Latest News from Temple Sholom Regarding
the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dear Temple Sholom Family,

In this time of uncertainty and “abundant caution,” we, your Temple Sholom Family, remain a sacred community of warmth, care, and safety. Many of us listened to the Megillah earlier in the week. When we heard Mordechai tell Esther, “ Who knows, maybe you were put in this place for a time such as this ,” we did not realize that we would be facing a time such as this . Yet, we face each development with the wisdom of our faith and the knowledge and guidance of the scientific community.  We continue to stay informed by the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health and medical experts to make cogent decisions informed by the latest understanding of this pandemic.

As such, Temple Sholom will immediately take the following actions:

  • Gan Shalom will close tomorrow, Friday, March 13, through Tuesday, March 17, (previously scheduled as a teacher in-service training day). On Sunday, Heidi Cooper, Director of Early Childhood Education, will provide an update for our Gan Shalom families, including anticipated protocol beyond March 17.

  • Religious School (Sunday Morning Classes and Midweek Hebrew) and Adult Education (Sunday Morning and all Midweek Classes) will go virtual by midweek or shortly thereafter. Students and/or Parents will receive a separate communication from Lifelong Learning Director, Jay Rapoport, tomorrow. Importantly, Religious School and Adult Education Students SHOULD NOT come to Temple on Sunday, as our building will be closed.

We have also included links to a couple of helpful articles.

The second is titled Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus .

We invite you to enjoy Shabbat with us VIRTUALLY (See how to connect with us, via Facebook Live, below). Our building will NOT be open, but our clergy will lead a service that will be broadcast on Facebook Live.

Friday, March 13, 2020, 6:15 PM / 18 Adar 5780

  • We will broadcast the Friday Night Shabbat Service virtually at 6:15 PM via Facebook Live on the Temple Sholom's Facebook Page (Click here to go to the TSOC Facebook Page)

Saturday, March 14, 2020, 9:00 AM / 18 Adar 5780

  • We will conduct the Shabbat Morning Minyan and Torah Study via Zoom Conferencing (starting at 9:00 AM), which allows for both video and audio conferencing. Access to an electronic prayer book and study materials will also be made available.

As of now, Life Cycle Events scheduled at Temple Sholom will be held here.  Click here to see a list of the measures we are taking in our building.

Most ancillary meetings will be held virtually. For those of you with plans to meet at Temple Sholom in the coming days, you can expect further direct communication from our staff.

Please take note of the two prayers at the end of this e-mail.

  • The other is a Prayer in Times of Anxiety, written by Rabbi Chaim Stern z”l.

As always, your clergy — Rabbis Rossoff, Conover, and Gellman, and Cantors Ben-David and Katzman — are here for comfort, wisdom, and guidance. 

As a community, we pray for all those in need of healing. May they speedily know a refuah shleimah, a complete healing. In the words of Alden Solovy:

Rock of Ages,
Bring an end to disease and suffering,
So that all may know
Your compassion and Your grace.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ   
רוֹפֵא ׇ כל בָּשָׂר
וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשׂוֺת

Baruch atah Adonai, rofeh chol basar, umafli laasot.
Praised are You God, healer of flesh, maker of wonders.


Shoshanah Conover , Associate Rabbi
Sheera Ben-David , Cantor

A Blessing for Washing Hands

As we wash our hands
We pray,
Blessed is the Soul of the Universe,
Breathing us in and breathing us out.
May our breaths continue
And our health and the health of all
Be preserved
In this time of sickness and fear of sickness.

Holy Wholeness,
We take as much responsibility for it as we can
By observing the obligation to wash our hands,
Using lots of soap and hot water,
For as long as it takes to say this prayer.


On Anxiety

Adonai, You abide though all things change . I am anxiou s and fearful, and I turn my heart to You, looking to You and leaning on Your strength .

It is written, “Blessed is the one whose strength is in You. Bles s me now with faith and
courage. Help me to feel that You are with me, steadying and sustaining m e w i th the assurance that I am loved . Be with me and bring me hope, that in the days to come, my aspirations may be fulfilled for my good and the good of thos e I lov e who depend on me . Ban i sh my fears with the sense that You are always present, to uphold and sustain me, as i t is written, “Have no fear, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you , I will help you , I will uphold you with the power of My righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).

Am e n