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A Message from OVS President Semon Akbashev

04/14/2020 02:49:28 PM


After much deliberation, and in response to guidance from the CDC and the State of Georgia last Thursday, we decided to temporarily close Or VeShalom to the public effective immediately until further notice. This was a very difficult decision but ultimately we think the right one. Issues of Pikuach Nefesh (saving a life) are at stake, and when it comes to Pikuach Nefesh even with a doubt we must act stringently. Unfortunately, we are in the position of joining many synagogues across the country who have made the difficult decision to close in the fight to contain COVID-19.

Note that our temporary closure will necessitate postponement of our upcoming “Jews of Rhodes” exhibit originally scheduled for Sunday, March 29th (those already registered will be contacted directly). Above all else, we encourage you to make choices that are in your families' best interests and stay safe. As the essence of Congregation Or VeShalom, you are all our top priority.

Even as our “social distancing” increases, our “social caring” should become closer. In such a limiting situation as this one, it is easy to become downtrodden and feel powerless, but there is plenty we can do. We can and should stay in touch with parents, children, friends, and neighbors. With so many of us being cousins (figuratively and literally), it is truly our responsibility and obligation to be our brother, sister, grandparents, and fortunately in many cases, great-grandparents' keepers. Call, say hello, and see how you can help. We are all in this together and we need to draw on the strength of communal solidarity, friendship, and concern. If you have questions about any upcoming lifecycle events (like a bris, saying Kaddish for a Meldado, death in the family, etc.), please reach out to our Executive Director, Adam Kofinas on his cell at 917-494-9688.

To fill the void that is usually filled with Shabbat services, weekday card games and Bureka Tuesdays, please see the list of virtual events below and pay attention to our Facebook page and website as we share additional ways for our community to gather virtually and be spiritually together even though for now we must be physically apart.

May the almighty bring healing to all who are ill; may all of us be blessed with good health and happiness, for ourselves and our loved ones. Amen.


Mon, October 18 2021 12 Cheshvan 5782