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For information on how Shearith Israel is working to combat the spread of COVID-19, please visit the links on our homepage. All morning and evening services, as well as programming and meetings, are being held as virtual gatherings via Zoom. Please visit our homepage and calendar for additional details.

COVID-19 Update

Monday, March 16, 2020 - 20 Adar 5780

 

OUR VALUES:

Nothing is more important to us than human life. The threat of COVID-19 has already upended all our lives, and many members of the Shearith Israel community are either highly vulnerable, or are directly connected to those who are highly vulnerable to this virus.   

This illness is a proof of how our bodies and souls are more intertwined than we often realize.  There is only one way we can adequately protect all those connected to our community. 

Rabbi Kaiman and Jodi Salomon, Executive Director, in consultation with our leadership at Shearith Israel, the Rabbinical Assembly, USCJ, and experts at the CDC working on COVID-19, have some updated guidelines for the next phase of combatting this illness. 

As of today, the CDC is recommending that there be no gatherings over 50 people.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES:

Until further notice, Congregation Shearith Israel is suspending all in-person services and programs.

On Shabbat mornings with B'nai Mitzvah, close family of the B'nai Mitzvah, prayer leaders, and Torah readers will constitute a small minyan.  Others are asked not to attend these services in person. We are quickly working to enable livestreaming capabilties for these services.  

Many Conservative congregations are considering this a sha'at d'chak - a time that is a particular stress. One of Rabbi Kaiman's teachers in Jewish law, Rabbi Elliot Dorff, holds by this opinion. This legal category permits certain practices that would be normally be forbidden. The relevant example is forming and participating in virtual minyanim. 

Until we finalize our technology and plans in this matter, this is a link to many congregations that provide streaming of their services. I hope that Shearith is added to this list soon.

We are working to develop new ways to connect you to meaningful living through Judaism from afar. The challenges presented by this illness are an opportunity for us to innovate our prayer and study practice.  

MACHANEH SHAI & CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING:

Machaneh Shai, MASA, Kadima, USY, and other programming for children is included in our suspension of programming.  Nancy Gorod is working diligently with our teachers and staff to provide online learning.

IN-PERSON MEETINGS WITH CSI STAFF AND "DROP-INS":

All in-person meetings with staff should be conducted virtually, either by phone or video-conferencing software. The building is closed to drop-in appointments.  

SPIRITUAL CONNECTION IS POSSIBLE DURING ISOLATION:

We can still support one another

We are heartened by the many individuals and families who have reached out to offer support to one another. Rabbi Kaiman is working on a plan to help us connect to one another during this challenging time. Please reach out and call the synagogue or Rabbi on his mobile phone if you'd like to speak or have something to offer. We're all bound up in this together, and we'll all be stronger and better on the other side.

With Abundant Love,

Rabbi Ari Kaiman, Jodi Salomon, Faith Levy, and the leadership of CSI

 

Wed, April 1 2020 7 Nisan 5780