Temple Israel Information During the Covid-19 Pandemic
For centuries, synagogues have played a central role as places of holy gathering, learning, prayer and service. Our Sages teach there comes a time when the Jewish community is confronted with sha’at had’chak, an hour of duress, when lives and safety are at risk and the kehillah must adjust accordingly. Traditionally, sha’at had’chak occurred when Jews, specifically, were threatened. But the moment in which we find ourselves is not limited to Jews or synagogues, nor even Americans or Israelis. The spread of COVID-19 is a global crisis, and our faith demands of us that we stand now as citizens of the world.
We have assembled a team of congregational leaders and staff to develop and periodically review policies to ensure that we can maintain our essential functions in a safe and responsible manner. This group communicates regularly and makes necessary adjustments to our policies in response to current developments of the pandemic and the latest advice from public health organizations. Under the current guidelines, the following policies have been implemented:
- Friday night Shabbat services and Saturday morning Torah study will convene virtually. Join our services via Zoom and email email@example.com for Torah study Zoom link.
- No in-person services will be held.
- All programming, including religious school, will be virtual until further notice. Check our calendar for the most up to date information.
- Temple Israel administrative offices will be open during limited hours for essential work only.
Meetings of the synagogue, such as committee meetings – particularly those of larger groups – will be held remotely via telephone or video conference. Check the calendar or check with the chair of the committee for more information.
We recognize that “social distancing” makes it difficult to accomplish the rich community-building to which we aspire at Temple Israel. These are temporary measures to deal with the situation at hand. We will need to find new ways to express our appreciation for and support of one another. When possible we will use technology to bridge the divide.
Rabbis Bodney-Halasz and Sobo remain available to anyone who is in need of pastoral care. In addition, our congregation continues to think through how best to support our most vulnerable members through this crisis. Please contact Rabbi Bodney-Halasz at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be part of that conversation.
During this “hour of duress,” may we continue to hold each other from afar, and may the bonds of friendship that unite our Temple Israel family continue to grow even as we endure this difficult congregational, national and global moment.
For specific information about Covid-19, please visit our resources page.