Coronavirus Update

March 13, 2020

As you know, this is a time for caution and prevention, as COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") continues to develop on a very fluid basis. Our local school districts and athletic conferences have begun canceling large public events, a number of universities are suspending in-person classes, the CDC is recommending changes to our daily lives, and the impact upon us all is substantial. Our federal, state, and local governments are also trying to mitigate the impact of this virus.

What We're Doing at Congregation Beth David: 
The CBD Board of Directors, in consultation with Rabbi Adler, has carefully considered our responsibility to our members, to our families, and our mission as well, as it relates to how the virus impacts all operations of our synagogue. The Board of Directors decided at its monthly meeting last night, that through April 15, 2020, CBD is cancelling or postponing all events outside of regularly scheduled Shabbat services. A list of cancelled events is below. 
  • Essen and Lesson (at Bagelz) - March 13
  • PJ Library - March 15
  • Text Study with St Peters - March 17 and 30
  • Passover Wine Tasting - March 28
  • Passover 2nd night Seder - April 9
Our religious school will be closed March 15 - 22, given today's announcement by the governor that April school vacation will be moved up to next week.  During next week our teachers will begin to plan for the use of distant learning should the closure go beyond next week.  The board and the Religious school committee will continue to monitor the situation at the local and state levels to determine whether further action will be needed.

Again, Shabbat services will continue as normally scheduled. We are looking into "streaming" Shabbat services over the internet so that those who might feel uncomfortable being within a group of people may feel the joy of Shabbat from their home. We will update you on the progress of establishing the streaming capabilities.

Additionally, we are taking extra precautions. CBD is not serving any "communal food" during this period of time. With that in mind, we will NOT be providing nor having ONEGs on Friday or Kiddush (nor lunch) on Saturday. (We will serve wine and challah, however.) In accordance with all agency recommendations, we ask you to "spread out" within our building during Shabbat services as best you can to keep space between each of us.

We are encouraging you to actively stay safe. but know that we at CBD are here for you in these difficult times. With this in mind, if you are not able to, or are uncomfortable in, leaving your home and require food, medication or have other needs, please contact Lori Adler, chair of CBD's Caring Committee, to see how we can help. If you would like to volunteer for the Caring Committee (particularly if you are less vulnerable to the coronavirus), please contact Lori Adler or call 789-3437.

Here are also things you can continue to do to try and prevent exposure to the virus: 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds - especially after visiting a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If you don't have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Cover your entire hands and allow them to air dry thoroughly.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands as noted above.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home if you are sick (until you are better)
  • At public events AND in all public places, try and keep a distance of 3 to 6 feet between yourself and other people.
In addition, you can get additional information from the  Center for Disease Control (CDC).

We all know that this current crisis is fluid and changes daily, and as such our practices will too. We will be in touch with you with the passage of time, and of course we hope that no one in our community will be affected by Coronavirus. We remain your spiritual home and will always be here for you. We face this challenge as a caring religious community bolstered by the values of our tradition and deep regard for each other.

Please feel free to reach out to us with your thoughts, comments, and hopes. 

Wishing you all good health and blessings.

Shabbat Shalom

Harris Chorney, President                       Rabbi Ethan Adler