Schmooze and News at AA

Special Message

Shabbat Corner

Feel-Good News

Mazal Tov to Sylvia Friedman >>
Mazal Tov to the Sheila and David Adelman >>
Mazal Tov to Ryan Posner >>


Other Things Happening at AA

Registration for Kesher (youth program) and Nesiah (teen program)  is now open!

Register | More Info

We are grateful for your continued support, patience, and fortitude as our community, country and world move through one of the most challenging times in modern history. With the guidance of the Center of Disease Control's (CDC) latest guidelines, we are sharing with you our updated protocols which will allow our synagogue building and community to live up to its traditional name, a Beit Knesset (A House of Gathering). Effective today, Friday, March 11, the following changes to our safety protocols will be in effect for our worship, cultural events, adult learning, and business meetings:
  • Fully vaccinated adults (16 years old and above) and individuals who have fully recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection in the last six months may attend indoor activities with or without a mask.
  • If you are not vaccinated or have not recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the last six months (natural immunity), we invite you to use our virtual platform to participate with our community.
  • If you are immunocompromised, a high-risk individual, or spend time around others who are, we encourage you to continue the use of masks when attending synagogue functions.
  • For programs that share spaces with kids under five years old, including Family Shabbat, Kesher, and holiday celebrations, we will continue to require masks while inside the building for all attendees. We will always strive for outdoor gatherings for these communities whenever the weather cooperates.

We are hopeful that we are in the final stages of this pandemic, and we can continue to go from strength to strength (Hazak, Hazak, vNet'hazek). As we slowly reemerge from these difficult two years, there will be anxiety, concern, and caution. We anticipate some people will continue to wear masks. It is understandable to still be nervous about removing our masks indoors. Whatever choice you make regarding masks, we ask that, in the spirit of the cohesive and empathetic community that we are, you respect the choices that others make, even if you disagree with them. We will be monitoring the CDC recommendations carefully and will continue to adjust as we know more; this might mean that we revert to more stringent protocols if guidance changes. We appreciate your understanding, support, and patience as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.

We're excited to announce that the Sisterhood Directory is now available digitally on our website! The following password is required to access the directory contents: Sisterhood21. We ask that you please refrain from sharing the password with those outside our congregation. The directory can be accessed through the Sisterhood webpage or by clicking here.
Do you know an AA congregant who is in the hospital or infirm? We are concerned about loved ones and friends who are in the hospital or infirm. Although our synagogue office remains closed, we are still working and would like to connect with you, especially in regards to pastoral care. If you have information about friends or family in the hospital or other care facilities, please contact Rabbi Rosenthal ( directly. We always appreciate the opportunity to speak with anyone in need and offer support in any way we can.

Through our membership with the ADL's (Anti-Defamation League) Kulanu Initiaitve, our AA family is creating an antisemitism task force to partner with other communities across the country to collectively fight hate and antisemitism. Membership on the task force will require a year's commitment and involve participation in ADL virtual meetings and community of practice working sessions. Our congregation will also offer special programs, initiatives, and action steps to raise awareness, call out local and national antisemitic incidents, and build relationships with communities susceptible to antisemitic infiltration. To learn more about or to join the task force, please contact Rabbi Rosenthal (

It's time to order your 2023 Mah Jongg card(s)! To order, please email Barbara Nathan ( with a list of names and addresses of all recipients so they can receive their cards in the mail. To pay (prices listed below), please write a check, payable to AA Sisterhood, and mail it to Barbara Nathan (200 Brandon Place, Sandy Springs, GA 30328). If you do not get confirmation from Barbara within a few days of your order, call her at 404.406.8770. This is a wonderful and easy fundraiser. Last year, Sisterhood received $400 from your participation!

Standard card = $9
Large card = $10

Help feed the women at Rebecca's Tent, a shelter for homeless women at Congregation Shearith Israel! There are 21 dates to fill during the months of December, January, and March. Volunteering to provide dinner this season is easier than ever; safety concerns limit the number of women served, and the shelter can now accept restaurant meals or your home-cooked specialties. If you're ready to choose your date(s) to volunteer, please fill out the online form (link below). After signing up, we will email you with confirmation of your submission. For more details or questions about volunteering, please contact Ann and Herb Alperin (; 404.231.2310).

Sign Up

We are currently accepting nominations and applications for the Arnovitz Leadership Institute. This program was developed to shape and train the future leaders of our community. Our curriculum will provide unique and engaging training across a broad range of areas including leadership skills, ritual, marketing, branding, and public speaking. Classes will begin in October 2022 and run once monthly (except in December) through May 2023. Use the link below to apply or nominate someone. Applications are due by Wednesday, October 12. Spaces are limited for this exciting program, so please make sure to get your nomination(s)/application in soon!


The AAACTS (Awareness and Action to Abolish Child Trafficking for Sex) Committee is working to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to children who have been trafficked and rescued. Please help these children feel confident and cared-for as they start school in the fall. You can help make this possible by making a donation to AAACTS via the donation form below.

