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The Book of Life symbolizes the true concept of L’Dor V’Dor, passing on traditions from one generation to the next. Individuals or families, at their discretion, may enter the Book of Life when they “promise” a legacy gift or establish an endowment of any amount. The “promise form” is a non-binding letter of intent.
To honor you for this gift Or Chadash has established a Legacy Circle Book of Life. You have up to one page to share your thoughts and experiences that inspired the gift. Your statements along with a photo of you or family are kept on permanent display at Or Chadash in a custom designed binder and also on our website in digital form. Optionally, in the digital version, you may add slides and music that are specific to your page for current and future generations to enjoy.
To view the digital version of our Legacy Circle Book of Life click here.
Interested in learning more? Contact a Legacy Circle Committee Member.
What is the Or Chadash “LEGACY CIRCLE” program?
The “Legacy Circle” program has been established to provide permanent income for our congregation’s current and future needs for generations to come. It will provide stability in times of financial uncertainty and help us launch and sustain new programming.
What is a Legacy Gift & how does it work?
A legacy gift is placed into our newly established Endowment Fund, creating a permanent income stream. Legacy gifts can be made during your lifetime by an outright contribution or in the future through a provision in your will or other financial products.
What are some common options I have for creating a Legacy Gift?
Making a bequest through a provision in your will naming Or Chadash.
Naming Or Chadash as one of your life insurance beneficiaries
Listing Or Chadash as a beneficiary of your retirement plan assets
Setting up a charitable gift annuity or donor-advised fund.
Do Legacy Gifts have to be large?
No. Any gift is much appreciated.
Is it complicated to create a Legacy Gift?
A Legacy Gift begins by signing a simple non-binding letter of intent called a “Promise”. You communicate your promise to create a Legacy Gift by following the instructions on the My Promise form. Your legacy gift or bequest can be as simple as specifying any percentage of your estate you want to give or a dollar amount or some combination (i.e. X% not to exceed $X) of your estate.
What should I do if I have questions that aren’t addressed here?
Please reach out to a member of the Legacy Circle Committee. If they are not able to answer your question, they can connect you with someone who can help.
I see “Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer (JCFGM)” on some of the Life and Legacy materials. Who are they?
The JCFGM supports many synagogues & Jewish organizations with endowments and resources that maximize the charitable objectives of their donors. Or Chadash partnered with the JCFGM to manage our Endowment Fund, provide training/support with the launch of our “Legacy Circle” program, obtain a $5,000 grant by achieving our year end program objectives, and provide expert advise to our congregation as needed. If you’d like to learn more about JCFGM and their work, please see their website www.foundationjewish.org for more information.
Can I leave a Legacy Gift to fund a specific program with special meaning to me?
It is possible to leave a Legacy Gift designated to fund a special program. These types of arrangements require careful planning. We recommend that those considering this option consult with members of the Legacy Circle Committee .
Why should I leave a Legacy Gift?
Or Chadash plays a vital role in the lives of our families, students, and the Hunterdon County Jewish community and in your life. A Legacy Gift ensures that Or Chadash can continue to fulfill that role for generations to come. Just as we each leave a legacy for our loved ones, we should also leave a legacy for organizations that bring joy and meaning to our lives.
How are Legacy Gift donors recognized?
In appreciation for your intention for leave a Legacy Gift, you will be honored by joining our Legacy Circle and entered into our Book of Life. You will be given a page to submit a short story and picture. The story can reflect some of your life history, values, motivation for your legacy gift, why you joined Or Chadash and dreams for the future. This will be a permanent historical record for your family, friends and future generations to view.
Over 25 years ago, a small group of Jewish families in Hunterdon County shared a dream. They dreamed of a home in which they and their loved ones could worship, educate their children, celebrate life’s happy occasions, and reach out together to help those in need. They did more than imagine. They invested their time, energy, imagination, and money to build a community, and eventually a synagogue.
Today, we are living in the future they only imagined. Or Chadash’s first 25 years were their gift to us. The future is in our hands. We invite you to join in continuing their legacy by becoming founders of the gift we will leave to future generations.
The synagogue is the central institution in Jewish community life. Or Chadash is where we worship, educate ourselves and our children and grandchildren, extend support to one another and the broader community and celebrate life cycle events. Or Chadash is the center of Reform Jewish life in Hunterdon County and a valuable contributor to central New Jersey’s Jewish community.
A Legacy Gift to Or Chadash provides income for our congregation’s current and future needs. It provides stability in times of financial uncertainty and helps us launch and sustain new programming. Just as a family’s savings provide security for the family’s future needs, Or Chadash’s Legacy Giving Program creates a more secure future for our community. As funds grow, they will help Or Chadash flourish in the decades ahead.
