Dear Friends,

Over the last six weeks Covid-19 has forced us to find new and creative ways to stay connected. Though nothing can replace worshipping together in person, in our own sanctuary, we are inspired by the number of people who tune in each week to our virtual Friday night services, our Shabbat morning minyan and our many other opportunities for learning! In addition, our Preschool and Religious School teachers have continued to design meaningful and creative ways for our young people to remain engaged. We established a phone tree so that members could check in on each other and in cases where people are unable to leave their homes, we have offered to make trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. This pandemic is testing our resilience, but the virus has shown us that we can be resourceful and responsive, even in the face of this unprecedented challenge. We are witnessing the true soul of our sacred Temple Emanuel community!

With Governor Baker’s announcement regarding the closing of public and private schools for the remainder of the school year, we recognize that it is unreasonable for us to expect that we will be able to open our building to public events until at least the end of June.  But, this does not mean we will cease operating ! All of our programming and services will continue virtually, and some events have been postponed. Be sure to check the weekly E-news as well as our website for updates about upcoming events.  If you have any difficulty accessing the Zoom platform, please contact Maureen Chapman , our Executive Director, and she will help you.

In the coming weeks we have added some additional programs:
  • May 3rd – Virtual Walk for Hunger. Join our team or make a donation! Send us photos of you doing a 1-mile walk, a 5k run, or any outdoor activity. This is a good reason to get some exercise while ensuring people have access to food, particularly now with so many unemployed.
  • May 7th- Brotherhood Men’s Night Out: Quarantine Edition. Join other Brotherhood members for a night of great conversation and a few rousing games! Zoom link will be sent out to all Brotherhood members. Not in the Brotherhood? Contact Neal Roberts to get involved.
What will the rest of our year look like?

WORSHIP:
  • Friday Sabbath Evening services will be made available through our live streaming service. We invite you to join our virtual community by computer, phone, or tablet. Thank you to Rabbi Goldstein, Cantor Irelander and soloist Gitit Shoval for continuing to provide prayer and song to our membership.
  • Through June 27th, our Saturday morning Minyan will be available through Zoom. If you haven’t joined us for Minyan before, this is a good opportunity to experience this more traditional format from the comfort of your home.
  • Through May 17th, our Sunday community Service, Rabbi’s “Favorite Half Hour of the Week,” will be made available through Zoom. 

EDUCATION:
While we are unable to hold classes in person, Director of Education, Betsy Kachel, has been working with teachers and administrative staff so that we can continue to support our students and families during this interruption in the daily operation of our school. Information will be sent out via email (and the app "Remind" for Preschool only), as well as posted on Facebook.
Religious School: 
Religious School teachers will continue to offer resources for families through regular email communication. In addition, Religious school classes will be taught by Zoom sessions through May 17th. A schedule for these classes has been emailed to all families.  
Preschool
Preschool classes (including music) and weekly Friday morning Shabbat celebration will continue via zoom through June 12th. Our teachers will also continue to offer resources for families through regular email communication. We hope to have an opportunity to celebrate the culmination of this school year and recognize our students who are “graduating” from our program, when the state mandate is lifted and it is safe to do so.

B’NAI MITZVAH PREP
For students currently working with  Cantor Irelander , 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:
Because our building will remain closed until the end of June, or until the state mandate is lifted, life cycle events (such as B’nai Mitzvah, baby namings or funerals) will not be held at the Temple. Families have been contacted by Barbara Holstein, rabbi’s assistant, and their lifecycle events have been rescheduled. While we typically do not schedule B’nai mitzvah during the summer months, we have created an opportunity for those impacted families to utilize these dates. We will also offer to conduct life cycle events via Zoom if the family chooses to do so. Contact Rabbi Goldstein or Barbara Holstein if you have any questions.

PROGRAMMING & EVENTS:
Programs and events scheduled through May 4 th will be held via Zoom when possible. Some programs have been canceled and will be rescheduled when possible, at a future date.
 
LAY LEADERSHIP GOVERNANCE:
Annual Meeting, Executive Committee, Board of Governors and related Sub-Committee meetings will occur via phone or video conferencing through June 30th.
 
MAIN OFFICE AND SCHOOL OFFICES:
Administrative offices will remain operational. Since places of worship are considered “Essential Businesses,” 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.
 
For one hundred years, Temple Emanuel has nurtured the spiritual lives of its members.  Though the present challenge is one we have never experienced, we have met other tests and trials through the years and we have always come together as a community and persevered. It is times like this when we realize how meaningful the presence of a strong congregation can be in our lives, bringing us reassurance, support, and comfort. I hope you will continue to stay connected, remain healthy and safe.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

Marc Freedman, Temple President
Maureen Chapman, Executive Director
Rabbi Robert S. Goldstein
Temple Emanuel | 7 Haggetts Pond Road | Andover, MA 01810 | 978.470.1356