Dear Temple Beth David Community,
I am writing to you because Temple Beth David has some important information to share about communal life during the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, so I hope you will bear with me as I try to be as succinct as possible:
1. Our primary concern at Temple Beth David is the health and wellbeing of YOU, our community.
2. Religious services and all Temple programming are suspended, effective immediately. This means that there will not be a service or Torah Study tomorrow morning, Saturday, March 14 (Parashat Ki Tisah, Shabbat Parah / פרשת כי תישא, שבת פרה).
- Should you need any support or have any concerns about food, household supplies and medication– whether about being able to get to the store, pharmacy etc., or about being able to pay for what you need – please contact me directly at (585) 789-1699.
- We are working on ways to continue to connect with our community and will send more information about this next week.
My friends, it feels like a bizarre thing for a rabbi to ask community members not to come to services, but really, we care about you and look forward to a time when it will be safe for all of us to gather together at Temple again. More than anything, we look forward to life returning to normal as soon as possible. We shall certainly let you know (with joy, celebration, chollent, cake and maybe a little le chaim!) when that day arrives.
In the meantime though, the entire world is navigating uncharted territory and we all are learning at the same time how to cope, by adapting to the circumstances. It is totally natural that many will find these times to be anxiety-provoking and unsettling. Aside from becoming ill with the virus, my greatest concern is that people may feel panicky or possibly even begin to feel socially isolated. Therefore, my request to you is: please do your best to stay connected with others, ideally by FaceTime or Skype so that you can actually see each others’ faces, or if necessary, by phone.
Even though we will not be holding services and programs during the pandemic and our office will be closed for visits and meetings, we are determined to do what we can to act as a community and to remain a meaningful presence in your lives. Therefore, we are working on ways to make Howard Brill’s weekly Torah Study and other Jewish opportunities, available online. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, please take every possible reasonable step to look after yourself, and let us know how we can help.
“Have no fear, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with the power of My righteousness.”
With wishes of good health, strength and fortitude, and of course, Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Michael Silbert
2131 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618