Coronavirus and Steps Temple has Taken

Dear Temple Sinai Members and Friends,

Although Judaism nurtures our spiritual life, Judaism also honors the importance of our physical well-being. At Shabbat services, when we come to the parts of the service where we stand, such as the Barchu or the Tefilah, we remind congregants that this applies only to those whose bodies are able. On Yom Kippur, fasting is not required if it will jeopardize one’s health or if a woman is pregnant. As Tevya sings in Fiddler on the Roof, L’chayim! To life!

At Temple Sinai, our priority is the physical and spiritual well-being of our community. As we announced in our message to the community last Friday, we have instituted several procedures to assure good health practices at religious school, services, and other Temple activities. We are continuing to monitor the developing situation of COVID-19 and are committed to taking appropriate and prudent action. To this end, we wanted to let you know about steps we have taken, or are considering taking, with regard to our community gatherings:

  • The Purim Carnival scheduled for this Sunday, 15 March has been canceled.
  • We will make a final determination on or before Tuesday, 24 March whether we will hold the Interfaith Seder scheduled for Sunday, 29 March.
  • Should it become necessary to cancel the community Seder scheduled for Thursday, 9 April, we are exploring various options and alternatives models that would allow members of our community to celebrate Passover.
  • As long as the schools in our community serving students in K-12 remain open, our religious school will continue. Hebrew school resumes on Wednesday, 18 March, and religious school resumes on Sunday, 22 March. We are exploring other learning options should a school closure become necessary.
  • At present, our Shabbat services will continue as scheduled (with the modification that Wesley services are suspended; Shabbat morning services on those dates will be at Temple Sinai). We will continue to follow the safety measures outlined in our last email (refraining from hugs and handshakes, from kissing the mezuzah and Torah, not passing the challot from hand to hand, etc.). We are, however, exploring the possibility of holding video conference services should the situation develop that would make community services unwise. 

We urge everyone to take seriously the recommended precautions of frequent hand washing, sanitizing carefully, and staying home if you are not feeling well. We hope that you will remain healthy, both physically and spiritually!  Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

L’chayim,

Michael Marx, president

Rabbis Linda and Jonathan

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