TIC Update 3/19 - Closed through Pesach
March 19, 2020
Dear Friends,

We hope you are all safe and healthy, and finding ways of staying strong and connected during this difficult time.  It's been uplifting to see many of you online this last week, where our community remains strong even while apart!  

As we all know, social distancing and institutional shutdowns are, unfortunately, today's reality.  As a result, Temple Israel Center will remain closed through Pesach, at a minimum through April 18.   We will continue to provide updates on our status as more information and guidance become available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State and Westchester County Departments of Health.  Information will be sent out over email and is also available on our website.

Not to be together for Pesach, one of the most anticipated times of the Jewish year, is a special sadness, not to mention the hardship of not being able to gather around the table with friends and extended family seder night.  Please watch for a message from the clergy within the next week with ideas and guidance for Pesach and Pesach preparations during this unusual time, including guidance for first-time seder leaders and ideas for families with young children.  We also continue to grow and develop our regular roster of virtual programs, and the schedule for March 23-29 will be sent out next week.

Guidelines:

While TIC remains closed, we will continue to follow the guidelines below in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  We realize these measures are uncomfortable, however we will continue to find strength and fortitude in one another. We have a moral obligation to protect each other as well as the greater community, and we must have the courage to make dramatic changes during a time of unprecedented risk.
  • TIC has ceased all in-person activities, both inside and outside of the TIC building . Prayer services, pastoral activities, learning, community events, and meetings of all types will be held using online or telecommunications technologies, when possible. 
  • Please daven in your homes and refrain from any self-organized minyanim. 
  • TIC will not hold any public services or celebrations for lifecycle events. 
  • Shiva visits should be replaced by phone/video calls.
  • Funerals should be restricted to a small group of family members and a minyan.
  • TIC encourages people not to gather in groups for any non-essential reason. This includes not praying together, not learning together, and not gathering together for Shabbat meals. This also includes not going to entertainment events or any non-essential activities where contact with many others is likely. 
  • TIC staff are working remotely and will continue meeting the needs of our congregants through their remote access until the building is re-opened. 
We know that this is a challenging time for everyone amidst uncertainty and an increased sense of isolation and vulnerability.  We are thinking of you and are available to be of help in any way.

The words of the Pesach Haggadah end on a note of hopefulness when we recite " BaShana Haba'ah - Next Year in Jerusalem!"  Our people are always looking towards better days, imagining the good that is still to come.  Even this year when our holiday celebration will be so very different, may we continue to imagine a time soon when life will return back to its familiar rhythms and patterns.  Next year in White Plains - in safety, good health, and freedom!  

As always we remain TIC - together in community,

           
Marc Berman                  Rabbi Annie Tucker              Mara Braunfeld                 Jeremy Perler  
President                         Senior Rabbi                         Director of Learning        Security Chair   
                                                                                           and Engagement                                                                                                                 
               
Yael Slonim
Executive Director