We normally begin greetings on Friday with the words “Shabbat Shalom,” meaning, may you have a peaceful Shabbat. We are entering an unprecedented time, however, when Shabbat may not be the cure to the stresses and anxieties of the world around us. COVID-19, Novel Coronavirus, has now been reported here in East Hampton, raising our levels of unease. To ensure the safety of our community, we are taking significant cautionary measures.
- At this time, we feel it necessary to cancel all in-person events including Shabbat morning and evening services. We will be setting up a makeshift streaming of our services for this week. We are working towards installing professional video streaming equipment in the upcoming week. Visit jcoh.org/live in order to stream our Friday night service (6:00pm) and our Saturday morning service (10:00am) and to find an online copy of our prayerbook.
- We must sadly cancel our Second Night Community Seder scheduled for Thursday, April 9.
- Our religious school is on a scheduled vacation until the end of March. We will take our cues on closure from the local public schools. Our Director of Education, Dr. Joel Hoffman, will keep our families up to date on future closures.
- Until further notice, all of our adult learning classes will take place virtually. Rabbi Franklin’s “History of Antisemitism” class will take place only on Fridays from 12:15-1:30pm. Visit jcoh.org/adultlearning for instructions on how to download the necessary software to join, and the information needed to call in via telephone.
In a time that feels out of control, we want to encourage you to focus on things that you can, in fact, control. Pick up the phone and wish your friends a “Shabbat Shalom.” Write an email to a group of your friends and share blessings in your life, even though the world might feel less than blessed. Physical distancing does not mandate social distancing. The blessing of technology can enable us to find community, friendship, and love, even when we are physically at a distance.
Lavriut (to our health),
Rabbi Joshua Franklin and Cantor/Rabbi Debra Stein