Congregational Announcement from December 30, 2021

Congregational Announcement from December 30, 2021

Peter Herwitt, M.D., Chair of the Re-Opening Task Force; Marla Shwarts and Linda Rubin, Co-Presidents; Carrie Jacobs, Executive Director; and Rabbi Cassi Kail

Dear Temple Beth El Family,

The past two years have not been as expected. The pandemic has made it challenging to gather in person for the large events that we enjoy. Despite this, we have found meaningful ways to connect, pray, celebrate, learn, and mark important moments in our lives. Earlier this month, we were delighted that 130 of us were able to gather outside to celebrate Hanukkah and mark the beginning of our centennial year. We were starting to have temple volunteers in the building, in-person classes, prayer experiences and social gatherings.

Unfortunately, as you know, the omicron variant is rapidly creating a surge of cases in our area. As a result, the Re-Opening Task Force led by medical professionals and congregational leaders, met last Tuesday, December 28th. In the interest of everybody’s health and safety, we decided to temporarily suspend most in-person meetings, services, and activities. We have not made a final decision regarding Torah School and an upcoming Bar Mitzvah. These issues will be discussed at our next meeting on Tuesday, Jan 4th. Randi Sher, our Education Director, is staying apprised of any decisions made by secular school districts and is reaching out to Torah school teachers and families for input.

The omicron variant has a sharp incline in cases, but in many places the decline is just as sharp. We hope that the move to virtual services, classes, and other gatherings will be a very brief one. We have gotten through this pandemic together, and we will be able to weather this storm as well.

These are difficult and trying times for all of us. We appreciate your understanding that we will do all that is possible to meet your congregational needs.