FAQs

What makes Congregation Or Ami unique?

At Congregation Or Ami, we strive to be first and foremost a caring community, a second home for all who enter through our doors. That is how your synagogue should feel. We work hard to make that happen.

When you call or email Or Ami, we hope you feel lovingly cared for and warmly welcomed. When you enter our sanctuary home, we hope you are greeted in such a way that the warmth envelops you.

Who are Or Ami’s clergy? 

Rabbi Paul Kipnes, Cantor Doug Cotler and Rabbi Julia Weisz are our clergy team. Their warmth and openness toward others and to Jewish spirituality and tradition reflects the genuine joy they have working with each other. The smiles… they are real.

Cantor Doug has been at Or Ami since day one; his music inspires. Rabbi Paul joined in our third year and leads our clergy team. Rabbi Julia with us since 2009 is our second rabbi and oversees all of our learning programs.

How many households are part of Or Ami?

Currently about 350 households participate regularly with us. They include individuals of all ages, two parent families, blended families, single parent families, seniors, and young couples.

Will I fit in?

Or Ami reflects the mosaic that is Moses’ people. Recognizing that we are all created b’tzelem Elohim (in the image of God), we welcome Jews and Jewish families of all shapes and make ups.  We include individuals, couples and families who are: multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic; interfaith; with special needs; LGBTQ; people struggling with illness; in recovery from addictions; seeking spirituality for whatever the reason. No one is more welcome at Or Ami than you! Come home to Or Ami. 

I hear you prefer the term “partnership” instead of “membership.” Why?

Because in a partnership, we each bring to the communal enterprise our talents, our time, our experiences, our talents, and our presence. Like a marriage or other relationship, partnership is more than just a co-mingling of financial assets; it is about creating a shared life. In a partnership, we work together to create a warm, welcoming, innovative, musical Jewish community. 

What does my partnership bring me?

In addition to the the warmth and support of a Jewish community, you receive High Holy Day tickets for your immediate family, access to awesome learning programs, summer camps and retreats, and the ability to repair the world through our extensive social action programs. Our Rabbis and congregants will be there to support you through life’s challenges and joys. You will also be supporting your synagogue.

How do I join Congregation Or Ami?

Our office manager Susie Stark will gladly guide you through the process. Email Susie or call her (818-880-4880).

Are there forms to fill out?

Of course there are! But we have minimized the forms you need to fill out, and after your first year, it takes less and less time.

What if I can’t afford membership dues?

We have dues reductions available for anyone who needs it. Contact our bookkeeper Lisette Tuohy (or call 818-880-4880) for more information. No one will be turned away due to their inability to pay.