From the information available it sounds like the time may not be too far off that we will be able to return to some sense of normalcy. If you’re anything like me, I know you would much rather be discussing rummage sales, Food Fairs and Passover Seders.
Based on declining Covid infection numbers and increasing vaccination numbers, the Board has approved gradual resumption of in-person services. The current plan is to start the evening of Friday April 16th and to only do Friday evening services in person. Saturday services will still be done virtually.
All services will continue to be available online, although the provider could change at some point. For now we will continue to use some combination of Zoom and Facebook Live. You will be notified through our weekly email how to access services.
At the onset the services will be held in the social hall to allow for social distancing. Masks will be required. We will also gather name, email and phone number information of attendees for contact tracing if that should become necessary. Initially in-person attendance will be limited to 50 people to make sure that we are being safe and there is adequate spacing. We will be taking reservations through the Temple office.
Although Dick Kirsner (Rabbi Search Committee chair) and Dana Dickson (Interim Rabbi Search Committee chair) will provide more thorough updates on an intermittent basis, this is a good time for a high-level overview.
Since the last Temple Bulletin the survey results have been tabulated and shared. There have also been four town-hall sessions online to allow members to share their thoughts and preferences for both the interim rabbi position and the permanent rabbi position. My thanks to all who participated and had a hand in determining the selection criteria for both positions.
By the time this Bulletin is available the Interim Search Committee will have interviewed one candidate, with a second candidate interviewed or at least scheduled. The first candidate was a qualified rabbi who learned about the Temple through the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism). After being interviewed by two separate groups the Committee determined that he would not be a good fit for TBJ and we will continue interviewing individuals.
The Search Committee for the permanent rabbi position has posted the opening with multiple sources. There has been good interest however no applicants have yet submitted their resumes. The expectation however is that activity will pick up.
In the months preceding the pandemic, the Board was already planning to make Temple services available online. We saw this as an opportunity to be inclusive of the sick, the elderly, distant relatives and anyone else who might not be able to make it to services in person but still wanted to participate.
There is no doubt that everyone would prefer that there was no Coronavirus, however one of the unintended benefits was that it sped up the process of making services available online. That feature is here to stay. So while we are planning the gradual return to in-person services, the online option will remain.
HIGH HOLY DAYS
Please take note that the holidays come earlier than normal this year. Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown Monday September 6th. Yom Kippur begins at sundown Wednesday September 15th. Although we are phasing in our return to in-person services, the current plan does not include the High Holy Days as part of those. HHD services will be online as they were last year.
Whether you mask or don’t mask…vaccinate or don’t vaccinate, here’s hoping that every one of you is staying safe and well.