**Check this space often for updates regarding the status of CAA @ 7300 Hart Lane**
UPDATED MAY 1O, 2021:
Dear Agudas Achim Family,
Shavua Tov and Yom Yerushalayim Sameach! As more of us become vaccinated against the Covid virus and Austin Public Health eases its restrictions on public gatherings, we are continuing the phased reopening of our physical synagogue life. We are doing so in consultation with public health experts, guided by standards in the broader Austin community, and based on the feedback received during our recent parlor meetings. We have several updates to share. Please God, may these positive developments continue.
· Daily Minyan has been meeting in person (in the sanctuary) on Monday and Thursday mornings and Wednesday evening for two months. The number of participants in the sanctuary continues to grow — and many congregants also continue to participate via Zoom. We plan to expand this hybrid approach beyond these three days in the near future and will let you know when those details are finalized.
· Friday evening, Erev Shabbat (Kabbalat Shabbat) services will permanently resume in person on May 21 at 7:00 pm. Services will be held in the sanctuary and will also continue to be streamed on Zoom and Facebook so all congregants and friends can join, regardless of whether they are able to attend in person yet.
· We are actively planning for CAARS for the 2021 – 2022 school year and will be making community announcements in the coming weeks.
· Adult education courses will continue to be offered online for the foreseeable future. We will continue to discover best practices going forward, and in addition to our online learning, there will be in-person classes in the coming months as well.
As we prepare for the full reopening of our community in late summer, our lay leaders have encouraged and supported Rabbi Blumofe, Rabbi Swedroe and Adra Lustig to take much-needed time in June and July to recharge and revitalize. They have been our unshakeable leaders throughout this pandemic and they are preparing to serve the community just as tirelessly on the other side of the pandemic – into the High Holydays and beyond!
· To honor this important time for our leaders to recharge, the main Shabbat morning services will continue on Zoom through July 24 and resume in person in the sanctuary on July 31. After that, we will continue to livestream services in perpetuity, using new technology and equipment we are purchasing and installing in the sanctuary. This will up our accessibility for those who are not able to attend in person, which is an important Jewish value.
· For those who wish to daven together in person on Shabbat morning before July 31, we are developing plans for alternate, Shabbat morning minyanim led by congregants in the sanctuary in June and July. This approach builds on a long tradition at Agudas Achim of congregants leading alternate services. Details to follow.
· Moving into the future, we will continue to offer Shabbat and Holiday opportunities for young families to come together both in person, and online from home.
In addition to our preparation for our coming back together in person, we are excited about the upcoming Tikkun Leil Shavuot on May 16, beginning at 8:00 pm. We are convening all-night learning with teachers, leaders and learners from across the Agudas community, and friends from around Austin and the nation. We hope you can attend.
Finally, our annual congregational meeting is scheduled on Zoom for Monday night May 24 at 6:30 pm. We will elect a new Board of Directors, review changes to the Aytz Chaim Foundation bylaws, hear updates on the budget and strategic planning, and honor some of our most dedicated volunteers. It’s vital that we have a quorum for this meeting, and we hope you can attend from the comfort of your home.
Thank you for all you do to support Unshakeable CAA and to help us thrive in these difficult times. We are privileged to have you as our band of brothers and sisters.
L’Shalom – with continued blessings for good health and resilience for you and your loved ones.
Rabbi Neil F. Blumofe, Senior Rabbi
Fred Helms, President
Gary Susswein, President-elect
In this time, please consider investing in the Support CAA During Covid-19 Fund