Returning to “normal,” safely!

Cindy MindellCommunity News

In the midst of social-distancing guidelines due to COVID-19, our synagogue has continued to work together as a community to help inspire congregational prayer and support individuals achieve
their personal milestones. We have accommodated virtual Bar/Bat-Mitzvahs for our children; daily, Friday-evening, and Shabbat-morning services; Kaddish prayers; educational services; and a great deal more.

Gradually, we are working together to return to a semblance of normalcy while keeping everyone safe. We are following Governor Ned Lamont’s guidelines for the State of Connecticut.

For starters, Friday-night services have been taking place in the synagogue parking lot. Up to 30 congregants are welcome to attend with the caveat that everyone must wear masks and be seated
six feet apart. Each week, an increasing number of people have participated in person. Of course, morning minyan, Friday-night, and Shabbat-morning services continue to be available via
livestream, Zoom, and Facebook Live.

There is no right or wrong regarding your decision to join Friday-night services in person or virtually. We all have different family situations, health concerns, and comfort levels. What we do know is that this will be a slow and cautious process. The clergy, the professional staff, and the Board of Directors are listening closely to feedback from congregants to ensure the best possible experience for everyone.

One thing we do know: Our High Holiday services will be unlike any other in history! A High Holiday Task Force, led by Rick Slavin, has been created to ensure we continue to offer the highest-caliber services while providing a deep spiritual experience that maintains our traditions as best as possible for every population. Please stay tuned for further announcements.

With regard to our educational programs, plans are already in the works for this coming fall. The preschool and the religious school will offer in-person classes aligned with state standards or
the programs will entail a hybrid of in-person and remote learning. Please make sure to reserve your child’s spot soon!

We live in a unique time in world history, filled with many question marks. The clergy, the staff, the Board of Directors, and I would like to assure you that we think about your families and you every day — even though we are unable to physically see you (or at least, your entire face). But we don’t presume to have all of the answers. If you have questions, concerns, suggestions, or potential
solutions, we would love to hear from you!

On behalf of all Beth El, we wish you a joyous summer with your family.
Liz Krebs, President