COVID-19 Update: Building Closure

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Building Closed Through May

Dear Ahavath Achim Family,  

We pray that you are staying well and finding ways to engage, keep busy and stay healthy. Our clergy, staff and leadership have been comforted and energized by your patience, kindness, and outward positivity. 

Ahavath Achim is committed to fulfilling our mission and vision of helping us all connect with something greater than ourselves – Community, Tradition and God. We are grateful to you for being our partners in manifesting and actualizing these spiritual commitments. 

Your health and safety are our paramount concern. After consulting with a small group of highly respected medical and scientific experts, we have concluded that our sanctuary and building will remain closed up through the end of May. 

Even though our Shul doors are closed, our virtual doors remain open. We are offering two daily minyan services, Shabbat services, Torah and Talmud study, Rabbi drop ins, and social activities via Zoom. All of our services and programming can be found on our website: aasynagogue.org.

As our community begins to re socialize, and we have comfort in knowing that we are not jeopardizing the health of our AA family we will begin to make plans to gradually phase back into our shul.

Thank you for your continued patience and kindness as we navigate these difficult choices. Please remember that our clergy and leadership are always available to you for guidance, suggestions or simply to listen. Community is built one connection at a time. May we have the continued strength to reach out to one another and foster purposeful belonging.​

Sending you love and good wishes.

Mark Cohen (President)
markc@pullapart.com
678.776.9301

Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal
lrosenthal@aasynagogue.org
404.693.6884

Rabbi Neil Sandler
nsandler@aasynagogue.org
404.293.0197

Barry Herman (Executive director)
bherman@aaysnagogue.org
404.226.0870

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: A Message From the Executive Director

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

A Message From the Executive Director

Dear Ahavath Achim Family,

As you have all no doubt observed, the situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the responses to that situation continue to be fluid and change on an almost hourly basis. The safety and health of our congregation and our staff and indeed all who have an association with us, are paramount and supersede any other considerations. As I mentioned in my last communication, our holy tradition demands that we be mindful not to engage in any activity that might compromise our health or safety. This is what guides all our actions.

After having evaluated the latest information available, as well as the responses from various agencies and stakeholders, we have reached the difficult decision to cancel all in-person programs, meetings, family and youth activities etc. over the next week. To that end our building will be closed with immediate effect for at least the coming week. We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions based on the latest information as to the potential ongoing closure of our facility.

Here is some additional information regarding scheduling and services:

  • Although the building will be closed, we will continue to hold services, albeit in a slightly different fashion. Rabbis Rosenthal and Sandler will be conducting all services via live stream. This includes all daily minyanim as well as Shabbat services. Times and schedules remain unchanged and are available on our website. Please click here to utilize our live streaming service.
  • The Rabbis will be offering special readings to enable those saying kaddish to continue to honor the memory of their loved ones in the appropriate manner.
  • In an effort to continue to attend to our congregants’ spiritual well-being, we are ramping up efforts to keep you connected and support those in distress by making use of virtual technology such as Zoom. Our Rabbis will be conducting two interactive sessions next week via this medium. We will be sending out the appropriate links, times and instructions in a separate communication. This information will be available on our website as well.
  • I will be sending out regular updates as new information becomes available and as the situation changes.

Wishing you all a peaceful and restful Shabbat as we navigate this unique situation together. May we all be blessed with good health.

With much love,

Barry Herman
Executive Director

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: A Message From the Executive Director

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

A Message From the Executive Director

Dear Ahavath Achim Family,

I wanted to give an update on our efforts on behalf of the congregation, in response to the ongoing developments related to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), specifically as it relates to Shabbat services this coming weekend.

We are encouraging anybody who is in an at risk category (the CDC is defining one of those groups as anyone over 60 with any medical condition), anyone who has exhibited any symptoms, or anyone who has recently traveled abroad or come in to contact with anybody who recently traveled abroad, to please self quarantine and not attend Shabbat services. We are fortunate to have live streaming capabilities. If you wish to follow the service on line, please click on this link.

We will not be serving Kiddush after services on Shabbat due to the potential of contamination and the fact that there are many variables that we are not in control of during the food preparation process.

Friday evening service will be in the Chapel, but Saturday morning service will be in the Sanctuary to allow for the ability to sit a safe distance from each other.

We will be monitoring the situation on a weekly basis and will decide on the next course of action after taking into account any new developments.

As Rabbi Rosenthal has pointed out, changes to our spiritual rituals and Jewish behaviors can often feel like a rejection of the very traditions and customs that we have worked so hard to preserve. He has further pointed out that we must be grateful that our Torah and Jewish tradition offers guidance in these difficult situations. The concept of Pikuakh Nefesh, saving a life, allows for modification of our behavior, even breaking commanded rituals in order to save a life. This value is closely associated with Shemirat HaGuf, guarding of one’s body, which implores us to be mindful to not engage in any activity that might compromise our health or safety.

Wishing you and your families health.

Shabbat Shalom,

Barry Herman
Executive Director

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the following events have been postponed or cancelled:

HomeBeis@AA Youth Services – Saturday, March 14 | 10:30 – 11 am
Groove Shabbat – Saturday, March 14 | 11 – 11:30 am
Hunger Walk Run – Sunday, March 15 | 12 pm: This event has been made virtual. For more information, click here.
Cultural Arts Concert: Espressione – Sunday, March 15 | 2 pm: Postponed until further notice
SOAP UP Atlanta: The Final Four – Sunday, March 29 | 9:30 am – 3 pm

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: A Message From the Executive Director

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

As we are become more aware of the COVID-19 Virus and its potential effects, we wanted to reach out to you all and share some of the steps that we have put in place to ensure that that everyone remains as healthy as possible. We are actively monitoring COVID-19 and are gathering best practices from the CDC, the Georgia Dept of public Health, as well as surrounding communities and organizations. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our response accordingly as we become aware of new developments.

According to the CDC, this virus is very limited (104 known cases on March 3, 2020) in the United States, and the immediate health risk from coronavirus remains low. Accordingly, we are not planning on cancelling any services or upcoming events at this stage. As we protect our students, congregants, staff and visitors from potentially dangerous sicknesses spreading through our community, we are making sure that we have the appropriate protocols in place. These include:

  • We are using specialized products to disinfect our facilities each day.
  • We will be placing hand sanitizer at our main entrance, the reception area, social hall, Cohen Pavilion and near main restrooms. These hand sanitizer stations will be clearly marked with signage.
  • If there is a confirmed case among one of our student or member families or anyone known to have been in our facility, we will immediately evaluate next steps, which may include cancelling all activities until the building is disinfected.
  • We will closely monitor the CDC, Georgia Department of Health and the Fulton County Schools websites for updates.
  • We ask that if you or anyone in your family presents with flu-like symptoms, please do not attend services or come to the Synagogue building

We encourage all of our congregants to redouble their use of personal hygiene and prevention measures to stay healthy and reduce chances of transmission of all illnesses. While the full impact of an outbreak cannot be predicted, we are committed to doing our part to help minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community. At this point, much of our effort in preventing a spread or outbreak relies on your self-governance. In line with our values, we are depending on you to support our wonderful community by not putting your fellow congregants at risk.

B’Shalom,

Barry Herman
Executive Director