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COVID-19 Plans and Precautions | March 12, 2020

Elllie Goldman

Dear Temple Shalom Families,

One of our most important and cherished Jewish values is the concept of pikuach nefesh. It is our imperative above all else to do everything we can to save lives. Our leadership team made up of clergy and senior staff, our executive committee, and health professionals in consultation with the Newton Department of Health and Human Services has spent the past twenty-four hours determining the best way for the Temple Shalom community to proceed, keeping in mind the greater good of all. What we do know during this unsettling time is that our Temple Shalom community is strong. We will respond to this adversity by taking care of one another and making sure we stay connected in every way possible. 

Our leadership team continues to monitor the circumstances and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 virus. Below we have outlined our plans & precautions for Temple Shalom services and programs, as of today, March 12th. This is an evolving situation; we will be in touch with you by email and on our website if the plan outlined below changes. 

Summary of Plans, as of now: 

  • Our Scholar in Residence program this weekend, including the Shabbat dinner, is postponed. 
  • Shabbat services on Friday evening, March 13th at 6:30 p.m. will not be held in person. Please plan to join us on-line via our livestream. There will be no in-person worship gatherings on Friday evenings until further notice. Our live stream can be accessed by clicking this link. 
  • We are currently reaching out to B’nai Mitzvah families via a separate communication. If you have questions about this please call your officiating Rabbi. 
  • Minyan and Torah study will be canceled this Shabbat ONLY (March 14th) as we take a deep breath and create a plan for how they will continue remotely.
  • As of Friday, March 13th, Temple Shalom Nursery School will be closed until further notice.
  • SHACHARIT, Small Group Hebrew, MINCHA, and all related programs are canceled until further notice. We are currently working to move Small Group Hebrew online and more information will be available about this soon.
  • B’nai Mitzvah tutoring will continue virtually. Erin Borras will be in touch soon with more information about how this will work. 
  • Non-essential events that involve large numbers of guests will also be postponed.
  • Committee meetings can continue remotely and the Temple can help set-up Zoom video conferences as needed. Please contact Ellie Goldman if you need help scheduling a Zoom meeting. 

We have established a page on our website that outlines the current status of all temple programs and events, as well as additional guidance and resources. Please visit our Temple Shalom COVID-19 Resource Page for information about the latest status of specific Temple programs. 

We are here for you:

  • Temple volunteers are beginning to reach out to our seniors and anyone else we suspect who may be feeling vulnerable at this moment. It may take a few days for us to reach everyone and we appreciate your patience with this process. 
  • We plan to be in touch with our college students to see if they need help or support. If you are the parent of a college student and you would like us to reach out to your young adult, please fill out this form.
  • If you are aware of someone in need of pastoral support, please email Loretta Zack, the Temple’s clergy assistant.
  • If this crisis means you are in need of other tangible supports, do not hesitate to reach out to our clergy. There are organizations both Jewish and communal that are gearing up to help.  
  • There will be opportunities to volunteer to support others in our community. A form will soon be added to the Temple Shalom COVID-19 Resource Page for you to indicate if you would like to volunteer.

In the weeks ahead, we know our community will continue to be a source of strength and solace. We are here for you; please reach out to us. May we find strength in one another in the days ahead.

Rabbi Allison Berry
617-433-8170 617-564-0190    

Rabbi Laura Abrasley 

Fred Kraus, President ​​​​​​

Cantor Leah Shafritz
Ellie Goldman, Executive Director 

Kim Bodemer, Education/Engagement    

Lucy Banerji, Nursery School

Fri, September 29 2023 14 Tishrei 5784