As time continues its inexorable march towards the High Holidays, we wanted to give you a quick update on our progress and plans. We promised to keep you updated on a regular basis, and pursuant to the plans we laid out at the Annual Meeting (Report of the High Holiday Task Force) the following Task Force groups have made progress as indicated below:
Ritual Experiences Outside of Formal Services: (Jill Rosen, Nancy Fagan, Erica Elrod, and Herman Axelrod*)
We are exploring ways to provide Shofar blowing at Temple Sinai, outside, with socially distanced participants. On Yom Kippur, we may allow in-person visits to the ark in the main sanctuary and memorial chapel - by reservation. We hope to provide an opportunity for visits to the sukkah and reciting the Lulav & Etrog blessings - by reservation. We are even exploring the possibility of a Simchat Torah celebration in Temple Sinai's parking lot - with social distance precautions.
High Holiday Messages and Greetings: (Barbara Rosenau and Dan Rosenberg*)
As part of our goal is to create a connected community, we will be producing an ongoing video of pre-recorded Rosh Hashanah messages and greetings from members of our congregation. These messages will be displayed and accessible in a number of different ways to the congregation. We will encourage ALL members to send in their messages and greetings for this presentation. More info to follow!
Group Services: (Freda Pepper and Pamela Goldfinger*)
Due to the Pandemic, congregants will not be allowed in the synagogue for High Holiday services. Survey responses from the congregation included several suggestions to enable families or small groups to assemble at their own homes during the service.
While Temple Sinai cannot endorse in-person gatherings, we are collecting information from members who are planning to be together. We hope that the experiences we will be live-streaming from the synagogue will make such gatherings more meaningful.
Production of Services: (Rabbis Wohlberg and Hollander, Ben Wachstein, and staff*)
Our plans for the High Holidays include services and activities with both in-person and online experiences. One of the interesting twists to our online experience will include a combination of a livestream from the sanctuary, pre-recorded portions of the service utilizing a professional production company, and our High Holiday Cantor, Saralee Shrell-Fox, joining us (virtually) all the way from Israel! We are committed to creating High Holiday experiences that are interactive, traditional, meaningful, inspiring, and representative of the best our community has to offer in these challenging times.
In addition to these offerings, we are continuing to explore other possibilities that will make our High Holidays as comfortable, engaging, and meaningful as possible under today's challenging conditions. We welcome your feedback and look forward to seeing you soon.
Temple Sinai High Holidays 2020 Task Force
*Apologies if we have overlooked someone