Dear Shir Chadash Community,
Last week, we shared with you a summary of the plans our High Holidays Task Force is busy developing to make this High Holy Day season unique and memorable. We indicated that we will be seeking volunteers to form holding minyanim for services. This is a new concept for our community and you may be wondering what it is and why and how we decided to take this approach.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not safe to hold our usual large, in-person High Holiday services this year. Instead, for the first time in our 60-year history, High Holiday services will be broadcast online consistent with the recent legal ruling from the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. Moreover, at this month’s Executive Committee and synagogue Board meetings, our lay leaders fully discussed and decided to adopt the concept of a holding minyan for the High Holy Days. As we wrote previously, a holding minyan is a group of at least 10 adult Jews who are physically present in the same space.
Jewish tradition teaches us that protecting people’s health must be a priority. This notion, along with guidance from our Health Committee, led us to make a very difficult, yet necessary, decision not to gather in large groups in our Sanctuary for the High Holidays.
Holding minyanim enable us to fulfill our halachic obligations and keep key prayers in their traditional format. Those congregants who volunteer to be part of a holding minyan perform a mitzvah for the whole community, which, hopefully, they will find to be a spiritually meaningful experience.
Keeping our congregants, clergy, and staff safe and healthy is an unwavering commitment of ours and has been a focus of our discussions as a task force. Extended, in-person gatherings in enclosed areas under current circumstances are a public health risk.
We truly hope that this will be the one and only High Holy Day season that we will have to spend physically distant from each other. We appreciate your support and understanding during these times.
Please keep an eye out for our High Holidays Protocol, Frequently Asked Questions, and High Holy Days Holding Minyan Registration Form.
Shabbat Shalom. Be well and stay safe.
Ken Klein, President
Rabbi Deborah Silver
Ricardo Totah, Executive Director