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Young Israel of West Hartford COVID-19 Updates

Missed an update from the Young Israel?

All our emails are collected on this page!

As always, and especially now, please know that Miriam and Rabbi Brander are here for you and your family and for anything you may need! Please don't hesitate to reach out! 

Young Israel Update #11 - Thurs. 4/2

We continue to seek the best ways to communicate and connect with you, our beloved Young Israel family -- to ensure we can provide all the important communal, spiritual and pre-Pesach information while not bombarding our inboxes with a ceaseless amount of emails!

We are striving to share these updates several mornings a week to share all the important and exciting happenings going on. PLEASE HELP US OUT by dedicating a few moments to reading (or even skimming) each of our "Young Israel Update" emails!

Together -- we can be here for each other -- and get through this!



(1) Join our Virtual Good Shabbos
(2) Today's Minyanim & Shiurim Schedule
(3) SOCIAL CONNECTION CHABURAH for Teens with Yair & NCSY Advisors
(3) PesachPrep Resources, Sessions and Guides
(4) Get Ready for the 4th Laufer Sefira Challenge
(5) COVID-19 Joint Statement About Pesach
(6) IMPORTANT HALAKHIC MIKVEH UPDATE
(7) Let's Still Shabbat Together!! Pre Shabbat & Post Shabbat Programs!
(8) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs -- LET US KNOW!
(9) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(10) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository


Send a Virtual Shabbat Shalom!
Join our Virtual Shabbat Shalom greetings on Friday to our shul. We may not see each other at Kiddush but we can still wish everyone a Shabbat Shalom!
Send a 5-7 second video greeting from your family by 5 PM Thursday of each week to Morgan (our new admin) at admin@youngisraelwh.org. We will send out YIWH Virtual Shabbat Shalom to the shul on Friday afternoon!! Yes, even to you Gerry Goldberg!


Today's Schedule of Virtual Minyanim and Shiurim/Classes

All classes can be accessed via Zoom here or by phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#

Virtual Minyanim
Shacharit (Sunday) -- 8:15 am
Shacharit (Monday--Friday) -- 7:00 am
Mincha followed by Maariv (Sunday--Thursday) -- 7:00 pm

 


Social Connection Chaburah
All teens are invited to join a weekly Social Connection Chaburah! To balance the social distancing that we're all doing, it's important for us to find other ways to connect with each other. So join us on Thursday at 8:00 PM for a weekly Chaburah led by your NCSY advisors!

 

CLICK HERE TO SELL YOUR CHAMETZ

CLICK HERE to watch Rabbi Brander's first presentation on Pesach Made Easy: Preparing for Pesach in just TWO Days and join Rabbi Brander in touring our homes and discussing what needs to be done to get ready for Pesach including preparing one's home, kashering a kitchen for Pesach and more.

CLICK HERE to watch Rabbi Brander's second presentation on Why Is This Pesach Different From All Others and learn practically how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting our Pesach including information about selling of the Chametz (Mechirat Chametz), about the Fast of the Firstborns, about Biyur Chametz (Burning of the Chametz), about Toveling Keilim and other contemporary situation related matters.

CLICK HERE to watch Seder Leader Survival Guide: Tips for a Successful Seder presented in partnership with Rabbi Brander and Rabbi Stu Grant. For the first part of this Zoom, Rabbi Brander will also be offering a Halachically valid creative alternative in order to share the seder experience with family/friends which should be a "game-changer" for many. 

PLUS DONT MISS THIS YEAR'S REVISED YOUNG ISRAEL 2020 PESACH GUIDE (CLICK HERE)

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP
 
 
 
 

IMPORTANT MIKVEH HALAKHIC UPDATE 

As we all continue to track carefully the latest news and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 virus, I would like to applaud the leadership of our local Bess Israel Mikveh for their ceaseless efforts to keep our mikveh open and operating safely.

As I shared last week, according to the CDC the coronavirus bacteria is not passed through chlorinated water. Our mikveh staff and shomeret continue to maintain proper ph and chlorine levels and spacing appointments 20 minutes apart to ensure all surfaces can be sanitized between each user. They continue to ask that all appointments be made 48 hours in advance in order to ensure proper spacing. 

That said, in consultation with Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva University and Posek for the Orthodox Union, I am highly encouraging an additional safety measure for those using our local mikveh. While normally one refrains from showering immediately following immersion, in light of the current situation, I would highly recommend and encourage that "each woman shower immediately upon returning home from the Mikveh". This is not, God forbid, to suggest that our mikveh is not safe -- our mikveh continues to do everything and more to ensure the mikveh can to continue to operate safely -- rather this is just another instance where a Halakhic stringency of not showering is superseded by our ceaseless quest to protect our personal health and communal wellbeing.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly. The formal responsa by Rabbi Schachter can be found (in English) here.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Tuvia Brander

 

Young Israel Update #10 Wed 4/1

We continue to seek the best ways to communicate and connect with you, our beloved Young Israel family -- to ensure we can provide all the important communal, spiritual and pre-Pesach information while not bombarding our inboxes with a ceaseless amount of emails!

