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OVS Re-Opening Plan - June 25, 2020 - Phase I

I hope this note finds you safe and well. I’ve been continually heartened by the strong sense of community and closeness that the Keilah has shown in the last few months. 
As we work to welcome Rabbi Hearshen and his family to our Keilah, our “Reopening” Committee has been hard at work to determine the quickest and safest way to reopen our building. As a reminder, that committee is made up of Dr. Mikhail Akbashev, Robert Arogeti, Ann Benator, Shelley Cooper, David Franco, Elise Meyer, Sergeant Jeff Wiggs, and Adam Kofinas. In addition, the committee has convened a doctor’s roundtable of medical professionals within OVS to guide us in the best ways to decrease our risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The committee has determined that the target date to re-open the Keilah building will be Shabbat, July 4th -- Rabbi’s first Shabbat with us! In order to reopen the building with the least possible risk, you will see some new measures put in place to keep you and everyone else safe. The committee has determined five phases of reopening, each with its own benchmarks and timelines, which you can read in full here. It’s important to note that safely reopening the Keilah depends on the cooperation of everyone, and as we continue forward, we will continue to loosen or tighten our policies as science dictates. Nothing will guarantee safety, but note this list of precautions we will be following as part of our July 4th service forward, which include requiring advanced registration, masks worn at all times, screening prior to entering the Keilah, and physical adjustments to increase the flow of external air, and decrease our physical interactions with one another. To Register for the July 4th Shabbat Morning Service, click here.
Thank you in advance for reading and following our new rules to reopen the Keilah. Everyone’s safety depends on each individual following them. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. 
I hope that these times have redoubled our resolve to stay emotionally and spiritually close, while we chart a path forward to begin to gather physically. If there is anything that you or your loved ones need, please email our Executive Director, Adam Kofinas, or feel free to contact me.
Shabbat Shalom,
Semon Akbashev, Board President

Announcement from OVS President, Semon Akbashev

March 31, 2020 - It is with great excitement that I write to announce that the Keilah has voted to approve Rabbi Joshua Hearshen as the next Rabbi of Congregation Or VeShalom by a vote of 157 to 3, with one abstention.
As many of you know it has been quite a journey getting here, starting with past board president, Michael Bouhadana, his board, and the future of OVS Committee. I would like to thank the search committee chair, Bryan Lavine, and his committee members -- Leo Benatar, Michael Bouhadana, Shelley Cooper, Lisa Galanti, Ellis Hedaya, and Dan Maslia -- for their exceptional work. And a special thank our executive director, Adam Kofinas, for his patience and tenacity throughout this process. Most importantly I'd like to thank all of you, our members, for your participation, both in person and via computer, during the visits by the rabbinic candidates and for your overwhelming vote of support for our new Rabbi.
I will immediately stand up a transition committee to be chaired by Shelly Cooper to help ease Rabbi Hearshen and his family's transition to Atlanta and to our Keilah. This committee's work will be in addition to all the other standing committees that are, of course, shifting their attention to prepare for the arrival of the Hearshens this summer.
During these trying times in our world, I'm so comforted by the closeness of our Keilah. When we welcome Rabbi Hearshen in July, it is my hope that the worst of days are behind us. But I hope that we all take advantage of this renewed opportunity to deepen our relationship with our Keilah friends and family make Rabbi Hearshen and his family's arrival the best that it can be.
May we go from strength to strength.
-Semon Akbashev, President

AmazonSmile - Support OVS

AmazonSmile: Support OVS When You Shop!

Support Congregation Or VeShalom when you shop, whether it's back-to-school or other essentials! And remember to place the word "smile" before you type in the website.

Click the link here or on the logo to ensure you are signed up to support OVS.

You shop. Amazon donates!

Security Fund Update

Thank you to those who have answered the call to donate to the OVS Security Fund. If you have not already, please click here to make your pledge. With your help, we will continue to improve our building to ensure the safety of our community.

OVS Strategic Plan

As an outcome of the 2017 annual meeting, the OVS board launched a formal initiative to better understand the needs of our Keilah, the results of which were presented at the 2018 annual meeting on Sunday, December 9th, OVS members can see results of the report by logging in to their account on this site and then clicking on this link.

Your Path to Spanish Citizenship Begins at OVS

When Luis  Portero, an attorney licensed to practice in Spain and served as counsel for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain during the parliamentary process of approval of the Law on granting the Spanish citizenship to Sephardim, presented at OVS last spring, he discussed the process of getting the law enacted, of which he was a major contributor, and presented on the steps involved in applying  for Spanish Citizenship through this program. A copy of his presentation, including a detailed walkthrough of the process, can be found here.


Or VeShalom is proud to be a guide for you through this process. Note that the program ends on October 1, 2019, so get started today. To find out more and begin the process, click here.

OVS Featured in NY Times Article by Joan Nathan

In her New York Times article on Monday, November 26, Joan Nathan highlights OVS Sisterhood's long-standing tradition of Bureka Tuesdays. Join us this upcoming Sunday for our annual Hanukkah Bazaar and try a Bureka for yourself. 

Thoughts from OVS Leadership

OVS Founders Map Project

We are happy to announce that the OVS History Committee has concluded its two-year project of identifying, on an Atlanta city map, early OVS members’ residences and businesses located on Atlanta’s Southside. To learn more and find out how to purchase a copy of the map, click here.

You are invited to examine the map reproduced on glossy photographic paper and the accompanying booklet. 

Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780