Important Zoom Updates

Dear Kol Emeth Community,

I want to tell you what a joy it has been to see so many of you virtually over the last couple of weeks. While the inability to be in the same physical space with one another is incredibly difficult, I feel so blessed to have the technology to be able to gather virtually.
With this in mind, two things have become evident to me in the past few weeks:

First, being able to use Zoom is essential for attending community events, services, and classes, as well as just feeling a part of the larger outside world.

Second, our world is rapidly adjusting to the new virtual reality, and with it comes a need for heightened security.

For those who are already using Zoom, Kol haKavod! I am so impressed with the way people have explored this new tool and are getting more and more comfortable with it. For anyone who has not yet gotten established with Zoom and would like to, we want to help.
Zoom can be used on any laptop, desktop, iPad, or phone, and there is a KE tech support team that can help you get up and running. This is an incredible group of congregants who have volunteered to help. Please contact Tamika ( to get connected to one of our tech volunteers. Please note, this is also the email you should use if you are experiencing other technical issues once Zoom is installed. Often, a restart of the device is all it takes, but if not, please email Tamika. She’s available Monday – Thursday, 9:00am – 6:00pm, and Friday 9:00am – 3:00pm. (If you need assistance outside of those hours, please see #7 below for help).

For everyone already joining our KE community events, I want to make sure you are aware of three vital features: chat, video, and mute.

For those just starting out, while you are getting oriented with Zoom on your device, please locate these three features in the toolbar at the bottom of your Zoom screen. These will be essential tools in the new protocols for Zoom.

Over the weekend, both Zoom and Kol Emeth have updated the security and features that will be used at each session. Many of you may have already experienced these, but I want to highlight them here:

  1. Zoom has created passwords for all gatherings. For our purposes, we have embedded these passwords in the links we send out via KE emails and post on the KE website. If you use KE links, you should not be asked to enter a password. This is the safest and best way to get into our events. So, use the links directly in the KE emails or on the week at a glance calendar.
  2. The links we send are for specific events. Please only use the links when it is time for the event you want to attend. Please do not test event links prior to the session. Instead, please familiarize yourself with Zoom and try out the audio, video, and chat functions by clicking this testing link:
  3. Once you have clicked an event link, you will be sent to a “waiting room.” Each KE event has a “host” who will be admitting attendees. Please be patient! A host will let you in as soon as they can, but if you arrive late, they may be in the middle of something else.
  4. Once inside the Zoom room, you will need to identify yourself. Each device has a name. These automatically come up when you enter. Once you are in, look at your picture to see what name it is showing. Make sure the name is easily recognizable as you. Sometimes, a device’s name may be something like “iPhone,” which is not helpful in identifying to us who you are. Please make sure your camera is on (if it’s off, please click the videocamera icon in the lower left corner of your Zoom screen to turn it on). Seeing you is very helpful. If you know how, please rename your device with your own name when you enter. For help with this, contact Tamika before you join a Zoom session to learn how.
  5. If you do not have your camera on, and/or you do not have a recognizable name, the host will send you a chat message to help you. Please respond. Failure to identify yourself will result in the host removing you from the session.
  6. We hosts (the Rabbis, Pepe, and myself) also like to say hi and greet people – we love seeing you! So, knowing how to chat is an important skill. To learn how to chat, please contact Tamika before joining a Zoom session. The chat function can be accessed at the bottom of your Zoom screen, near the center of the toolbar. When you click on the chat icon, a new chat window will open up along the right side of your screen, and you can type in a message.
  7. If you are having any trouble getting on a session, please email the office ( The KE virtual office is open:
    M-Th from 9:00am-6:00pm, and Friday from 9:00am – 3:00pm. We are closed on Shabbat and Yom Tov. If you are having trouble getting into a Zoom for an evening, weekend, or holiday session, please call (650) 468-0010. This is a special number that will take you to Pepe. He is graciously helping to troubleshoot these issues. There will be no support past 9:00pm or before 8:00am. We ask that you only call after you have tried everything (this includes restarting your device).
  8. Once inside and having identified yourself, please make sure you are muted. This should happen automatically, but just in case, locate the microphone icon (in the lower left corner of your Zoom screen) and make sure it has a red line through it. Sadly, singing together on Zoom is not possible. While we wait for a technological advance to solve this, it is important that you sing along only on mute. Microphones also can pick up ambient noise. So, it helps everyone hear better, when people are muted.

I am really looking forward to continuing to connect with all of you. If you have any questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the KE team.


Post archive date: Friday June 5th, 2020