Sign In Forgot Password


June 25, 2020

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 further on this page. 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 services, please click on the "event" on the right-hand column on the OVS homepage.

Please note: registration opens on the Sunday preceding services and closes when the maximum number of registrants has been reached OR on the Friday preceding services at noon, whichever comes first. 
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,

OVS Building Entrance Guidelines Effective July 4, 2020

  1. Our members and guests between ages 13 and 60 without  pre-existing conditions are welcome to attend. Children under bnei mitzvah age will not be allowed. Guests older than 60 or who are considered in high-risk categories are strongly encouraged to not attend until later phases of reopening or to take extra precautions in accordance withtheir doctor’s instructions.
  2. Pre-registration via the OVS website for attending services and events is required (link will be on the OVS website and in the weekly e-blast). For July, we will have a 25-person maximum for registration. NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER WITHOUT HAVING REGISTERED IN ADVANCE.
  3. In order to enter, you must have pre-registered on the OVS website. You will also be screened at the door and asked:
    1. Have you been out of the state/country in the past 14 days? If so, you will not be allowed to enter and asked to return after being back in the State of Georgia for at least 14 days.
    2. Have you had a fever in the past 24 hours? If so, you will be asked to go home. You should be fever free for a minimum of 24 hours before attending OVS. 
    3. Temperature checks on all - those with temps>100 degrees will not be allowed to attend and recommended to contact their primary care physician and get tested for COVID-19. Our utmost duty is to Pikuach Nefesh, saving a live. This measure will help us safeguard our community.
  4. Entrance and exits will be one-way, with entrance only through the dome DOUBLE doors and exit only through the dome SINGLE door. Similarly, entering the sanctuary will be done through the lobby-side sanctuary doors, and exiting will be done through the lobby-side social hall doors.
  5. Face masks covering one’s nose and mouth are required for entry, and must be worn at all times while in the building. Disposable masks will be available at the entrance for anyone who does not have one on them. 
  6. Hand sanitizer will be available in all areas of the synagogue, including at the bima for use before/after aliyot.
  7. Seating and standing will only be allowed with a minimum of 6 feet between people residing in different households.
  8. Chairs have been positioned with careful calculations to ensure proper distancing, and prayer books will be pre-set on every chair. Do not move any chairs. Please remain by your seat throughout the service you are attending, and please leave prayer books and talitot (prayer shawls) at your seat at the conclusion of the service.
  9. Additional cleaning will take place both before and after events in line with updated CDC guidance. Additionally, we have increased the percentage of fresh air being circulated in through our HVAC system to the highest setting.
  10. We will be limiting bathroom usage to one person at a time. A hand sanitizer station will be setup immediately outside the bathroom for use before and after using the bathroom.
  11. There is to be no congregating in the building before or after the service. Please exit the building directly after the end of services.
  12. Our guidelines will continue to evolve based on the most current guidance from the CDC and local medical professionals. We thank all of our members and guests for their adherence to these and any additional guidelines that are enacted over time as we continue to evolve in our response to COVID-19.

Phases of Reopening

Phase 1: In-person Shabbat morning service in combined sanctuary/social hall, with advanced registration and seating in marked locations only (leaving 6-10 feet between seating locations. No children (under bnei mitzvah age)) will be allowed, and vulnerable populations/those with preexist​ing conditions are encouraged to take additional precautions or refrain from in person attendance at this point. No food will be served and the water fountain will not be accessible. Only bottled water will be offered. Friday night service and all other programming continue to be virtual. Short (30-60-minute maximum) gatherings outdoors (marked seating a minimum of 8 feet apart) of up to 30 people, weather permitting, may occur. Masks/face covering required with individual screening at the front door.

Phase 2: Same as Phase 1 with resumption of limited programs within the building with registration limits (i.e. bureka making or similar) with masks/face covering still required and strict adherence to physical distancing.

Phase 3: Same as Phase 2 adding in-person Friday Night services. Possible revision of attendance restrictions (i.e. children); Masks/face covering still required. 

Phase 4: Resumption of programs/classes in the building without registration limits, and service of limited pre-made food on shabbat/at events (i.e. individual pre-wrapped cookies or danish).

Phase 5: Adding in full food service for kiddush lunch with servers

Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780