Congregation Ohav Shalom

Building Community Celebrating Tradition

113 New Krumkill Road, Albany, NY 12208 / (518) 489-4706 / Email Us /

Protecting the Health and Safety of Our Community,

Posted on March 16, 2020


In the interest of protecting the health and safety of our community, we have decided to close the Ohav Shalom building and cancel all in-person services, school and other programs and all other events until the end of March.  We will continue to monitor the situation and reassess plans after that date.

We know that the cancellation of school, religious services and other activities means that many of us are dealing with the disruption of our routine sources of structure and support.  Please know that we at Ohav are committed to being a source of support and ongoing spiritual sustenance in whatever ways possible.  To that end, we offer the following:

  • Daily weekday minyan gathering, most likely via Zoom. Details are still being worked out. In the meantime, if you would like to “virtually attend”  minyan on Monday morning, March 16, please email Rabbi Ornstein directly at We will send out information about future minyanim as we have it.   
  • We will share a Shabbat message, with prayers and a dvar Torah on Friday.
  • If you have a need for prayer, spiritual support, religious guidance or counseling, please contact either of the rabbis: Rabbi Ornstein –; 518-421-4539; Rabbi Kieval –, 518-439-1453.   We will both be available by phone or email on an ongoing basis.
  • If you or someone you know is affected by this crisis and requires emergency assistance, please email or call the Ohav office (518)489-4706. Cecelia and Nancy will be checking emails and phone messages regularly, and we will do what we can to help.
  • Both rabbis will continue to teach their weekly Ohav classes remotely. All who engage in Torah study are encouraged to continue that practice. Please let us know if we can support you in that endeavor.

Jewish tradition requires of us that we do our utmost to protect health and preserve life. To that end, we urge you to follow the precautions recommended by health experts, in particular to observe social distancing and isolation as much as possible.  But we must remember too that social distancing does not demand complete disconnection. We are still a community who can connect in new ways as we navigate this unique and challenging time.

Our tradition also asks us to practice hesed (lovingkindness and generosity) towards one another.  Especially in times like these, it is most important that we reach out to others, and relate to each other with kindness, patience and love.  Let us find strength in living through this crisis together. 

May all of us remain safe, and healthy in body and in spirit.