COVID-19 Health & Safety Updates
Shalom Austin

     Virtual Community Resources   


March 27, 2020, 2 p.m.


Dear Community, 

We hope this email finds you safe and well! We initially communicated that the Shalom Austin JCC would remain closed through at least April 6.

However, in accordance with the recent stay-at-home orders issued by Travis County, the Dell Jewish Community Campus will remain closed through at least April 13.

This closure includes the Shalom Austin JCC, Early Childhood Program (ECP) and other buildings on campus, as well as the cancellation of all in-person programs and events. For more information about our campus and community partners, visit our website.

It is our goal to continue to support the greater community in a meaningful way all while doing our part to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Please visit our website for our new virtual offerings for you and your family to enjoy during this closure. 

We will continue to keep you informed with new developments. We are grateful for your support and understanding during these uncertain times, and we look forward to reopening as soon as it is safe to do so.

March 20, 2020, 3 p.m.

Dear Community,

While our doors are temporarily closed, the Shalom Austin staff team is hard at work developing virtual programs to help keep you and your family connected and engaged during this challenging time. 

Check out our new virtual video experiences for group fitness classes, kids programs, adult Jewish learning, Women's Philanthropy and more!

Join our Facebook Groups to participate in upcoming virtual activities:

Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date:

We will be creating more virtual events and content, so visit our website daily for new activities, classes and entertainment.

Thanks to your generous donations to the Shalom Austin Annual Campaign, our volunteers and staff team, Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service (JFS) are providing the following support:

  • 30-minute telehealth counseling sessions at no cost, request a session here
  • Delivery of critical food items from a fully-stocked donated food pantry
  • Volunteer outreach to assess the needs of older adults and the vulnerable
  • Emergency financial assistance to help with rent or utilities

If you or your loved ones are in need of assistance or would like to learn more about JFS, visit our website, email or call (512) 250-1043.

We are listening to the needs of the community and continue to gather information about our older adults during this challenging time. Please help us help you by completing this short survey.

Hebrew Free Loan of Austin is also available to help with families experiencing financial difficulties due to the curtailing of activities or businesses caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Email or call (512) 677-4352 for more information.

Thank you for your commitment to Shalom Austin. Please make sure to stay safe and STAY CONNECTED with us! Wishing you a healthy and meaningful Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom, 

Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus
Shalom Austin CEO

How can I help? A gift to Shalom Austin makes a big impact in real time;
ensuring our most vulnerable are taken care of, creating innovative solutions
to keep our community connected and supporting our incredible staff during
this difficult time. Please consider giving by clicking here.


March 16, 2020, 2 p.m. 

Dear Community,

We are writing to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to close the Shalom Austin Jewish Community Center effective at 6 p.m. today, Monday, March 16 through at least Sunday, April 5. 

All in-person Shalom Austin events, programs, and activities will be suspended during this time. Please check with our campus partners about their offerings. 

While no cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been reported at Shalom Austin JCC, the safety of our members, guests, volunteers, staff and the entire community is our top priority. We are taking this precautionary step based on advice from public health officials who strongly encourage social distancing to prevent further spread. We want to be part of the solution and are committed to keeping everyone safe. 

We are actively monitoring and evaluating the situation and will keep you updated with any changes.

We are also exploring new meaningful ways to bring the community together through virtual programming, distance learning, tele-connecting and other offerings. We will be in touch with new opportunities to engage later this week. We remain inspired by our core values of Kehillah (building community) and Tikkun Olam (making the world a better, safer place). 

In the coming weeks, many Shalom Austin staff members will be working remotely. We want to thank our staff for their hard work, flexibility and dedication.  

As we face these unprecedented times, you or your loved ones may be feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service (JFS) is here to provide support. To learn more, please contact JFS at or (512) 250-1043.

We are a resilient and caring community, and we will get through this—together. Thank you always for your support and understanding.

For questions, please email us at Please also follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and at 

Please stay safe and healthy,

Rabbi Daniel Septimus
Shalom Austin CEO

Abby Rapoport
Shalom Austin Board Chair

March 13, 2020, 12 p.m.

We are reaching out in an ongoing effort to keep you informed regarding the unfolding situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the implications for Shalom Austin and the Dell Jewish Community Campus. 

As reported in recent news, there are two confirmed cases of the virus in Travis County. As a result, AISD announced that all schools and programs are canceled today. 

Per our protocols, we have followed suit with the closure of our Early Childhood Program (ECP) school, after school and Kids Connection programming. Austin Jewish Academy (AJA) is also closed today. In an abundance of caution, we have cancelled the following Adults 60+ and JFS programs today including Mitzvah Knitters and Wellness with a Disability. 

We are monitoring the rapidly evolving situation and will keep you updated with any changes. We are also working closely with the AJA and synagogues. At this time, all other Shalom Austin programming and services are proceeding as scheduled. The campus and JCC remain open. 

While we are thankful to be able to serve the community by continuing our operations at this time, we encourage you to take all precautions as advised by public health agencies, to stay home if you’re sick and practice good hygiene. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted during this difficult time and we wish them a refuah shleima, a quick and speedy recovery. 

We sincerely appreciate your understanding.

Shabbat Shalom,

Abby Rapoport
Shalom Austin Board Chair

Rabbi Daniel Septimus
Chief Executive Officer

March 13, 2020, 6 a.m.

In the interest of the health safety of our children, families and staff, the ECP will be closed today, Friday, March 13. 

There are two confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Travis County.  Shalom Austin is closely monitoring the situation and will provide operational updates later today.

We urge families and staff to remain vigilant and to continue to observe all city and national guidelines regarding health and travel. 

Thank you for your cooperation as we ensure that Shalom Austin is safe and healthy.

March 12, 2020

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, and the City of Austin. Additionally, we continue to consult with a top infectious disease specialist regarding our plans and protocols.

At this time, the majority of Shalom Austin programs and events are taking place as scheduled. However, this is subject to change based on evolving COVID-19 reports and requirements from public health agencies. We will keep you updated on any changes. Please be prepared for potential interruptions of schools, work or programs.

According to the CDC, people at a higher risk of getting severe symptoms from COVID-19, including older adults or those with serious chronic medical conditions, are strongly encouraged to: 

  • Avoid crowds as much as possible
  • Keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often when going out in public
  • Stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed during a COVID-19 outbreak
  • Stock up on necessary supplies
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel

We ask the wider community to take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of disease including: 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available
  • Cover sneezes and coughs with a bent elbow or tissue
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid physical contact such as handshaking
  • Stay home when you’re sick

As instructed by the CDC, please take these additional measures if applicable: 

  • If you or a member of your household has recently traveled to a high-risk country, please follow the CDC’s self-quarantine advisories.  
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days if you or a member of your household is believed to have been in close proximity to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

We understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 may be increasingly stressful for our community in the coming months. If you find yourself overwhelmed, Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service (JFS) will continue to be a source of support for the community. To learn more about JFS, email or call (512) 250-1043.  

We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves daily. 

For local and national resources, click the links below:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
Texas Department of Health and Human Services 
City of Austin

We appreciate your support and understanding,

Andy Dooher
Security Director

Janet S. Elam
Chief Operating Officer

Rabbi Daniel Septimus
Chief Executive Officer