included, please contact the Oral History Committee by email to either Phyllis Solomon or Caroline Golden.
Refu'ah Shleymah, Comfort and Caring Calls
It's not always easy to reach out at times when we are ill or facing personal challenges. Nevertheless, our Hesed Committee and Hevra Kadisha Committee, as well as Rabbi Bolton, seek to extend our community's caring network. We would like all Congregants to know that if you are ailing or going through a particularly challenging time, our community would like to offer encouragement and words of support. For home-bound Congregants, or those with limited abilities to attend classes and programs at Or Zarua, let us help connect you, say hello, arrange a time for phone study, or set up visits. To get the connection started, call Deborah at 212.452.2310, Extension 12.
Or Zarua's literary journal for the High Holidays
  Read the 5774 edition of Orot
  Read the 5768 edition of Orot
  Read the 5767 edition of Orot
  Read the 5766 edition of Orot
Kids: Learn Anim Z'mirot! -  Help Lead the Singing on Shabbat!
It's a tradition that kids lead the singing of Anim Z'mirot - so here's a great way to learn it (even if you're an adult!): Download it from the Or Zarua website and learn it at your own pace!
Here are the links:
wma Format
mp3 Format
"Rabbi Wechsler Teaches" on Sirius/XM Radio -  Sundays at 4:00 am, 8:00 am, and 8:00 pm
Rabbi Wechsler is on Sirius XM Stars Radio each Sunday. Subscribers to Sirius Radio can access this program on Channel 102, and XM subscribers can tune in to Channel 155 on XM Radio. Non-subscribers to Sirius Radio can obtain a free three day trial at .
Songs and Niggunim -  Including Joey Weisenberg niggunim. Link x
This week at O"Z
Service Times
March 26 - April 1, 2017
Morning Minyan:
Weekdays at 7:15 am
Musaf days at 7:00 am
Shabbat at 9:00 am
Sundays at 8:45 am
Check Calendar for changes
   to starting time, if any
Our Morning Minyan is
open to the Community
365 days per year!
FRIDAY, March 31, 2017
Candlelighting 7:02 pm
Minhah and
Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00 pm
SATURDAY, April 1, 2017
Shaharit at 9:00 am
This week's Torah reading:
Parashat Vayikra
   Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26
This week's Haftarah:
Isaiah 43:21 - 44:23
Shabbat Ends
8:07 pm
Monthly Calendar
Daily Calendar:
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127 East 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028
Telephone 212.452.2310
Fax 212.452.2103
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