Those who wrote these words in the
Ethical Teachings of the Rabbis of the Mishnah,
Pirkei Avot, knew what they were saying. They lived in precarious times where outside threats surrounded them. Violence, sickness, and scarcity were everywhere. It was at those times that the human inclination could lead to seclusion and distance from the very community that could protect them.
What would those rabbis would say about us now?
They would be quite impressed. We, the community of Temple Israel of Boston, have taken their instruction to heart by drawing closer to one another. We may be in quarantine but our ability to connect has not abetted. We have reached out and created stronger bonds. Through phone calls, emails, snail mail, and lots of real online interactions and relationship building, we have risen above adversity to celebrate community.
And we will continue to do. As Massachusetts begins to phase in changes regarding quarantine, we want to remain vigilant about safety and virus containment. In consultation with health and medical experts, we plan for now to stay online with our programming and Shabbat services. We have very limited staff in the building who are maintaining operations, but the doors still remain closed. We hope by the summer there may be some opportunity for small group gatherings. As we learn more of what we are able to do and are allowed to do, we will share this information directly with you. We are purposely moving slowly to ensure the best results of containment. We are in this together.
We are open and vibrant with many activities. Beautiful Shabbat gatherings with Friday night Qabbalat Shabbat, Saturday morning Torah study, and Saturday evening Havdalah continue unabated. On May 28
th starting at 5:00 p.m., we will have 24 hours of studying, singing, learning, and engaging in community connection in celebration of the holiday of Shavuot. Our Annual Gathering on June 11
th will bring us together to welcome new leaders and hear about the wonderful and amazing programming, classes, and events happening at Temple Israel. The Religious School will be running an online camp for June and July. We have already begun to work on the High Holy Days to ensure a creative and engaging experience. In addition, we continue to take care of one another. There is so much good happening.
We are grateful for your many expressions of support and gratitude.
If there is a way we might be helpful, please call upon us. We are here for one another.