Information and Precautions for Covid 19

Hoping that all are truly well, it is important to acknowledge among us the growing awareness and concern regarding Covid 19-the Coronavirus. Hoping that it does not appear among us, the one small world in which we can make a difference in helping to control spread of the virus is in our own community. Many steps that we can take immediately are straightforward, standard precautions as advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), frequent hand washing, covering our mouths and noses when we cough or sneeze, always into an elbow and away from others. It is a mitzvah, quite literally, to take care of our bodies, to protect the wellbeing and health of our selves and each other. Please honor the following simple steps that we can all take:

 

1)    As much as we want to be together, if you are not feeling well, please do stay home, whether from services, classes, meetings, or programs, whether in the shtibl or in each other’s homes.

 

2)    Please be sure to wash hands frequently, soap and water recommended by the CDC as the most effective means of protection. When washing is not possible, or in between washings, please use the hand sanitizers in the shtibl or carry your own. Each of our hands can be as the chamseh, the symbolic protective hand of God.

 

3)   As much as we love to hug, to shake hands, and kiss each other as signs of the affection among us, a deeper expression of caring at this time is an “elbow bump.” Whether after an aliyah or greeting each other upon entering or leaving shul, or at kiddush, please use that undoubtedly ancient sign of affection that can tickle the funny bone. And we can say with feeling, Shabbat shalom and yishar ko’ach! So too, please do not kiss ritual objects that others may kiss.

 

4)    Intentional and responsible handling of food is essential to protect each other’s health. At kiddush and other events with food, please do not reach with your hand and do not use your own cutlery. Please do use the serving utensils provided or a clean plastic utensil. Please take a fresh plate if you go back for seconds and do not re-dip chips and crackers.

 

5)    If you or someone you know in the community is not well, please let us know so that we can be of help in whatever ways possible. If you are immunocompromised or otherwise staying at home during this time, please do let us know and someone will reach out to ensure you are connected to community.

 

6)   Should further action become necessary, we will be in touch as needed.

 

While not directly related to our own physical health, for the sake of wider community health and the soul of this nation and world, please take steps to show compassion and offer reminders that we are all one as global citizens and God’s children. With rising xenophobia, particularly toward Chinese people, please sign onto this letter from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

For the sake of health and wellbeing,

Adina Koch, President

Rabbi Victor