Dear Bet Torah Family:
My colleague in Los Angeles Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky captured well the challenge we are facing as a community in a time of social distancing:
"Every hand that we don't shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise."
We are forced in this new context to figure out how to continue to be there for each other, learn with each other, sing together and "be" together.
Bet Torah leadership and professional staff have been assisted in thinking this through by Dr. Bradley Adler, Dr. Nancy Beran and Dr. Andy Wiznia. We are grateful for their medical perspectives as we prioritize the health and well being of the members of our community who fall in the high risk categories. Since gatherings are potentially harmful to them and facilitate the spread of the virus, we have paused the congregating of our congregation.
As we wind down being together physically we are ramping up the many ways we can be together virtually. We will be switching to online for minyans, Kulanu learning, nursery school programs, committee meetings, adult learning, bnei mitzvah tutoring, singing and more. Information on that will be coming soon.
For now here is a link to participate by video for 9am Sunday morning minyan:
We are also developing ways to be there for each other during lifecycle events like b'nei mitzvah and shiva minyans. We will update as events get closer. For now we wanted you to know that Nancy Fried Tanzer, who is sitting shiva for her father George, asked me to share that she would love to receive "shiva texts" instead of visits. We will ensure that there is a minyan in her home and she looks forward to receiving your personal condolences when it is safer to gather.
As we go into Shabbat we do so more atomized yet feeling more than ever that we are connected, by events not necessarily in our control, and by the way we respond to them with care and love.