Dear Friends,

Romemu is all about connecting. Connecting with each other, with our Jewish tradition, with the world around us, with our own higher selves, with the divine. This is why we exist, and why we have shared our prayer services, music, teachings, programs and community connections with those near and far away for almost 15 years.

As we temporarily suspend in-person activities in recognition of our responsibility to help slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to double-down on our commitment to provide ways to connect emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. This newsletter outlines some of the ways already planned, with more to come. We also want to double (no, TRIPLE) down on our commitment to help those in our community with real-world, urgent physical needs - WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. Read on for how to access help. Finally, we don’t claim to have fully figured out everything yet in this turbulent time. So drop us a line and give us your suggestions and requests. Maintaining “social distance” does not need to mean “being” or “feeling” distant. 

How ARE We Going to Connect?  
Romemu has already been using, and will increase our use of Zoom Conferencing, Email, Livestream, WhatsApp and Facebook as platforms for communication. Please make sure that you're set up on these platforms so you can take advantage of everything possible. If you need help accessing, installing or understanding any of these technologies, please contact mika@romemu.org.


The following regularly scheduled services and programming here is the list:
PRAYER
We will continue to hold all Shabbat offerings and services via Facebook Live and Livestream.

Friday Shabbat Schedule via Facebook Live and Livestream:
5 PM | Sha'Baby
6 PM | Kabbalat Shabbat Services ( ***Services will begin at 6:30pm starting March 20)

Saturday Shabbat Schedule via Facebook Live and Livestream:
9 AM | Open Book Torah Study
10 AM | Shabbat Morning Services
**Please note that Parsha Play & Sha'Boker Tov will not take place on Saturday mornings until further notice.

NEW PRAYER OPPORTUNITY!
Morning Prayers, Meditation, and Wisdom with Romemu Clergy
Mon/Wed/Fri | 7:30 AM (ZOOM, more info soon)
ADULT LEARNING
We will continue all of our learning opportunities via Facebook Live, Livestream, and Zoom where applicable.

Sunday Learning
10:30 AM | Aleph Bet II (ZOOM, info coming soon)
3 PM | Falling in Love with the Beloved (ZOOM, info coming soon)
 
Torah Tuesdays
6:30 PM | Never Too Late: B Mitzvah Journey (ZOOM, info coming soon.)
6:30 PM | Walking the Path: Judaism for Beginners (ZOOM, info coming soon)
7:30 PM | Aleph Bet I (ZOOM, info coming soon)
8 PM | Beit Midrash with Rabbi Ingber ( Livestream/FB Live)

***NEW! Wisdom Hour
Tue/Thu | 11-12 PM (Livestream/FB Live)
Join Romemu clergy and special guests for an hour of learning rooted from the wisdom of our Jewish traditions.

***NEW! Care for the Soul with Rev. Eleanor Harrison Bregman
Fri. | 2-3 PM (ZOOM, info coming soon )
How are you doing in these times? Framed by spiritual readings/poetry / reflections/meditations. Join this virtual sharing circle designed to help us to nurture soul and stay connected during uncertain times.
PASSOVER
Information on Passover seders, services and programs co ming soon.
PASTORAL CARE
Pastoral Care is a model of spiritual and emotional support in which clergy members support people in their pain, loss, and anxiety, as well as in their joys and blessings. It’s a holistic approach that focuses on guiding, supporting, healing and empowering people to draw upon spiritual resources. It is not psychotherapy and clergy may refer individuals to therapists. Sessions last for 45-50 minutes, are usually limited to three consecutive sessions, and are intended for Romemu members only. Since our clergy acts as a team, any one of our pastoral clergy may meet with you. Please note, the clergy meets weekly as a team to confidentially discuss pastoral cases. Although you will only be meeting with one member of the team, you will have the benefit of the expertise of the whole pastoral team to support you.  
 
To arrange for a Pastoral Care consult, please contact eleanor@romemu.org. 
For pastoral emergencies, such as a death in the family, please email emergencies@romemu.org or call (212) 580-4294, press 1, and leave a message.
HESED CARE
During this time we know that there are many needs in our community - spiritual, emotional and physical. We also know that we have many resources amongst us and that while we might not be physically able to gather, we are still “stronger together.”  
 
With that as our principle, the Romemu clergy team partners with community volunteers on the Hesed Committee to provide essential services to community members in need. Such support may include assistance ordering food online or by phone, picking up and delivering medications, and helping obtain any other essential items that cannot be ordered online or delivered by the vendor. 
 
The Hesed Committee relies on community members offering their time and attention to help. During this intense time, we lots of people to volunteer… in fact, everyone who can. Please sign up as a volunteer (no specific commitment or skills required) by emailing hesed@romemu.org
 
Romemu is grateful to our Hesed co-chairs, Shelley Cahn, Valerie Kanofsky, and Mijanou Mosher, for your dedication to helping organize this effort.
MEMBER CONNECTIONS
For many of us, gathering together at Romemu or spending time outside of Romemu with our Romemu friends was an important part of our social lives and our emotional support network. How will that be affected when we try to maintain “social distancing,” and not gather in-person? 
 
We are concerned for those in the community that might be feeling unsettled, lonely, scared or simply hankering for human contact. Please help connect with every Romemu member, especially those who are elderly or may have special needs at a time like this, by VOLUNTEERING TO CALL 10 MEMBERS ON THE PHONE.
Contact miriam@romemu.org if you can volunteer.
RESOURCES

Food Resources:  Individuals who experience food insecurity may need to prepare for quarantine or shutdowns. They should consider going to a digital pantry or ordering food to be delivered. Education is also important – you do not need to be a citizen to receive services at a food bank. 
 
HFLS Interest-Free Bridge Loans:  Hebrew Free Loan Society is offering interest-free bridge loans for anyone affected by the coronavirus who lives in the five boroughs of New York City, in Westchester County, or on Long Island. Interest-free loans of $2,000-$5,000 are available for purposes including (but not limited to) lost wages due to being unable to go to work, childcare costs due to school closures, small business losses, canceled study abroad programs, related medical costs. Find more information  here  and please share with anyone in your communities who may be affected. 

Virtual Resources for Families:  In an effort to support families with young children who are quarantined or selecting to do less socializing through playdates or community classes, UJA-Federation of NY, PJ Library, the Foundation for Jewish Camp and The Jewish Education Project have come together to aggregate a collection of high-quality Jewish activities and content that families can engage in together at home:  https://pjlibrary.org/familyactivities  
 
Stress Reduction:  The Institute for Jewish Spirituality is offering opportunities for anyone who is looking for some moments of calm, centeredness, and clarity. In addition to the free resources available, individuals can access online courses at a discounted rate with code UJA-NY. You can find more information here:  https://www.jewishspirituality.org/get-started/resources-for-challenging-times/  

Information and Links to Other Resources
Visit www.romemu.org for the latest updates from the Romemu Community.