Sent March 12 (OBSOLETE)

THIS INFORMATION IS OBSOLETE. Please see our information page for the latest information.


(sent to the congregation on March 12, 2020.)


Dear Congregants,


We are writing to our congregants concerning Temple Beth Am’s efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Even though there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus within our congregation, we wanted to share with you some additional steps we are taking, effective immediately, to proactively protect our congregational community and the larger community beyond our walls from the spread of the virus.


Cleaning and disinfecting

We have instructed our custodial staff to increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all common areas within our facilities, which includes wiping down entry/exit doors and doorknobs, banisters,  surfaces in our kitchen, restrooms, and school classrooms. They are also being instructed to wipe down surfaces and doors in our sanctuary and social hall on a more frequent schedule. Additional hand sanitizer dispensers have also been set up at the entrances to our building on both the sanctuary and religious school levels.  We encourage everyone to use them upon entering the building.


Services

For the time being, regularly scheduled Shabbat and holiday services will continue as scheduled.  This is to allow our congregants who have upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Yahrzeits or other simchas scheduled to observe those events.

We recommend refraining from physical contact when greeting one another and avoid kissing the Torah, Mezuzah and prayer books.  The Rabbi will continue his traditional receiving line following Friday night services but will greet you verbally without shaking hands.  We suggest you follow the protocol of "social distancing" during Shabbat and other services. This means that to the extent possible, congregants should separate from one another by several feet.


Oneg/Kiddush/Luncheons

We have temporarily suspended our Oneg following Friday night services until further notice.  We ask all congregants to enjoy their dessert at home. If you are celebrating a simcha during the next few weeks and planned on using our facilities for catering of food, please be sure to check with the office to discuss your arrangements.


Hebrew School

While we are aware that Merrick Jewish Center has decided to temporarily suspend their Hebrew school classes for the weeks of March 16th and March 23rd, based on our discussions with Ohav Sholom and Congregation Beth Ohr, we have all decided to keep our religious school open at this time.  We understand that the situation is fluid and we will continue to monitor the news reports in our community and inform you of any changes that may occur.  For those of you with students in Hebrew High school only, there will be no classes (either on or offsite) between now and March 30th.


Special Events

We have decided to postpone the family service on Friday evening March 20th (regular Shabbat services will still be held at 8:00pm). The following events will also be postponed and rescheduled for future dates

  1. Shabbat guest speaker Rahel Musleah from the Baghdadi Jewish Community in India (originally scheduled for March 27th)

  2. Narcan Training at the Merrick Library sponsored by the Merrick Gables association (originally scheduled for April 7th)

  3. Shabbat guest speaker Brad Kolodny (originally scheduled for April 17th)

  4. The Temple’s 70th Anniversary celebration (originally scheduled for the weekend of May 8-9)

The respective committees handling each event will  communicate new information about each event once new dates have been determined.  Other events on the Temple calendar will be reviewed over the coming days and updates will be communicated via Temple-wide emails as appropriate.


Additional Information:

As more information about the coronavirus situation develops, please understand that we may take additional preventive and protective steps based on changing circumstances and as we may be directed to do by local governmental authorities.

In the meantime, please remember to take the various precautions that will protect all of us, such as vigilance in washing your hands and using hand sanitizer and staying home if you feel sick.

Also, if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus and have been at Temple Beth Am since being in contact with that diagnosed individual, please alert the office immediately.

For more information about the coronavirus, please go to the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov) or contact the New York State Department of Health Hotline at 888-364-3065 or the Nassau County Coronavirus Call Center at 516-227-9570.

Should you have any questions or concerns, about the content of this email, please let us know. 


Sincerely,

Rabbi Michael Baum, Rabbi/Educational Director

Cantor Daniel Rosenfeld

Michael Krassner, Co-President

Elizabeth Roth, Co-President