Dear Bet Torah Family,
We hope you are all keeping safe and healthy. The Bet Torah community is continuing to be very active even though the Bet Torah building is still closed. Despite the physical constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are so proud of how we continue to come together as a community.
For many of us, thinking about the future involves recognizing that it won’t be the same as we had imagined, mourning the loss of what will be missed and reimagining what new opportunities may arise. We do not know what the future will bring. Will there be a second wave of COVID-19 that requires steps back in our quarantine? How will we keep our kids safe and also manage the goals of socialization and learning and growth? How do we continue to mark important life cycle events that might not look like what we expected? How do we continue to regularly worship together as our public health conditions are changing and the world is starting to open up around us?
We want to update you about the incredible lay leadership/professional staff partnerships working diligently to meet the needs of our community and help plan for the future, with a focus on the Fall.
We are all working to provide offerings that best support our diverse population and promote what Bet Torah uniquely represents, keeping our sacred values at the forefront of our decision making.
Please look for community updates throughout the summer and from relevant leaders of your specific cohort (i.e. Nursery, Kulanu, Youth, Sisterhood, Men’s Club, Boomers & Beyond).
New Medical Advisory Group
At the onset of this pandemic we knew we needed additional support and some of our amazing medical professionals, who happen to be community members, stepped up to help us and form the Medical Advisory Group. Led by pediatrician, Dr. Jill Ratner, this team of outstanding physicians with a diverse set of training, skills and backgrounds has supported almost every arm of the community with guidance, resources and knowledge to inform decision making. We are so grateful for their ongoing support.
Building Re-Opening Task Force
Led by Seth Young, the group includes volunteers with expertise in HR, Legal, Building/Facility, Medical, and Security. We are working on how to reopen in a responsible way that keeps our staff and congregants safe.
Shabbat Services and Minyan
Our vibrant Shabbat community is one of the most valuable parts of who we are at Bet Torah. We hope you have felt the warmth and connection on Shabbat over Zoom these past few months. Recently, we met with parents with children who have upcoming b'nai mitzvot to share our current thinking and gather feedback. Our Ritual Committee and leadership is evaluating how to enhance our worship offerings while taking to heart our core values of not leaving anyone behind.
High Holy Day Task Force
Our High Holy Day Task Force is underway! These incredible leaders represent countless years of cumulative volunteer experience at Bet Torah and incorporate new perspectives. This team is working to reimagine what it means to “be together” as a community for the High Holy Days and the month leading up to these days. They will be reaching out to the community soon for your input, please join us in this conversation.
Back to School - Kulanu
Education Director, Gina Fass, and outgoing Board of Education Chair, Caroline Lisker, held a parent Town Hall to talk about our remote learning during the spring and engagement in our education program. This Planning Committee, led by Corrie Jacobs, incoming Chair, will help navigate the learning options for Fall and work to ensure our teachers are prepared to support our families.
Back to School - Nursery School
Under the leadership of 20-year Director, Mindy Citera, three separate parent meetings were held to begin discussions about the Fall. She shared the work we are doing to plan to keep our littlest ones as safe as possible while enabling them to thrive and grow in a warm, nurturing environment.
Our Technology Committee, led by Technology Board Member Scott Binger is supporting our current and future needs. They continue to explore the options for how we bring Bet Torah together remotely in different ways.
We know that we need to continue to communicate with you as we move forward. You will also hear specifically from relevant leaders based on your cohort.
Please recognize that decisions may be made to open certain programs but not all of them and we will work to make thoughtful distinctions about these changes.
We are grateful to our incredible staff and volunteers for their hard work and leadership.
Thank you for participating and contributing to meetings and surveys. Please continue to share your thoughts, feedback and ideas. Help us to continue to go from strength to strength.
Our online, virtual programs are as vibrant as ever. Our expanded offerings and programs such as regular weekday minyan, the weekly film discussion group and the shabbat meal program for isolated congregants are providing new and different ways for our community to learn and connect. Please continue to check the Bet Torah Weekly email and our website for these opportunities.
For those of you who ask how you can support Bet Torah, please continue your financial commitment to our community. Your financial contributions in membership dues, tuition and charitable giving allow us to thrive and provide the quality programming and spiritual experience that you have come to expect at Bet Torah. For those of you who can, please pay your upcoming membership dues, which are being held flat to last year, on time. For those of you who are struggling financially, please reach out to us directly. We will be launching the Annual Fund this summer which supports a large portion of our yearly operating budget, so we appreciate your continued generosity in advance.
Thank you for your support and patience as we move forward together as a community.