Dear OJC Family,

As we continue to aim for a balance between reasonable response and abundant caution to Coronavirus precautions, I am sharing the following changes in OJC religious and educational activities.

1. TASK FORCE  I am forming a small, short-term (we all pray) task force to advise me and the clergy on ongoing issues related to Coronavirus to ensure all future decision continue to be made with the most current and accurate information and perspective available. If you have expertise in medical emergency response or infectious diseases, expertise in public health and/or feel you have important perspective to contribute to this task force please contact me at .

2. NO FOOD SERVED OR SHARED We are suspending the serving of all food at OJC as an unnecessary risk. There will be no oneg, Friday night dinners for EKS, Shabbat kiddush or seudah. Learners in our Kulanu program will be able to purchase single serving snacks from the snack shop or bring personal Kosher single serving snacks from home, but no snacks will be shared.

3. RELIGIOUS SERVICES Shabbat services on Friday nights, Shabbat morning, and mincha/maariv/havdalah will all continue. Friday nights and Saturday mornings will be livestreamed for those who are in a risk category or who do not feel comfortable coming into group gatherings. Shabbat mincha services will all begin 45 minutes later than scheduled on the synagogue calendar as we will not break for a seudah. Thus, Shabbat March 14 and 21, mincha will begin at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to join us in person or remotely this coming Shabbat at 6:00 p.m. for a musical Neshama Shabbat with Amichai, sure to lift all of our spirits. Weeknight minyan continuing as scheduled at 7:30 p.m.

New links will be provided for each service that will be livestreamed. This week, you can access Shabbat services here:

Orangetown Jewish Center - Shabbat Morning Service - March 14th
@ 9:00 a.m.

Orangetown Jewish Center Friday Night Service - March 13th
@ 7:00 p.m. 

4. ONGOING LEARNING All classes will continue as scheduled (with the exception of Salon which will be suspended until health restrictions are no longer necessary). If you feel comfortable coming to Reintroduction to Judaism (last class is this Thursday, March 12 at 7:30), Journey Group, March 16, Text and Context March 19 and 26, please join us for class. We are working on providing ZOOM access on your home computer for those who wish to participate in these classes without in-person attendance. Stay tuned for more about ZOOM.

5. KULANU and NA'ASEH/USY/KADIMA/RUACH Children's learning in Kulanu and all youth programming scheduled to be held at OJC will continue as scheduled. We will follow the lead of South Orangetown School District and remain open for learning as long as the schools are open.

6. OTHER PROGRAMMING We have cancelled the trip to the Holocaust Museum on March 12, Beit Cafe on March 14 and the wine tasting scheduled for March 22. We are not yet making a determination about April programming, especially whether we will be able to gather for a community seder, but will do so by March 31.

7. OUTREACH TO HOMEBOUND CONGREGANTS If you are staying at home out of precaution or if you are quarantined, please let Rabbi Drill now  so that we can stay in touch via phone calls. Our Chesed Committee will assign volunteers to also make calls to check in and help you avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation.

We are certainly living in extraordinary times. Our primary responsibility is to the physical and spiritual health and welfare of our OJC family and the greater community. Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate this heretofore uncharted territory.

Michael Pucci, President