Dear Shomrei Community,
I just returned from Sunday minyan on the Shomrei lawn under a beautiful warm November sun. Several of us gathered in prayer and it is so wonderful to be part of this community. We had some regulars attend as well as others that hadn’t been before. Originally, we thought we would pilot a minyan in the Social Hall beginning in November to test our safety protocols and we still plan to do that as long as our Medical Advisory team thinks it makes sense. However, with the weather cooperating we continue to be outside for as long as the weather is warm and sunny.
With the High Holidays long gone and the stress of Election week starting to calm down, I thought I would reach out to you (albeit virtual) to see how you are doing as well as to update you on what is going on at Shomrei.
The pandemic does not seem to have an end in sight at this point and, while we are hoping to have limited in person events/services, we continue to provide weekly live-streamed Shabbat services and a myriad of on-line programs and classes.
When I reached out to the Community in July right after I took on the presidency, I spoke about the formation of the Moving Forward Task Force. We spent the summer focusing on the High Holidays, building improvements and how to open the preschool safely. We drafted a Covid-19 Health and Safety policy that continues to evolve. As an update, we are still meeting regularly as is the Board of Trustees to find ways to engage each other and the greater community. There are people who are working on ideas for ritual, programming and educational opportunities. We have learned that many programs work well virtually and are looking at a hybrid model for others when we can gather safely.
We are now focused on what I call the 4 pillars as follows (i.) ritual events and observances; (ii.) education for all – both intergenerational and age appropriate programs including JLC and family programs, adult education and preschool; (iii.) strengthening our Community by creating connections; and (iv.) connecting the Community to the outside world. One example is the Havdalah service that we shared with 3 other area synagogues this past Shabbat.
I ask each of you to continue to reach out to fellow members and check how they are doing. The uncertainty of how and when we will be able to gather with the current increase in Covid cases can be very unsettling and a phone call or an email is so welcome. Please make a few calls this week and let me know what our members are saying. I know we are a strong community and we will weather this spike, but I am asking for suggestions and your help.
Please check Shomrei Week that our publications team works so hard on every week to let you know what is happening over the next few months. We are planning a Hanukkah celebration in December, @Nourish has some great programs, we are participating with other MetroWest synagogues to “see” Michael Solomonov, a renowned chef, we have monthly in person JLC events and Rabbi Greenstein continues to lead several classes. I know I have only mentioned a few so check our calendar for what is coming and attend those that are of interest to you. Also, let me know what we are doing well and what kinds of events you would like.
Hoping you are safe and well and I look forward to hearing from you soon.