24 Tevet 5778
Dear AJA Community,
Community. For me, the word evokes feelings of warmth, connection and contentment. I personally witness our community daily at AJA, every Shabbat at shul and even on social media when I see interactions and “likes” for each other’s accomplishments and announcements. (ps. Have you liked our AJA Facebook page?)
The concept of community is not a new one. When Moshe came down from Mt. Sinai to the Jewish people, his charge was to shift them from being just a crowd into being a community - a Kehillah. He assembled the people of Israel and told them the commandment to observe Shabbat and create the Mishkan (Tabernacle). (Shemot / Exodus 35)
Then and now, we realize that by sharing Tefillah (prayer), studying Torah and celebrating as a group helps create our community. In other words, sharing Shabbat. Shabbat was a community-building experience for the people of Israel. Today, being a part of our community and sharing Shabbat is vital to the strength and continued growth of Judaism - at AJA, in Atlanta and in the world.
הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר: אַל תִּפְרֹשׁ מִן הַצִּבּוּר
Do not separate yourself from community. (Pirkei Avot 2:4)
There are many ways to connect with our community. One of my favorite opportunities to do so will happen onat our AJA Family Shabbaton. This time last year, we were finalizing what was to be our first ever Shabbaton. We wondered, “if we build it, will they come?” We were amazed that we had to actually cap the registrations and sadly (based on fire codes!) turn people away.
This year, in anticipation of selling out again, we are creating new ways to maximize our new Upper School space and to create offsite opportunities during Shabbat. You won’t want to miss this incredible community program. Share some or all of Shabbat with us.
Some highlights include:
- Lenny from Shlock Rock - a Jewish musician who teaches Jewish ideas through music
- Tefillah and Zemirot
- Offsite Teen Program for Upper School Students
- Festive Family Shabbat Dinner
- Shabbat Dinner for 8th - 12th Grade (you asked for this - we delivered!)
- Parent-Child Tot Shabbat Program
- New and Enhanced Programming and Activities For All Ages
- Seudah Shlishit, Mincha, Maariv and Havdalah
We’ll update the Shabbaton website with the schedule once it’s finalized. For now - just trust me - register your family today so you don’t miss out. Shabbat Housing is available if needed, and we are grateful for our Sandy Springs families who are opening their homes to host. Toda!
Community. It is within our reach. It is right outside our doors and here under the roof of AJA. On
Rabbi Ari Leubitz