When thinking about the future, we all worry about the worldly needs of those we will leave behind. We must also concern ourselves with the world they will inherit. By including Or Chadash in your estate planning, you will help ensure that future generations inherit a home for Jewish life, education, and community. You will help them take their place in the chain of generations reaching back to our ancestors. Your gift guarantees the Jewish future, here in your community.
To be a part of this unique program is quite easy. The first thing to do is simply to fill out a Promissory Letter of intent. This letter is not a binding document but lets us know that you are committed to help secure Or Chadash’s legacy for years to come.
A Promissory Letter can be viewed & downloaded by clicking here.
An example of a completed Promissory Letter can be viewed by clicking here.
Once complete you can mail it or drop it off in person but please make sure it goes to the attention of the Or Chadash Treasurer.
After you fill out the Promissory Letter, you are expected to make the necessary arrangements so your “promise” can be executed in the future. As indicated on the Promise Form, you estimate how many months are required to make these arrangements. This can be revised as needed.
That is it! We thank you in advance for looking out for the financial well-being of Or Chadash so that future generations enjoy the community that has been established at our temple.
Our Legacy Circle committee would love to speak with you and answer your questions. We can also refer you to our partner “The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer” who is managing Or Chadash’s endowment. They have experts to help you determine which method of giving is best for you.
Harvey Gold: firstname.lastname@example.org -Chairperson
How long is a Family Service? My kids get tired after a long day of school and activities.
Yes, we know that. Services begin promptly at 7:00 PM and they conclude at 8:00 PM. We are very aware of the needs of young kids (and their parents) and have created this service to meet those needs.
Where can I see the Family Service schedule so I can put it on our family calendar?
They can be found on the Home page of our website, www.orchadash-nj.org.
On the service listing it says “with seventh (or sixth/fifth/fourth, etc.) grade participation.” I don’t have a seventh (or sixth/fifth/fourth, etc.) grader. Can I attend?
Absolutely! The services are designed for participation by all grades and ages. Each month one grade is assigned additional participation responsibilities, either reading a prayer in Hebrew or in English, or presenting a topic that they have been studying in Religious School.
Will there be lots of singing and music?
Yes! Student Cantor Kathy will be playing her guitar and leading us in song at every Family Service. All students in all grades will have multiple opportunities to participate.
What should I wear?
OC has no formal dress policy. Practically anything goes. Although Saturday mornings during a Bar/Bat Mitzvah folks are much more “dressed up.” Most boys/men have buttons on their shirts and pants–as in shirts with collars and no sweatpants.
Can I take photos?
Yes, during Family Shabbat services things are somewhat more relaxed. Photographs are NOT allowed during Shabbat morning services and afternoon services.
Birthdays are celebrated on Family Shabbat Services. What does that mean?
If you have or will be celebrating a birthday during that month, you will be invited to the bimah (platform) to receive a token birthday gift (typically a Hebrew pencil or Israeli bubblegum.) Additionally the congregation will sing Happy Birthday to you in Hebrew. All ages are invited, members and non-members. It is totally inclusive.
What happens if my child is not comfortable going on the bimah?
We will not force your child. We will only encourage.
Can I invite friends/guests/relatives?
Absolutely! All services are open to anyone and everyone to attend and enjoy. It is especially nice to invite others.
What is a celebratory oneg?
Oneg (translated to delight) is the party/food/snacks/dessert that happens immediately after services. It is a time to schmooze with your fellow congregants. Children are expected to take a bite of a cookie and then decide they want a bite of a brownie. There is coffee served. It is always decaf in the evening. (OC programs in the morning serve caffeinated coffee.)
What happens if my child makes a fuss during services?
Please do not stress. Kids make noise. Kids drop prayer books. It is totally OK.
Can I bring my younger children/siblings to Or Chadash?
Yes! Strollers are always welcome inside the sanctuary if that is easier for you.
What is the room with the glass window and shade in the back of the sanctuary?
That is known as the “quiet” room. (aka Room Number 3) You can see and hear what is going on in the sanctuary. It is soundproof! If you ever need a place for you or your child(ren) to be able to spread out and play with toys, “chill” or stretch, this is the room. You can go there, relax, and return to the sanctuary when/if you are ready (or not!).
Interesting fact! Why do we sometimes stand and sometimes sit?
Our bodies are in the same position as the Torah. So if the Torah is out of the Ark and vertical, so are our bodies. If the Torah is resting on the Torah stand, we are sitting. If the curtain is drawn open, we stand. If the curtain in front of the Torahs is closed, we sit. Of course, there are other times and prayers we stand for (like the Sh’ma or Kaddish), so sometimes it does seem like we are doing exercises. If you are not sure, just follow everyone else!
