VIRTUAL, UNSHAKABLE CAA
We remain calm and vigilant as we continue to reckon with the COVID-19 pandemic among us. Our health and the safety of our neighbors is our moral responsibility. Daily and Shabbat prayers have always been and will always continue to be the foundation of observant and connected Jewish life. Yet, in light of the current situation in Austin, we will suspend services until this public health crisis has passed.
Beginning immediately, we are closing all live services and functions at 7300 Hart Lane until Friday afternoon 3 April. This includes weekday minyan and Shabbat services. This closing applies until Erev Shabbat, 3 April @ 7:00 pm. We will continue to monitor and heed the recommendations of the Travis County Public Health Department, The Texas Department of Health Services, the City of Austin, as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and reevaluate as recommended.
We will continue to stream our services online, both weekday and Shabbat. Since our minyanim will be strictly virtual, we will count the service as a minyan if ten people are concurrently logged on. Of course, this criteria will only be applicable in this time that is designated as sh’at d’chak — a time of urgency. At this time, we will continue to live-stream all minyanim on the CAA Vimeo platform — https://vimeo.com/agudasachimatx
Find us there, or at CAA’s mission control: www.theaustinsynagogue.org
At this time, we are relieved that no member of the CAA community has tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus. However, as it continues to spread we may yet have members who do. If we do, we will work nimbly to support them and assist them in healing. In the meantime, we must do all we can to help slow the spread of this virus through the larger Austin community.
We are also intensifying our efforts to reach out to those who might be anxious, isolated, or unsure. We are available for a chat (phone or video), and to help coordinate errands and work that needs to be done. Please contact us if you or someone you know could benefit from this support. We are here. In addition, we are planning to call all of our members who are 70 years and greater to offer hizuk and simcha (strength and joy). If you would like to help with this effort, please let us know.
TOMORROW NIGHT (TUESDAY, 3/17) @ 8:00 — RESILIENCE AND THE (VIRTUAL) ART OF SUSTAINING COMMUNITY
Tomorrow evening, Tuesday, 3/16 @ 8:00, I will be making some music with my friends in town, (in safe proximate awareness!). I am proud to feature Michael Malone, saxophone; Andre Hayward, trombone; Dave Scher, guitar; Brannen Temple, drums. You are invited to our meet-up, “Resilience and the (Virtual) Art of Sustaining Community, beginning at 8:00 pm. This will be streamed both on our CAA Vimeo channel — https://vimeo.com/agudasachimatx and on Facebook Live. All are welcome — do spread the word and join us for powerful music of healing, joy, love, and perseverance by some of Austin’s best musicians. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1088522181520074/
PASSOVER SEDERS — INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNAL
We are also heeding the recommendations to not have large gatherings at this time. Thus, as disappointed as we are, we will be hosting neither our annual Wes Poarch Community Seder nor or Chai Chair Young Family Seder this year. We also strongly recommend that all of us have seders (sedarim) for immediate family only, and keep our numbers small. We are working on offering support for all of us to have a meaningful, connected Passover experience — (with good food to eat — delicious details to come!). We will be offering virtual learning opportunities for hosting your own seder, resources to use at your seder, and virtual seders (on both days of the Festival and beyond!) led by familiar CAA faces. Do stay tuned — this will indeed be a season of our redemption (z’man simchateinu), from new vantage points.
YOU SAY GOODBYE, I SAY HELLO!
We will be having learning, ask-the-rabbi sessions, stuff for kids and families, and lots of ways to connect online in these coming weeks. Watch this space for what’s poppin’.
We are resolute — stronger and more appreciative of each other’s gifts. As we deftly manage our fears, may we take a collective breath of gratitude for this day, and may we sharpen our awareness of beauty and of whom and what are essential for us. May we not be rash — rather may we be generous in sharing what we have. Each moment that we dedicate to goodness and for demonstrating love, is holy.
Labriyut! — to our health and safety! Hazak v’Ematz — for strength and resoluteness!