Rabbi’s June 2021 Column

Shalom All,

By the middle of June, this year, we will have spent fifteen months with our building closed, essentially, no services, no groups or meetings, no Family Promise. Carolyn took the office computer home with her and has been taking care of us remotely the entire time, and still doing a wonderful job. Mike and Joseph Heeren (who have been doing school from Temple Judah during this time) and myself are the only ones who have regularly been in the building in over a year. It’s been very quiet.

Thankfully, our period of isolation is finally ending. I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve decided to start holding in-person services again beginning on Friday, June 18th.  We are calling it a “soft opening,” because we are just talking about Shabbat Evening Services, for now, but even a little community time together, after the year we’ve had, is a step in the right direction.

There are a few rules. The most important one being that everyone who choses to join us in the building be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We will be using the upper sanctuary at Temple so we can spread out, but, since the CDC has lifted it’s mask recommendation for groups of vaccinated people it will be wonderful to see each other’s faces and smiles live and in-person.

If you aren’t yet vaccinated, or have some other reason that you can’t make it to live services, don’t worry, we will also be streaming services over Zoom each week. Your Temple emails will continue to have a link so that you can join us over Zoom. I expect this new “hybrid” service of in-person and on-line together will take some getting used to, but it’s been over a year of getting used to new ways of doing things, so I have a lot of faith that we can handle it.

Slowly, our world is returning to some semblance of normal. For us Jews, returning to communal prayer is a great first step to our own sense of normal.

I look forward to seeing you on June 18th, or whatever Friday you can make it this summer.

Rabbi Todd