Is it OK to leave the service in the middle if my child needs to take a break or go to the bathroom?
Yes! But please try not to leave during the Kaddish prayer. See below.
What is up with the egg shakers?
The egg shakers are all about fun. They make noise. Kids love them. Adults love them. There is no right or wrong way to shake them. With a small(er) crowd we have enough for two per child. With a big(ger) crowd, everyone (adults and kids) gets one. All we ask is that they get returned to the egg shaker box at the end of the service. If we forget to take them out and your child really, really wants to shake them? ask Rabbi Forman or Cantor Kathy to get them.
What is the Mi Shebeirach prayer? Why are people calling out names?
Rabbi Forman will say, “At this time in our service we think about others in our community who are ill or in need of healing. In a few moments I’m going to ask you to share the names of your friends, family and loved ones… Rabbi Forman will look around the room and people just call out names. You just say a name out loud, your children can do this too. It can be a friend, a teacher—anyone. Sometimes two people will say a name at the same time. It is as if they were said in unison. It is ok.
What is the Kaddish prayer and why does the mood seem different in the sanctuary during this prayer?
If there was one time in the service where you as a parent want to teach/instill/introduce “service decorum”–even to a young(er) child(ren) this might be it. The Kaddish prayer is a special prayer that is said at the end of the service. We stand up when we say this prayer. It is a prayer for those people in our community who are remembering loved ones who are no longer with us. It is important to preserve the quietness and the serenity and dignity and reverence and respect for those remembering during this special time. This is the one time in the service that we would prefer there to be no bathroom breaks. Again, it is a learning process.
What is Passover?
Pesach, known as Passover in English, is a major Jewish spring festival which commemorates the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. The ritual observance of this holiday centers around a festive dinner service called the seder (meaning “order”), the prohibition of chametz (leaven), and the eating of matzah (an unleavened bread). On the fifteenth day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, Jews gather with family and friends in the evening to read from a book called the hagaddah, meaning “telling,” which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings and songs for the Passover seder. Today, the holiday is a celebration of freedom and family. Please visit our Or Chadash Passover page.
How does Or Chadash celebrate Passover?
Or Chadash holds a Congregational Seder on the second night of Passover. Please refer to the Or Chadash Home Page for all the important details.
Are children welcome?
Absolutely! The seder is a festive event and we love celebrating with the kids.
May I bring non-Temple guests to the seder?
Please do. Passover is a joyous celebration of freedom, a wonderful holiday to share with friends and family.
Should I bring anything to the seder?
All of the delicious food is provided! You may bring your own wine if desired.
Do we need to RSVP in advance?
Yes- please see the Or Chadash home page for details and the link to RSVP.
How should we dress for the seder?
Please dress comfortably! Casual attire is just fine.
Are there any other Or Chadash traditions for Passover?
Or Chadash joins with the Hunterdon County Islamic Community in a fun afternoon of Pita and Matzah making at Bobolink Bakery- click the home page for details!
For additional information, please visit https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/passover-pesach
What is Hanukkah?
That is a great question, but too long for this frequently asked question page! Click here to see our Hanukkah page which has an explanation of the holiday.
How do you spell this holiday anyway?
It is most commonly transliterated to English as Chanukah, Hanukkah or Hannukah. As such, you may spell it anyway you wish!
When does Or Chadash celebrate Hannukah?
Or Chadash celebrates Hanukkah on the Shabbat closest to the holiday, while trying to accommodate the secular calendar, too.
What time is the service?
The Hannukah service is always a Family Shabbat Service. That means it begins at 7 PM and will conclude in one hour.
Do I need to bring anything to the service?
We encourage you to bring your Hanukkah Menorahs to our celebration. We will place them on tables in front of the bema and have a group lighting ceremony. We encourage you to bring as many Menorahs as you would like.
Should I bring candles?
No. Or Chadash provides candles.
What time does the lighting of the candles occur?
We need to light the Hanukkah candles before we light the Shabbat candles. So it is first. So, if you are late to the service you will miss the candlelighting! Remember, services will start at 7PM.
Is there anything else I should bring?
We would love for anyone who can to make Latkes to do so and share them during our Oneg (celebratory meal after the service). (Frozen/homemade/store purchased, sweet potato, vegetarian, gluten free, egg free–we love them all!)
Please let us (email@example.com) know that you can help. Thank you in advance.
Can I bring my extended family or friends to the service?
