COVID-19 Health & Safety Updates
Shalom Austin

     Virtual Community Resources   

June 11, 2020 | 3 p.m.

Welcome Back!

Dear Community,  

We are excited to reopen our doors to Shalom Austin JCC members starting Monday, June 15 at 8 a.m. as the first step of our gradual reopening process.

In preparation for our reopening, we want to share some important information with you. Please view the video and details below, so you know what to expect when you return.

If you are not a member and would like to access the facilities, click here to join today! We are waiving registration fees for new members in June.

What You Need to Know

Adjusted Hours  
7 days a week, 8 AM-6 PM

Member Access
The J will be open to members only, and by reservation, during Step One of our reopening process. If you are not a member and would like to access the facilities, please join today!

Become a Member

Available Services
The following services will be available by reservation:

  • Fitness Center including cardio machines and weights
  • Personal training
  • Pool
  • Nature trail
  • Community garden
  • Some group exercise (coming soon)

Health Check by Safety Ambassador 

A Safety Ambassador will check temperatures and ask a series of health-related questions of all staff and members upon entering.

Limited Occupancy
Each room will have an occupancy maximum to help ensure social distancing.

All staff and members will be required to wear face masks at all times when indoors.

Online Programs
We will continue to hold other events and programs online. Visit our website for details.

Feel free to contact us at (512) 735-8000 or if you have any questions.

More Info


Since our doors closed March 16, our professional team has been working hard and planning for when we could open safely again, and that day is almost here! We continue to follow federal, state and local guidelines to ensure the safest environment possible.

Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We can't wait to see you soon! We are in this together, six feet apart!


Andy Dooher 
Shalom Austin Security Director   


Janet S. Elam 
Shalom Austin Chief Operating Officer  


Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus 
Shalom Austin Chief Executive Officer 



May 28, 2020 | 10 a.m.


Dear Community,  

In the last few months, we have all had to navigate unprecedented challenges, including the closure of Shalom Austin facilities. Today, we are excited to share our plans for reopening over the upcoming weeks and months, beginning June 15! View the video and email below to learn more.

We have always prioritized the safety of the community, and during our gradual reopening, this is as true as ever.

  • We have developed comprehensive health and safety protocols based on national, state and local guidelines and public health recommendations.
  • We have convened local medical experts to serve in an advisory capacity to guide us.
  • We are currently training staff on these new policies and practices in preparation for a safe and responsible reopening. 

Our reopening plan is outlined below. The steps and time frames are subject to change depending on the ongoing review of data, governmental and medical recommendations and what is happening in the community.

Before we reopen, we will provide you with details regarding how these guidelines will be implemented. 

Reopening Step 1 Reopening Step 2 Reopening Step 3


Step One
June 15
We anticipate reopening the Shalom Austin JCC to members - with adjusted hours, limited capacity, a reservation system, and new health and safety procedures.

The following services will be available:

  • Fitness Center including cardio machines and weights
  • Personal training
  • Pool 
  • Nature trail 
  • Community garden
  • Some group exercise classes (coming soon)

For more information about how this impacts your JCC membership, look for our email to members early next week or email us at 

Step Two
In June and July, we aim to start offering summer camp (ECP and K-5) online and in-person:

Step Three
Timing TBD
Other programs will reopen in some capacity in the future. We will continue to review guidelines from the CDC and national, state and local officials and determine when it is safe to begin Step Three.


Virtual Shalom Austin  
For now, all programs that can be done virtually will continue online including some fitness classes, adult Jewish learning classes, community Kulanu gatherings, affinity group events, Women’s Philanthropy and Young Adult Division events, children and family programs, JFS services and more.   

JCamps in the House Online Camp 
For the month of June, we are offering JCamps in the House, online summer camp! Each day, your children will sing, learn, play, laugh and connect with each other—online. For more information and to register, visit our website.  

Suspended Programs
Until further notice, there are a number of programs and services that we will not be able to offer including team sports, guest use of facilities, in-person adult 60+ programs and facility rentals.  

Community Resources  
Our community partners continue to offer services to the community during this difficult time. Visit our website for more information.  

Campus Partners
For updates on our campus partners, please visit:  

What is constant is our dedication to caring for all members of our community and helping you safely reconnect to the people and programs you love. We will be in close communication as this plan evolves and will update you frequently. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon! We are in this together, six feet apart. 


Chag Shavuot Sameach, 


Andy Dooher 
Shalom Austin Security Director   


Janet S. Elam 
Shalom Austin Chief Operating Officer  


Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus 
Shalom Austin Chief Executive Officer 



May 7, 2020 | 12 p.m.


Dear Community,

We hope you and your loved ones are doing well. We are eagerly awaiting the day when we can gather safely together once again.

Governor Abbott recently outlined an initial strategy for reopening some businesses in Texas starting May 1. Under certain guidelines, gyms can begin to reopen May 18.

Before Shalom Austin facilities can reopen, there are certain preparations and changes that must be made in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. While we are excited to open again and see you and your families enjoy our facilities and engage in the programs and services you rely on, we remain committed to your health and well-being (and that of our staff).

As we finalize our safety preparations and follow the City of Austin recommendations, we have decided not to reopen Shalom Austin facilities at this time, including Shalom Austin Jewish Community Center (JCC), Early Childhood Program (ECP) and all in-person programming.

Additional information regarding our campus partners can be found online at:

Shalom Austin leadership and staff are working hard on our new safety protocols so that we can reopen responsibly and provide the safest environment possible when we do so. Over the next few weeks, we will keep you informed of our plans for reopening.

For now, we will continue to connect with you and provide programming online for you and your family to enjoy. 

Thank you for your patience and support during these uncertain times and please stay safe and healthy,

Andy Dooher
Shalom Austin Security Director

Janet S. Elam
Chief Operating Officer

Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus
Shalom Austin Chief Executive Officer


April 12, 2020 | 12 p.m.


Dear Community, 

We want to begin by thanking you for your continued support of Shalom Austin, our staff, fellow community members and partners during our temporary closure. 

We continue to monitor the rapidly evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and follow the public health and safety guidelines of the City of Austin. 

Due to ongoing shelter-in-place protocols and extended public school closures, Shalom Austin facilities, including the Early Childhood Program (ECP) and Jewish Community Center (JCC), will remain closed to the public until further notice. All Shalom Austin in-person programming and events will also be suspended until further notice. 

Additional information regarding the closure of campus partners can be found online at:

The health and wellbeing of the community is always our top priority when we make these difficult decisions and we are grateful for your continued support and understanding. We are thinking of you and your families, and hope you are staying safe and as positive as possible. We look forward to when we can see you all again on campus and will keep you informed of any updates.

In the meantime, please continue to connect with us on social media and visit our website for virtual offerings of Shalom Austin and our community partners. We are glad to see so many of you participating in our new online opportunities, and we will continue to find ways to reach you virtually.

Wishing you a meaningful and safe Passover.

Chag kasher v’sameach,

Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus
Shalom Austin CEO


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 A. 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 | 10 a.m.

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 A. Septimus
Chief Executive Officer