Dear Friends,
 
Last night, Governor Baker announced that all schools will remain closed through April 5 and that social gatherings will be limited to 25 people. To best protect our community, and out of an abundance of caution, we will comply with the State's request and extend our closures through this time period. We will thoughtfully consider limited exceptions for life-cycle events.
 
Last week we created a COVD-19 Task Force comprised of our senior staff, members of our Executive Committee and physicians. They continue to guide us through this ever evolving situation. The safety of our community is our single utmost priority.
 
The following guidelines are now in place for Temple Emanuel, however they are subject to change as this situation evolves.

WORSHIP:
  • For the next three weeks, Friday Sabbath Evening services will be made available through our live streaming service (Friday, March 20, March 27, and April 3).  Click here. We tested this last Friday and it worked very well. We invite you to join our virtual community by computer, phone, or tablet. Thank you to Rabbi Goldstein and Cantor Irelander for continuing to provide prayer and song to our membership.
  • Morning minyan services will be cancelled for the  next three weeks (Saturday, March 21, March 28 and April 4).
EDUCATION:
Our Director of Education, Betsy Kachel, will continue to coordinate with teachers and administrative staff on how to best support our students and families during this interruption in the daily operations of our schools. Information will be sent out via email (and the app "Remind" for Preschool only), as well as posted on Facebook.  For students currently working with  Cantor Irelander on B'nai Mitzvah prep, please reach out to him directly. 

PASTORAL CARE:
While our facility will remain closed, our chesed - our hearts -remain open to you. Our clergy are available for support. If you have a pastoral need/emergency or death in the family, please call Rabbi Robert Goldstein at 978-470-2892 or Maureen Chapman, Executive Director, at 603-702-0300.

SCHEDULED LIFE CYCLE EVENTS:
Families with lifecycle events such as B'nai Mitzvah, a baby naming or wedding, will continue to be held at Temple Emanuel at the discretion of each family with a limit of 25 people in attendance. Impacted families have been contacted by the Temple. We ask that families bring their own tallit with them to services. We will practice social distancing by sitting every other row and have seats in between individuals. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building.

PROGRAMMING & EVENTS:
Programs and events scheduled through April 5th are cancelled or postponed.
We have made the difficult decision to cancel our Passover Seder on April 8.
Rabbi Goldstein and Cantor Idan will be creating a virtual Haggadah so that families can follow along with them.

LAY LEADERSHIP GOVERNANCE:
Executive Committee, Board of Governors and related Sub-Committee meetings will occur via phone or video conferencing through April 5th.

MAIN OFFICE AND SCHOOL OFFICES:
Administrative offices will remain operational. Some staff members will be working at the Temple on a limited basis while others will work remotely. We will check email, voicemail, and post office mail regularly.

We're all getting accustomed to this new (and hopefully short-term) reality as we protect ourselves from COVID-19. There is a dedicated collection of staff and lay-leaders doing the best they can. We are quickly learning new skills and we're adapting as quickly as we can. Our staff will continue to find ways to create a "virtual community" during these challenging times.
 
We may not be able to be together in the same physical place; still, we at Temple Emanuel continue to seek ways to be connected. Our staff has been brainstorming novel ways to engage in our congregational activities online.
 
With wishes for health, well-being and strength
 
Marc Freedman, Temple President
Maureen Chapman, Executive Director
Rabbi Robert S. Goldstein
Temple Emanuel | 7 Haggetts Pond Road | Andover, MA 01810 | 978.470.1356