Dear Temple Shir Shalom Family,
 
We are experiencing something that is both unprecedented and unimaginable. What we thought we knew yesterday all of a sudden proves itself fundamentally different today. There is difficulty ahead, no doubt, and much that concerns us all. Yet, each and every day, our Temple Shir Shalom community makes us proud – and despite the reality of challenges we face, gives us hope. From new social action initiatives to unrivaled numbers of our families engaging with our Shabbat services on YouTube, from b’nai mitzvah families and wedding couples showing perspective and compassion as plans for their simchas have been completely upended to students and adults alike finding new ways online to connect, enriching our learning, we know that we are here for one another. This pandemic is showing us daily the best of humanity. With Temple’s letter last week about Covid-19, we shared the teaching from Torah, v’ahavta l’ray-acha k’mocha , the imperative to love your neighbor as yourself. Thank you for truly living this reality.

Most importantly, we hope that everyone is healthy and safe. We cannot stress enough the importance of physical distancing, of taking care of ourselves, of being proactive to halt the spread of the coronavirus. We are adhering strongly to the recommendations from the CDC, that no gatherings should occur with more than 10 individuals present. This is a new normal for us – a time when we ask you to stay home, not to be social, to literally hunker down. With that in mind, we will continue to only meet remotely for services through our livestreaming on YouTube ( www.youtube.com/templeshirshalom ) as well as with Facebook Live (both from Rabbi Mike’s and Rabbi Daniel’s accounts) . This will be our new reality through May 9 . While this is something new for many of us, let’s see the blessing in the fact that we can connect to one another thanks to technology. With SHORESH, SSTY, and even Adult Ed, we will be connecting with you in direct emails to let you know how we are engaging and facilitating classes, discussions, Torah studies, online services and more. In addition, our office is only open remotely. No appointments and meetings will take place in person.

We know that this is difficult. However, the goodness that resides within is ever present. We will get through this together because of the values we live every day. Check out these spectacular examples of what we like to call grass roots tikkun olam .

  • Already Temple members, Naomi and Allison Parr, have brought us together to raise money and gather food for those kids and families who don’t have enough to eat, especially with new barriers limiting accessibility to such basic needs. Click here to donate.
  • Temple member, Zack Sklar, owner of Peas and Carrots Hospitality, while only being open for carry out from his restaurants (Social, Mex, Beau’s and Como’s) has kept his chefs and managers working so that they are able to provide meals gratis to all of their staff and their staff’s families – every day, sending out close to 1000 meals each afternoon.
  • A Phone Calling Brigade is starting – people asking us who they can call and check in on from our temple community. If you would like to receive a call so that we are only physically distancing ourselves and not socially distancing OR if you would like to call someone who is interested in getting an occasional check in and say hello, please call the office (248.737.8700) or email Rhonda at Rhonda@shirshalom.org and she will be sure to add you to our Phone Brigade Team.
  • Numerous members have reached out to us asking what specifically they can do right now to help others in our community today. We have had volunteers ask to grocery shop for those more vulnerable.
  • Please share with us your ideas of what you are doing so we can spread that good word.

And also, please share with us your needs. We will help in whatever way we can. We want you to know that we are here for you. Reach out to us if you or someone you know of has a need.

Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor It is not your duty to finish the task, but we’re not free from starting and doing something. Let’s keep this in mind as we tackle the challenges ahead, and do this together. It is the blessing of our kehila kedosha , our holy community.

B’vracha
Rabbi Michael Moskowitz ( mikem@shirshalom.org )
Rabbi Daniel Schwartz ( daniela@shirshalom.org )
Rabbi Dannel Schwartz ( danneli@shirshalom.org )
Cantor Penny Steyer ( penny@shirshalom.org )
Brian Fishman, Executive Director ( brian@shirshalom.org )
Keith Lublin, President ( klublin@hotmail.com )