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A message from OVS President Semon Akbashev

04/29/2020 03:33:54 PM


I hope this note finds you safe and well. These are truly unprecedented times, but I'm continually heartened by the Keilah's strong sense of community and closeness.

Since we decided to close the physical Keilah building, our members have worked hard to stay in touch over weekly Kabbalat Shabbat services, Tuesday morning "bureka baking" Zooms, weekly Torah study, and so much more. I'm heartened every time I get to see you over the computer screen and catch up.

As you have undoubtedly seen, there are efforts underway to slowly "reopen" our state. I have asked for the advice from a large group of advisors and experts including 

Dr. Mikhail Akbashev, Robert Arogeti, Ann Benator, Shelley Cooper, David Franco,
Elise Meyer, Sergeant Jeff Wiggs, and Adam Kofinas on the safest, most prudent way forward for the keilah. We have also consulted our colleagues at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, and the Society of Executive Directors in the Atlanta Region. And we are seeking Halachic and other guidance from our interim rabbis and, of course, Rabbi Hearshen, in advance of his July 1 start date.

All of this consultation is aimed at figuring out how the synagogue will look once we reopen the building. In the meantime, it is still the safest, most prudent way forward for our physical building to remain closed through the month of May. You should expect to continue to see a flurry of virtual activity coming from the Keilah over the coming days and weeks.

I hope that these times will redouble our resolve to stay physically distant and also emotionally and spiritually close. If there is anything that you or your loved ones need, please contact Adam via email or on his cell phone at 917-494-9688 or myself.

Shabbat Shalom,


Mon, October 18 2021 12 Cheshvan 5782