Of course! Always! Or Chadash is open to all. Friends, family and neighbors of all ages are encouraged to join us. Our Family Services last one hour, and there will be lots of singing. Song sheets are provided.
Is there a special Oneg (celebratory meal after the service)?
Yes. In addition to an oneg filled with latkes and chocolate gelt coins, we will also be making edible dreidels as well as injectable sufganiyot (donuts that we fill with jelly— they don’t do latkes in Israel!).
Are there any other Or Chadash traditions for Hanukkah?
Yes. Or Chadash is proud of its efforts to support Ner Shel Tzeddakah in our community.
What is Ner Shel Tzeddakah?
Hanukkah has traditionally been a time of giving gifts and/or gelt (money) to children. In Eastern Europe, children were dismissed from school early to enjoy their small bit of pocket money and have some time off during the holiday. As we all know, this tradition of gift giving and receiving has magnified over the years.
As Jews, we wrestle with the extent to which we should allow our secular culture of commercialism to undermines the true meaning of our celebration. Hanukkah can be a time to reexamine what we consider gifts to be and how we go about giving and receiving gifts.
Ner Shel Tzeddakah (“Candle of Righteousness”) is a project in which families and individuals devote the sixth night of Hanukkah to helping others. We encourage everyone to donate the value of the gifts (or the gifts themselves) that otherwise would be exchanged on that night to organizations that assist others in our community. By making donations on the sixth night of Hanukkah, families help the Jewish candle of righteousness glow brightly for those in need.
What does Or Chadash specifically do?
Or Chadash chooses a community organization to donate the funds which we collect for Ner Shel Tzeddakah.
How quickly do you need me to participate? The sixth night is approaching.
We would love for you to participate as soon as possible but we do have a little extra time.
Do I have to go to the Shabbat Hanukkah service to participate in Ner Shel Tzeddakah? How can I/we participate in Ner Shel Tzeddakah?
No attendance is not required to participate. It is SO easy. There is a link on the front page of our website.
For additional information, please visit https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/hanukkah
What is Mishloach Manot?
Mishloach Manot (Sending Gifts) is a custom during the holiday of Purim whereby gifts are given to friends and family. The gifts are typically filled with sweets, hamantashen (triangular shaped cookies) and other small gifts. In fact, it is the holiday of Purim (not Hanukkah) when gifts are traditionally exchanged! At Or Chadash, Mishloach Manot is our biggest fundraiser of the year. The project begins about one month before Purim and concludes on the day of Purim.
How does it work?
Each member family will receive in the mail a letter describing Purim Project and a listing of all of the names of the members of Or Chadash. The letter will include your user name and a password so that you can complete the form online and select your recipients. You can use Paypal — even if you don’t have a Paypal account. If you prefer to not use Paypal, you can mail a check to the synagogue. Or you can complete the form manually and include your check with the form. In that case, you will mail the form and the check directly to Or Chadash. Or you can bring it to the synagogue office. There is a designated mailbox for Purim Project.
What exactly should I do?
You will be given the option to participate at many different levels. For $18, you can designate three Or Chadash family units to have your name listed on their gift card letters, and for $180 you can include your name and greeting on the entire Or Chadash community’s gift cards. It is $6 for each additional family you designate to receive one of your gifts. Approximately 50% of our community participates at the $180 level.
What type of greeting should I write?
Your name will be printed on the card, and you have the option to include a greeting. (Happy Purim, Thinking of you, etc. And you can customize greetings for individual recipients if you prefer to do so.) Some people include greetings and some do not. It is purely optional.
What happens next?
Regardless of your participation, you will receive a gift container on or around Purim, plus an envelope with a letter inside listing all the people who selected you as a recipient of the Purim Project gift.
Do I have to come to Or Chadash to receive the gift container and envelope?
We distribute Mishloach Manot (the gift containers) in a very strategic manner by using zip codes and maps (and lots of GPS) and by leveraging our Religious School families to deliver containers and gift letters directly to our member’s homes.
I would like to purchase gift containers for my friends/family. They are not members of Or Chadash. Can I do that?
Yes! There is an option on the form to purchase additional gift containers.
Tell me about the gift container.
The gifts are simple and thoughtful. Recent themes include: Springtime, Chinese New Year, and The Jersey Shore. The fundraiser is all about building community and increasing participation.
What does reciprocity mean?
Let’s say you decide to select 10 families to receive your name on their gift. And 20 families put your name on their lists. If you select “Reciprocity” as an option, your names will automatically be included on any family that included your family, even though you did not select them, and you will be billed for the difference.
What does Or Chadash do with the proceeds of the fundraiser?
A designated amount will be used for a social action component. The remaining funds will go towards the operating budget of the synagogue.