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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

03/11/2020 10:35:49 AM


Rabbi Yannai says, "A person should never stand in a dangerous place."  - Shabbat 32a

As efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus continue and additional recommendations are offered, we continue to assess our decisions. Based on updated recommendations, with heavy hearts, we have decided to close the building until further notice.

We are holding daily services using a platform called Zoom, so that anyone who wants to participate can. Through the Zoom platform, congregants can see and speak to each other. Here is the information to log into Zoom:

We now have three links for all of our services via Zoom: 

For Friday evening and Saturday morning services:
By computer:

By phone:
Please dial 929.436.2866 or 301.715.8592.
Meeting ID#:
970 5403 7610
(Password required)   

For Saturday evening services:
By computer:
By phone:
Please dial 929.436.2866 or 301.715.8592.
Meeting ID#:

For all other services (Sunday through Friday morning and evening services, and Shabbat services):
By computer
By phone:
Please dial 929.436.2866 or 301.715.8592.
Meeting ID#:

Please note:
To avoid the possibility that any of our services will be interrupted by hackers or other interlopers ("Zoombombing"), we instituted a Zoom virtual waiting room and authorized the host to welcome each guest into the meeting. Starting July 3, you will need a password for Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday evening services. We will email the password to congregants; alternatively, you can call the synagogue office at 215.635.6611 to obtain it. Attendees to our services who are not members should call the synagogue office at 215.635.6611. Please don't share the password with others. 

For now, the remainder of our services (Sunday through Friday morning minyan and Sunday through Thursday evening minyan) will not be password-protected. All meetings will still have the "waiting room" feature enabled. You may want to call or log in a few minutes ahead of the start time so that the host has time to welcome each guest.

Don't forget to check the calendar for ongoing events.

Resource Links for Coronavirus:

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Intervention)

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Montgomery County, PA

Helpful Quarantine Resources (things to do; last updated 3/30/20)

US Senator for Pennsylvania Bob Casey has links to a wide range of resources that can help you, your family, and your community navigate the challenges of this difficult time. They include easy-to-understand descriptions of provisions from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act just passed by Congress. You can find those links here.

Service Times
Friday evening: 6:15 PM
Saturday morning: 9:30 AM
Saturday evening: 
7/4: 8:15 PM; 7/11: 8:15 PM; 7/18: 8:10 PM;
7/25: 8:05 PM
8/1: 8:00 PM; 8/8: 7:50 PM; 8/15: 7:40 PM;
8/22: 7:30 PM; 8/29: 7:20 PM
Sunday morning: 9:00 AM
Sunday through Thursday evenings: 7:00 PM
Monday morning: 7:20 AM
Tuesday morning: 7:30 AM
Wednesday morning: 7:30 AM 
Thursday morning: 7:20 AM*
Friday morning: 7:30 AM

March 19, 2020

03/19/2020 04:19:21 PM


Rav Shai will be starting an Introduction to Judaism course on Tuesday, March 24 at 7:45 PM on Zoom. This class is designed for those of you who would like a refresher of the basics in a systematic way or who might have a gap or two in your knowledge base you'd like to fill. It's also for folks who are thinking about joining the People of Israel -- and for their loved ones to see what all the fuss is about! Find out more here.

March 18, 2020

03/18/2020 04:23:48 PM


Up for something fun? Take a break from the news and join us for AJ's first Virtual Coffee House!

Please consider signing up now to tell your funniest (cleanISH) joke; sing/perform a song; share a short story, anecdote, or reading; and do I hear a volunteer to perform a magic trick? Perhaps showcase a talent we didn't know you had! Maybe even a talent YOU didn't know you had!  

This Saturday night, the Coffee House will begin at 8:00 PM with virtual Havdalah on the Zoom platform*, and go right into our program. It's only Wednesday, and it promises to be a great evening with AJ-related folks who have signed up from far and wide. Performances will stream live from every corner of the Philadelphia Jewish Community, Eretz Israel, and coast to coast in the USA! If you are interested in participating please email me at with the subject line "Coffee House."

*Using the Zoom platform:
The Zoom platform provides a virtual meeting space where participants can see and hear each other. You can find information about how to use the system here

By computer: The link to the Saturday evening service and Virtual Coffee House is

By phone: Please dial 929.436.2866 or 301.715.8592. The Meeting ID# is 933131679.

Rav Shai will be teaching Parashat Hashavua on Wednesday afternoons at noon.. Here is the Zoom info:

UPDATED! By computer:

UPDATED! By phone: Please dial 929.436.2866 or 301.715.8592. Meeting ID #: 969452689

March 17, 2020

03/17/2020 11:13:23 AM


Rav Shai and Hazzan Glantz are planning lots of "virtual" activities to engage all age groups during this time of social distancing! We'll be providing links to Zoom or Facebook soon.