Select Fund>AAACTS

We have so many wonderful activities at Ahavath Achim Synagogue, from communal to spiritual to social action. The Membership Committee is requesting your help in asking others to come WITH you to any/all synagogue events! Share how many wonderful things are going on at AA with your friends and family! If you know of anyone who should be on our prospective member list or should be contacted by leadership in any way, please reach out to Miriam Habif Gelfond, Director of Outreach and Engagement ( Thank you for your good word and promoting what Ahavath Achim – the synagogue of brotherly love – has to offer!
Ahavath Achim's Sisterhood is a dynamic organization of women of all ages with diverse experiences, talents, and interests within our synagogue, community, and the Jewish world. Every woman counts for Sisterhood to grow and thrive. Basic membership dues are $45, but we encourage you to join at a Chai-er level. Your generous dues and donations are vital for Sisterhood to continue to offer programs and projects that strengthen and sustain our Jewish values.
We need your involvement in AA's social action programs! Motivate your family and friends "into action" towards the betterment of our community, and envision our current programs continued for the future. Reach out to your nieces, nephews, friends, and new neighbors for new contacts and ideas to help us increase our pool of volunteers for our wonderful existing and future programs. We need you! Find out how you want to be involved by reviewing the list of social action programs in which our synagogue has been involved for many years. If you'd like to become involved, please email our Social Action Chair: Alan Wexler (; 404.872.8880).
Are you a warm, friendly, dedicated volunteer who wants to make a difference in a fellow congregant's life through acts of loving kindness? Are you willing to make a personal call or visit to comfort and support a congregant who has lost a loved one or been ill? These caring touches – acts of loving kindness – make all the difference in the world to those receiving them. If you want to be a part of strengthening our community, then AA's new Chesed Initiative is for you! This committee will work with our clergy, staff, and lay leaders to connect members who need help with members who want to do good deeds! Additionally, if you know of a congregant who is facing personal difficulties related to health, loss, or grief, please contact Fern Schorr (; 404.355.5222) to let us know. Help us reach out to members in need. We welcome your help and time with this important project.

Donate to the Ukraine Emergency Fund of Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta


Tribute donations offer the ability to memorialize or honor friends and family through donations to a variety of designated funds. Tribute donations can be made in honor of B'nai Mitzvah, the birth of a baby, a graduation, a wedding, or other special occasion. Donations in memory of loved ones are a thoughtful and meaningful way to remember those who have passed away. Your donation will be acknowledged with a card to the recipient of this tribute. Please note that Tribute Donations require a minimum contribution of $18.
The Rabbi Neil Sandler Education Scholarship is funded by the Sisterhood to further promote Jewish education in the older adult population. To be considered for a scholarship, the program must benefit the Ahavath Achim community and be targeted toward older adult Jewish education. Please fill out the application form for your program to be considered for funding.
We are proud and grateful to formally launch the Marilyn Ginsberg Eckstein Cultural Arts Program Fund. Formerly the Cultural Arts Program, established in 1977, this fund was established by congregant Marilyn Ginsberg Eckstein to perpetuate AA's broad cultural arts program offerings. AA's cultural arts programming currently consists of: the Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture Series, the Chamber Concert Series, the Liturgical Music Artist-in-Residency Program, weekly Shabbat and annual High Holiday musical offerings, and jazz, pop, vocal and instrumental concert offerings. The Cultural Arts Program has long been recognized for its breadth of offerings and its excellence. We hope that you will consider making contributions to this fund as the Marilyn Ginsberg Eckstein Cultural Arts Program offerings continue to present world-renowned speakers, dignitaries, artists, and virtuoso musicians.
We are grateful and privileged to announce the launch of the Sonia Fishkin Memorial Fund. This fund was established by Dr. Andy Zangwill in Sonia's memory. The Sonia Fishkin Memorial Fund will honor Sonia's passion for the connection between song and Jewish spirituality. Contributions to the fund will sponsor individuals to create and bring new and singable Jewish music to Ahavath Achim and to the wider Jewish community for use during sacred events and services. Activities may include artists-in-residence, teaching workshops, concerts, and recordings.
We are proud and grateful to formally launch the Shirley Reisman Media Outreach Fund. This fund was established by the Reisman family in honor of Shirley z"l. Shirley was always passionate about the AA and together with her family had always been involved in various efforts and regularly attended services at the Shul I have had the personal privilege of knowing Shirley and always treasured my interactions with her, Don, and especially Bruce. This fund has been established to help us to upgrade and maintain the necessary audio/visual equipment to ensure that we give our clergy, staff, and leadership the necessary tools as we embrace the new digital platforms which will only become more important, even after the pandemic has ended. We hope that you will consider making contributions to this fund as we move forward so that we can remain current with the latest technology and trends.
AA and Ahava Early Learning Center are proud to participate in the ALEF Fund Scholarship, a program that allows families to make the dream of a Jewish school experience for their child a reality! Parents with children enrolled at Ahava are eligible and encouraged to apply for an ALEF Fund scholarship, which can provide up to approximately $9,000 of support per child per year! The ALEF Fund, Inc. is a registered Georgia 501(c)3 Student Scholarship Nonprofit organization that supports Jewish education in Georgia by helping taxpayers receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit for providing scholarships to students at the Jewish preschools or schools of their choice. This past year, thanks to the many who contributed a portion of their Georgia State Income Taxes to the ALEF Fund, Ahava received more than $100,000 in scholarship funds designated for students in our Pre-K class. Todah Rabah! Please visit the ALEF Fund website for more information about how you can allocate a portion of your taxes to help support Ahava or how your child can receive a financial scholarship for Pre-K. It's simple to qualify! Questions? Contact the Ahava ELC Director: Beth Arnold Helmey (; 404.900.9411).