Dear Bet Torah Family,
 
For the past month, since March 13 when we made the difficult but important decision to close our building to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, our Bet Torah community has remained engaged in a remarkable way. Every morning a small but dedicated core of worshippers gather virtually for Minyan; every evening a much larger group support those saying Kaddish or sitting Shiva. Every Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday evening we are gathering in large groups to welcome, share and bid farewell to another peaceful Shabbat. We are learning, engaging, socializing and supporting one another, all via virtual technology.

Unfortunately, while most online activity is secure, there are always those who seek to disrupt. Many of you may have read about the threat of “ZoomBombing” -- when one or more people interrupt and wreak havoc on a virtual gathering. In the same way Bet Torah has worked over the past two years to secure our physical building, we are now working to secure our virtual engagement, as well. We are lucky to have a number of sophisticated, knowledgeable members to help guide us in our efforts to keep our virtual Bet Torah community both welcoming and safe, just as we do in real time.

ZOOM SAFEGUARDS
1.        Passcode Protected Remote Community, Worship and Learning. Beginning immediately, every virtual Bet Torah experience will require a Passcode for participation. Congregants have received the password through email. Please let us know if you need help. Please consider this Passcode as you would the alarm code to our synagogue – be careful how and with whom you share this information.
2.      Kulanu and Nursery School. Our students and families are precious, and we want to be sure we are safeguarding our classes, individual tutoring sessions and social gatherings. Please watch for separate emails from Gina for our Kulanu families and Mindy for our Nursery School families that will include school-specific Passcode information.
3.       Troubleshooting. We recognize that some of our members may struggle with any level of security added to our virtual programming. Please reach out to us if you need assistance in gaining access to any service, program or class. Please contact Technology or Seth Young for technology assistance.
4.       Accessibility. We are working hard to keep our virtual community as accessible as possible while preserving our security. As we are constantly reminding ourselves, we are all in unchartered waters right now; we will continue to work to keep our community active and engaged while evolving as circumstances dictate.
 
STAYING CONNECTED VIRTUALLY
1.       PASSOVER
  • Virtual Seder. Join us tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 8, 5:30 p.m., for our first ever Bet Torah Zoom Seder. RSVPs are required to participate and gain access to the Seder.
  •  Festival Worship. Please visit our Bet Torah website for complete Passover Worship information. Special services will be held this Wednesday morning, April 8, 8 a.m., and Thursday and Friday mornings, April 10 & 11, 9:30 a.m. End of Holiday services will also be held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, April 15 & 16, 9:30 a.m.
2.        REMOTE COMMUNITY
  • Yoga & Meditation for College Students. Join Robin Wald for a special class at 2 p.m. this Sunday afternoon, April 12, just for our college students. With special thanks to Sisterhood for its generous sponsorship of this program. Visit our Bet Torah website for more information.
  • Thinking About Our Medical Professionals. At 8 p.m. this Sunday night, April 12, we invite members of our community who are medical professionals and their families for a conversation with Rabbi Brusso and Rabbi Sacks to share experiences and offer support from a Jewish perspective. Click here
  • Yom Ha’Shoah Commemoration. Please join us at 10 a.m. next Sunday morning, April 19, as we introduce our Holocaust Remembrance Website and remember the victims of the Holocaust and celebrate the strength of our survival. More information to follow.
 
3.       SOCIAL ACTION
   Volunteer Within the Bet Torah Community.
1.       Phone Calls. Contact Elaine Merker or Marlene Frank if you can help us make phone calls to Bet Torah members who are isolated or ill, so they know they are not alone.

2.       Shabbat Meal Delivery and Donations . Contact the Caring Committee at if you can help deliver weekly Shabbat meals. Volunteers are delivering Kosher Shabbat meals cooked by Rene Leon directly to members who are ill, isolated or otherwise in need. Let us know If you are in need or if you know someone in need. If you wish to donate to help pay for these Shabbat meals, please contact us here .

Help People Outside of Bet Torah
1.       Neighbors Link. Help to feed immigrant families in our area and provide them with legal assistance, education and crisis support. Click here
2.      Northern Westchester Hospital COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Help to fund emergency childcare, housing and meals for Northern Westchester Hospital staff working long hours caring for patients. Click here
 
REMOTE LEARNING
1.       Tuesday, April 7, 7-8:30 p.m. – Introduction to Judaism .   Tonight’s topic: “Jewish Calendar: Shabbat and Holidays.”
2.       Sunday, April 12, 3 p.m. – 929 Study Group. Newcomers are always welcome to join this study of the Tanakh, all the books of the Bible.
3.       Monday, April 13, 9:45-10:45 a.m. Mindfulness and Movement . Join Rabbi Sacks and Robin Wald for a morning gratitude practice with gentle movement and sharing.
 
REMOTE WORSHIP 
1.       Daily Virtual Minyan. Virtual Minyan is held twice daily most days: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m., Monday through Thursday, 7:30 pm; Sunday morning, 9 am. Visit our Bet Torah website and click on the day and time of the minyan service you are attending.
2.       Shabbat. Our weekly “Into Shabbat” email will include complete Shabbat information. Join us Friday night for Kabbalat Shabbat Schmooze and Services, Saturday morning study and services, Saturday afternoon Contemplative services and Saturday evening Community Havdalah .
 
As always, thank you for your support and cooperation. We will continue to do our best to maintain our mission to help all of our members live their best lives Jewishly as we work within the challenges of this trying time. We wish everyone health and ease and a Zissen Pesach , a sweet Passover. 

Carol Siege, President ( carolsiege@gmail.com )
Seth Young, Executive Director ( syoung@bettorah.org

 
     
 
Questions
Seth Young - syoung@bettorah.org
Carol Siege - president@bettorah.org
Rabbi Brusso - rabbibrusso@bettorah,org