Today is July 7, 2020 -

Ahavath Achim Synagogue

East Texas's Only Congregation of Conservative Judaism

3501 S. Donnybrook Ave., Tyler, Texas 75701
Phone: 903-561-4284

Welcome to Ahavath Achim Synagogue


Dear Congregants and Friends:

Phase 1 of re-opening our shul has begun.  Our Board of Trustees decided to open for Saturday morning services, which began on May 23rd.  During Phase 1, for everyone’s safety, we are only open to our regular attendants.  If you have any qualms about coming into services, please remain home.  Please thoroughly read all the information below.  We will expect families to be seated together, separated from other families and individuals with 6 feet on either side and with empty rows in between.  Parents will need to manage the movement of children to prevent unsupervised movement around the synagogue.  The kitchen and social hall will be off-limits to all.

When you finish with your Siddur and Chumash, please leave it at your seat for the next week.  If you use one of the Shul’s tallits, please just leave your tallit at your seat, as well.

Torah service will be modified.  Rabbi will be the only person handling the Torah.  The Torah will not be walked through the congregation.  If you have an Aliyah, you will do the blessing standing at your seat and will be asked to read that section in English.  Rabbi will read it in Hebrew if you prefer.  Rabbi will give further instructions as needed. 

Please do not attend services if:

  • You know you have been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 14 days
  • You have fever or have had fever within the last 14 days
  • You have health conditions that put you at increased risk for COVID-19 infection/complications
  • NOTE: Please check your temperature at home just before you come to the synagogue
  • Use hand sanitizer when you enter the synagogue.
  • It is strongly encouraged that you wear a face covering when in the synagogue.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often when in the synagogue.
  • Assure you sneeze into your elbow, even if you wear a face covering.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact and always maintain at least 6 feet between you and others.
  • Children must remain with a parent — even if going to the restroom.
  • NOTICE – The synagogue cannot assure your health and safety relative to COVID-19 exposure. COVID-19 can be totally without symptoms in some people (asymptomatic). An asymptomatic person carrying active COVID-19 could be totally and innocently unaware that they have the virus, which could put you at risk if you have health conditions. If you have health issues, you should weigh the risks very carefully before attending services or activities in any group setting.

Finally, please know that our prayers are with you and your family for your good health and wellness throughout and beyond this critical period, as always.

May Hashem bless and keep you safe and healthy.

Best regards,

Tim Birmingham & Ruth Elmakiss, Co-President 2020

For any other questions, please contact:  Business Office: Leanne French ( )


Congregation Ahavath Achim

Shalom and welcome to the home page of Congregation Ahavath Achim. A Conservative Congregation located in Tyler, in the heart of East Texas. This web site was created to provide information to the members on upcoming events and tell potential newcomers about Conservative Jewish life, in our region.

About Us

In 1898, a few Jewish families decided to form a congregation, and named it Ahavath Achim, which means brotherly love. These two elements of Brotherhood and Love were integral parts of Tyler’s Jewish history. This spirit of gracious hospitality is extended to every newcomer.

We are an egalitarian congregation dedicated to providing a home for traditional observance, study and gathering for East Texas’s Jewish community. Through our many activities, we strive to serve Judaism and our members. We offer regular Shabbat and holiday services, where men, women and children take an active role.

We realize that Jewish education of young and old is vital for our future and therefore we offer many educational programs. Through our Hebrew School, Sunday School and Adult education classes, we enrich the Jewish life in East Texas.

We are proud of our rich history and we are dedicated to maintaining a bright future for our children.

A Message From Our President


Welcome to Congregation Ahavath Achim!

As you read through our website to gain insight to our congregation, I hope you will note the talents of the many people involved in various aspects of our activities and worship. Being a small egalitarian congregation means each and every person is valuable and necessary to our existence.

Recently one of our members built a raised garden bed full of tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs for the Sisterhood to use as they prepare the weekly Shabbat brunch. Another member is using his talents to rebuild wooden stands for our two large vases. Other volunteers applied their talents to develop this website you are exploring. Parent volunteers provide support each month as we gather students from two years old to sophomores in high school for Sunday School. Individual women volunteer their time each week to plan, shop and prepare Shabbat brunches for up to 40 people. The kitchen is always a busy place with other women coming in to assist as needed. Our young people assist in services as they are able, especially beginning with Ein Keloheinu through the end of the service. One member began a library/chapel renovation by organizing and refurbishing our books and upgrading the Judaica items. A group of ladies catalogued and refurbished our historical textiles, waiting to display some of the Torah Mantles and other items. We have one lady who makes sure the Yahrzeit lights are set each week. The list continues on and on.

We are family, not just members of a congregation who see each other on High Holidays. We welcome you to come visit the family at any time. Our family is growing and looks forward to greeting more “relatives” as we expand.


Ruth Elmakiss


This Shabbat