On Tuesday and Thursday nights, starting Tuesday, March 24 at 7:30 PM, Rav Shai will teach a 24-part Introduction to Judaism. Stay tuned for details. (For people who want the DVDs, they can be purchased here.)

On Wednesdays, Rav Shai will teach virtual parashat hashavua at noon.

Hazzan Glantz will be doing virtual weekly programs for children.

Hazzan Glantz is planning a virtual healing service. Stay tuned for details.

After the Minhah-ma'ariv service this Saturday night, Hazzan Glantz will be leading a virtual musical program with various musicians. Stay tuned for details.

Here is a note from Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia:

A special emergency fund has been set up and is operating. Our overall COVID-19 web page is here and a link to the special emergency fund is here. The monies to be collected are going to go to the most vulnerable among us — be they seniors, people experiencing food insecurity, and/or people suddenly thrown out of work. The exact distributions are still being worked on, as are lists of volunteer opportunities. Go to the site regularly for updates.

March 15, 2020

03/15/2020 07:00:18 AM


Hazzan Glantz plans on doing a puppet show via Facebook Live on Monday at 12:30 PM and a Mesibat Shabbat service for the preschoolers on Friday morning at 9:00 AM (updated time). We will also continue to post the Zoom links for the upcoming services.

If you would like to pick up a Seder Avodah, we have a box set up outside of the religious school entrance. We ask if you borrow a book to please call the office and leave a message or email

Rav Shai will be in the building tomorrow (Monday) from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If you need to pick up any of your belongings from your Minyan cubby, please let us know and we can make arrangements to let you into the building.

March 14, 2020

03/14/2020 10:33:43 AM


We have now set up the system through which you can attend AJ services virtually! The Zoom platform creates a virtual meeting space where you can hear and see (if they choose) the other attendees, and you can be heard and seen (if you choose).

You will need to download the Zoom launcher before you are able to participate in a service (meeting). You can click on any of the service links below to download the Zoom launcher and be ready to participate. If you are unsure of what to do,you can click here to go to Zoom's resource page where there are very clear, one-minute videos on joining a meeting, learning basic meeting controls like being heard and seen, etc. Just click in the center of the Zoom logo to view a video.

Follow the instructions and allow Zoom to access your microphone to be heard by others, and your camera to be seen by others. (If you don't want to be seen, you don't need to give Zoom access to your camera.) We recommend that you do this in advance of the service, so that you're ready when the service begins. You'll only need to do this once. 

Here are the links for each day's services. They will stay the same from week to week. If you lose this email, they are also listed on the AJ homepage and they will be in the Event calendar.

Through the Zoom platform, congregants will be able to attend services virtually. This system is operational now. (updated).

We now have one link for all of AJ's services:

We now have one link for all of AJ's services (except for this Saturday night's service*):

There is also the option to join the meeting via phone. Please dial 929.436.2866 or 301.715.8592. The Meeting ID # is 109428724

*The Zoom info for Saturday night's service and the Virtual Coffee House that follows is:

By computer:

By phone:
Please dial 929.436.2866 or 301.715.8592. The Meeting ID # is 933131679.

We hope you'll join us so we can stay connected during this unusual time.

Stay well!

March 13, 2020

03/13/2020 05:47:57 PM


March 13, 2020
Adar 17, 5780

To Members of Congregation Adath Jeshurun:

For many years, including this past year, I have taught the piece of Talmud that describes the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem nearly two thousand years ago (b. Gittin 55-56). I understand the message of the editors of this piece of Talmud to be that halakhic accommodation in a time of distress is required to prevent catastrophe. Shammai's ruling, literally, brought down the House of God.

I am unsure if we are currently in a similar situation. Issues of transmissibility of Covid-19 in Montgomery County are still unknown. We have Governor Wolf's declaration yesterday to close down places where people gather, and we have information about the purported rate of infection in other places. Given the potential threats, we have decided to close AJ for several weeks beginning after Shabbat services tomorrow morning, March 14.

Nevertheless, the need for community is greater than ever. Thus, we will continue gathering virtually for prayer service. The platform we will be using allows each person to see the other people who are simultaneously logged in. During this time of distress, while our building is closed, we will continue to daven d'varim sh'bkidusha, such as mourner's kaddish, if the prayer leader sees a minyan on screen.  

While there are other emotions that threaten our peace of mind, please allow space for gratitude in recognition that we face Covid-19 together, as a kehillah k'doshah, a holy community. We will deploy the technology we have with compassion to strengthen the bonds among us. We will benefit from millennia of Jewish wisdom that has enabled us to overcome adversity. And we will emerge strengthened with a deepened appreciation for all that makes AJ our Jewish home.

With strength and courage,
Shabbat Shalom,

Rav Shai Cherry

*  *  *

In times of concern and uncertainty, we look to our sacred communities for strength, comfort, and guidance. For the past week, leadership of AJ has discussed and debated the benefit of keeping our building open for minyan and Shabbat services. For a time, continuing to hold services while recommending that those in high-risk categories not attend, seemed like the right decision. The decision was made with the difficult knowledge that a large portion of our beloved community might experience a deep sense of loss while being separated from the congregation. 

As efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus continue and additional recommendations are offered, we continue to assess our decisions. Based on updated recommendations, with heavy hearts, we have decided that following services on Shabbat morning, March 14, the building will be closed. No services will be held through Sunday, March 29.

Please know that Rav Shai (215.992.4112) and Hazzan Glantz (215.439.5033) are just a phone call away. Although the building will be closed, all voice mail messages left with the office will be listened to promptly. 

Through the Zoom platform, congregants will be able to attend services virtually. This system should be operational by Sunday. Until then, you may follow services by clicking on this link: CongregationAJ.

Members of the Board of Directors and the AJ Caring Committee will be reaching out and making calls to congregants in the coming days. It is our hope that hearing familiar voices will help members feel connected, cared for and valued by our community. If you are or know of someone who would like a call, please let the office, Naomi Atkins ( or Judy Stutman Izes ( know.  

We will continue to keep you updated via email and the AJ website,

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom.

Rav Shai Cherry, Hazzan Howard Glantz, and AJ President Judy Stutman-Izes

March 13, 2020

03/13/2020 11:19:48 AM


The Sing Hallelujah Concert has been canceled. It has been rescheduled for November 22, 2020.

The Kashering Your Kitchen for Pesah Workshop has been canceled.

The TexMex (Sephardic) Pesah Banquet has been canceled.

The E-Seder has been canceled.

March 12, 2020

03/12/2020 04:40:12 PM


Pastoral Visits: In light of the coronavirus, we will refrain from in-person pastoral visits. We would like to talk via phone or Facetime. Please call the office at 215.635.6611 and they will get you in touch with clergy.

Friday morning Yoga has been canceled.

The Passover Pottery Painting Party, scheduled for March 22, has been canceled.

Noontime Torah meetings (Tuesdays at noon at AJ) have been canceled until further notice.

March 11, 2020

03/11/2020 10:11:14 AM


UPDATE! Sisterhood Shabbat, scheduled for this Saturday morning, has been postponed until the spring. This includes the collection of books for young readers.

Kiddush luncheons that were scheduled for March 21 and 28 have been canceled. (Kiddushim, in general, will be discontinued through the month of March.)

Rav Shai's visit to Ann's Choice next Wednesday (March 18) has been canceled.

The bus to the "Sing Hallelujah" concert has been canceled. The concert has not been canceled yet, but you can exchange your ticket(s) for another performance if you'd like. From Kim Decker, Director of the Kehillah of Old York Road:

We have made a decision to cancel the bus to the Sing Hallelujah Concert on March 17, 2020. I just got off the phone with Emily Lantz at the Kimmel Center (phone 215-893-1999) please call them as you can exchange your ticket to another performance during the season. Hopefully, they will ultimately cancel and reschedule Sing Hallelujah. We will hold your checks but NOT CASH them. This way if the event is rescheduled you will have the opportunity to have your seat reinstated. Please, please share this email with anyone you know who wanted to ride the bus. Wishing everyone good health. Sincerely, Kim Decker, Director of the Kehillah of OYR

Pesah Bowl and Pesah University, scheduled for March 21, have been canceled.

Tefillah Lab, scheduled for March 28, has been canceled.

The Fragrant History of Jews and Spices, an event scheduled for March 29 and planned by the AJWA Sisterhood with the Kehillah of Old York Road, has been canceled. It may be rescheduled later in the spring.

March 10, 2020

03/10/2020 03:14:02 AM


Due to the coronavirus, out of an abundance of caution, we have made a several changes to this week's schedule at the synagogue.

KleinLife Montgomery County (programs for seniors) will be closed until March 30 and will reopen on Tuesday, March 31.

Rav Shai's Adult Ed Class is being postponed in its entirety. On April 23 and 30 respectively, Rav Shai will teach the first and second classes again, and the rest of the classes will run from May 7 to May 28. If you or someone you know wants to take the class and is not yet signed up, use the form on the AJ website (go to April 23 on the calendar, click on the event name, and scroll down to see the form.)

In-Town Shabbat, scheduled to be held this Friday evening in Center City, has been canceled.

Sisterhood Shabbat, will be held on Saturday morning, with AJWA Sisterhood leading the service, but the scheduled speaker and Kiddush luncheon will be postponed (date TBD). Instead, there will be a regular Kiddush with cake.

As of now, next week's concert "Sing Hallelujah," on Tuesday evening at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center, has NOT been canceled. If we learn otherwise, we'll let you know.

We'll continue to provide updates as we learn about recommendations from the CDC and local authorities. 

Stay well and wash your hands!

Thu, September 24 2020 6 Tishrei 5781