My Dear Kol Emeth Family,
I would so rather be sending you a positive, upbeat email, but with Covid-19 surrounding us all, it is not possible. I want to let you know what Rabbi Booth, Rabbi Graff, Morat Derech Miller and I have decided to do – at least for now. Please know that we spent a great deal of time talking and discussing all of our decisions, and we do understand that not everyone will agree with everything noted below, Also, please know that what we agreed to today, may need to be changed quickly. Thank you for your understanding, compassion and kindness. We MUST stick together and support each other.
Today around 4 PM, we sent out a text to everyone in the Shul…at least everyone for whom we had a cell number. If you did not receive a text from us (the service does not use a Kol Emeth number), please let me know and send me your cell number. We plan to use the text service for emergencies and for information that we need to convey to you ASAP. If you do not want to be on the list, you can send me an opt out request. However, I promise not to abuse this tool. Also, it is only one way – please do not respond to these texts. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my cell is available here. If I do not respond to you immediately, leave a message and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.
This weekend, there is a Bar Mitzvah on the 4th floor; we are going to still hold it. Until you are notified otherwise, you may still attend services. One main difference is that this Shabbat and until we are no longer concerned about the effects of COVID-19 , we are going to stream all services. Rabbi Booth and Rabbi Graff wrestled with this decision. I admire them for making this choice; one that is not what we would normally do. It was not easy for them, but they took everyone’s health into consideration. There will be a Kiddush this weekend served by congregants who will have washed their hands and donned serving gloves before lunch. Please do not touch anything on the food tables.
After Shabbat, there will be no food at Kol Emeth except for prepackaged desserts. We have also cancelled Daven and Dine for this Friday night. Jeff Schwarz and Flaurie Imberman helped us make this call, even though it saddened us. We understand that human interactions are important, and we are going to create opportunities to be of service to those who need help.
Some other specifics:
- Classes, while not being held in person, will be held remotely via Google hangouts, Zoom and other platforms. We recognize that not everyone is totally savvy when dealing with software, so we are creating documents that will help you understand what to do. We are also setting up hotlines if you need help!
- Most Friday nights are being cancelled.
- Our Scholar in Residence weekend needed to be postponed – the Israeli Government would not let Rabbi Tamar Elad Applebaum come to the US. This was a wise choice.
- We are still going to have daily Minyanim – as least as of right now.
- Our Refugee Shabbat has also been cancelled.
There will be a text going out on Friday with the link to the streaming service for Shabbat morning. The streamng will start at 9:15 Saturday morning. It is not ready yet, and I wanted to get this out to you now.
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL: As I mentioned, we are living minute to minute. As of 9:30 PM , while I am writing this, Morat Derech Sarah Miller and the Rabbis decided to cancel Religious School until further notice. This includes Torah for Tots, which is also cancelled. Parents, please ignore the email you received earlier today.
Here are the beginning of the links for our virtual classes with Rabbi Booth.
Sunday Intro to Judaism
PLEASE START CHECKING THE WEBSITE REGULARLY. IT WILL BECOME A MAJOR SOURCE OF INFORMATION FOR YOU.
- If you have not yet registered on the Kol Emeth website, please do so ASAP. Call the office if you need help doing so.
- The office staff has requested that unless you really need to come into the office for the next few weeks, that you call us instead.
- The JCC is following great cleaning protocols as are we in the office. We will continue to do so in the new building.
Good news: We are still moving into the Admin Wing on March 25th ….JUST THE ADMIN WING, NOT THE REST OF THE SHUL – YET.
I am sure that I am forgetting pieces that I want to share. Feel free to ask questions and I will reply.
I am so impressed with everyone! The Kol Emeth Board, the staff, the Clergy, and YOU!!!
I am sending you all virtual hugs. Together, we will survive this onslaught called COVID-19.