Or Zarua Energy


 The article, “Young Blood On East Side Pulpits” (Dec. 13), was a tribute to the vitality of youthful rabbis on the East Side of Manhattan.  However, the picture was incomplete. Your own newspaper a week before ran a feature article by Steve Lipman, “Go East, Young Jews” about the dynamism that was missed in the “Young Blood” piece with its exclusion of Rabbi Scott Bolton at Congregation Or Zarua.

In his first 18 months at Or Zarua, Rabbi Bolton has brought incredible energy that has enhanced the membership of this prestigious congregation.  His unique ability to innovate and remain loyal to tradition has attracted many new members, both younger individuals and families looking for serious Jewish text study and intellectual engagement.

At Or Zarua, Rabbi Bolton continues a tradition established by our founding Rabbi Harlan J. Wechsler where we study a Torah commentary in depth as part of our Shabbat experience, and he has added a dimension by including more Midrash and chasidic sources to spark discussion. Rabbi Bolton has continued the weekly Talmud Class, a 25-year tradition, and added a class on the siddur. Rabbi Amy Bolton, our rabbi’s wife, has added her own vitality to the congregation with Family Learning Experiences during the High Holy Days. And, she volunteers as the director of Bir’nana (congregant a cappella group) and our early childhood minyan Kef Shabbat. 

Not least of all, we are gratified and proud that Rabbi Bolton initiated the East Side Torah Learning Coalition to help create a collaborative vitality on the East Side. 

President Congregation Or Zarua