Dear Temple Israel Family,
We have come to the difficult decision that, for the well-being of our community and city, TI will temporarily close.
Starting tomorrow, Friday, March 13, and until at least April 20
, Temple Israel will close Torah Center, restrict access to the building to essential staff, and cancel all classes, programs and gatherings. Shabbat services will continue to be conducted by our clergy, but only available via live stream.
A congregation is not made up of a physical structure. It is made up of community, caring, compassion, and love. These elements of who we are will endure through this time of uncertainty. In fact, we need them now more than ever.
Firstly, we want to assure you that we are not currently aware of any potential coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in any TI staff member, community member, their local families, or any of our vendors and visitors.
No doubt, we all share a sense of unease and dislocation. While our congregation is founded on community and bringing individuals, families, spiritual seekers, the wider Long Beach community and the world together, we now find ourselves dealing with the very isolation it is our mission to defeat. With God’s help and our diligence, we pray to be returning to a sense of normalcy as soon as possible.
In the meantime, the very practical world requires decisive, yet orderly and calm, planning. We are currently putting alternative plans for gathering in place:
Committees and Task Force meetings
. All temple meetings are available to be conducted by Zoom conference call. The organizers can obtain the necessary Zoom set up and log in credentials from the staff member coordinating their efforts.
. Our temple clergy are here for your pastoral and life-cycle needs. All the synagogue’s administrative functions will continue, either by remote access or physical presence.
We have no words to explain the profound sense of sadness we feel that we are unable to continue our full operation during this crisis. However, please be assured that our clergy are here for you by phone, email, video chat and our staff will function during this period to accommodate life cycle and critical family needs. As Pesach approaches and we are unable to assemble, we pray that our passage through this narrow place will be swift, safe, and we will arrive healthy and intact on the other side.
We encourage you to limit your own and your family’s interactions, avoid group surroundings, and follow health services and directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, or state or local governmental organizations should be followed.
As the situation unfolds, we will continue to communicate as often and with whatever details are necessary at the time.
In this time of uncertainty, as always, we are here for you. Our Clergy, Senior Staff, and congregational family are here. Even as we can’t see each other face to face, we can call, video chat, email, and text. Please reach out to us. And, we will reach out to you.
Steve Gordon, President
Eric Shatzkin, Executive Director