We are striving to share these updates several mornings a week to share all the important and exciting happenings going on. PLEASE HELP US OUT by dedicating a few moments to reading (or even skimming) each of our "Young Israel Update" emails!

Together -- we can be here for each other -- and get through this!



(1) Join our Virtual Good Shabbos
(2) Today's Minyanim & Shiurim Schedule
(3) Pesach Prep Resources, Sessions and Guides
(4) Get Ready for the 4th Laufer Sefira Challenge
(5) COVID-19 Joint Statement About Pesach
(6) IMPORTANT HALAKHIC MIKVEH UPDATE
(7) Let's Still Shabbat Together!! Pre Shabbat & Post Shabbat Programs!
(8) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs -- LET US KNOW!
(9) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(10) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

 
Send a Virtual Shabbat Shalom! 
Join our Virtual Shabbat Shalom greetings on Friday to our shul. We may not see each other at Kiddush but we can still wish everyone a Shabbat Shalom!
Send a 5-7 second video greeting from your family by 5 PM Thursday of each week to Morgan (our new admin) at admin@youngisraelwh.org. We will send out YIWH Virtual Shabbat Shalom to the shul on Friday afternoon!! Yes, even to you Gerry Goldberg!
 

Today's Schedule of Virtual Minyanim and Shiurim/Classes

All classes can be accessed via Zoom here or by phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#

Virtual Minyanim
Shacharit (Sunday) -- 8:15 am
Shacharit (Monday--Friday) -- 7:00 am
Mincha followed by Maariv (Sunday--Thursday) -- 7:00 pm

Classes and Shiurim
TODAY, Wednesday (4/1)

11:45 AM: Pondering the Parasha: Vayikra Edition with Rabbi Brander  -- WILL NOT MEET THIS WEEK

8 PM: Seder Leader Survival Guide: Tips for a Succesful Seder presented in partnership with Rabbi Brander and Rabbi Stu Grant.
This is part 3 of Rabbi Brander's Pesach for Rookies and Returnees Series 
**For the first part of this Zoom, Rabbi Brander will also be offering a Halachically valid creative alternative in order to share the seder experience with family/friends which should be a "game-changer" for many.
 

 
CLICK HERE TO SELL YOUR CHAMETZ

CLICK HERE to watch Rabbi Brander's first presentation on Pesach Made Easy: Preparing for Pesach in just TWO Days and join Rabbi Brander in touring our homes and discussing what needs to be done to get ready for Pesach including preparing one's home, kashering a kitchen for Pesach and more.

CLICK HERE to watch Rabbi Brander's second presentation on Why Is This Pesach Different From All Others and learn practically how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting our Pesach including information about selling of the Chametz (Mechirat Chametz), about the Fast of the Firstborns, about Biyur Chametz (Burning of the Chametz), about Toveling Keilim and other contemporary situation related matters.

PLUS DONT MISS THIS YEAR'S REVISED YOUNG ISRAEL 2020 PESACH GUIDE (CLICK HERE)
 
 
 
 
 

IMPORTANT MIKVEH HALAKHIC UPDATE 

As we all continue to track carefully the latest news and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 virus, I would like to applaud the leadership of our local Bess Israel Mikveh for their ceaseless efforts to keep our mikveh open and operating safely.

As I shared last week, according to the CDC the coronavirus bacteria is not passed through chlorinated water. Our mikveh staff and shomeret continue to maintain proper ph and chlorine levels and spacing appointments 20 minutes apart to ensure all surfaces can be sanitized between each user. They continue to ask that all appointments be made 48 hours in advance in order to ensure proper spacing. 

That said, in consultation with Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva University and Posek for the Orthodox Union, I am highly encouraging an additional safety measure for those using our local mikveh. While normally one refrains from showering immediately following immersion, in light of the current situation, I would highly recommend and encourage that "each woman shower immediately upon returning home from the Mikveh". This is not, God forbid, to suggest that our mikveh is not safe -- our mikveh continues to do everything and more to ensure the mikveh can to continue to operate safely -- rather this is just another instance where a Halakhic stringency of not showering is superseded by our ceaseless quest to protect our personal health and communal wellbeing.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly. The formal responsa by Rabbi Schachter can be found (in English) here.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Tuvia Brander

 
 

Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.

Zoom Info and  Instructions 
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: www.youngisraelwh.org/zoom
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! 

If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. 

Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

Upcoming Week Schedule, Pesach Prep & Last Week Recap  Sun 3/29

This Week's Schedule of Virtual Minyanim and Shiurim/Classes

All classes can be accessed via Zoom here or by phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#

Virtual Minyanim
Shacharit (Sunday) -- 8:15 am
Shacharit (Monday--Friday) -- 7:00 am
Mincha followed by Maariv (Sunday--Thursday) -- 7:00 pm

Classes and Shiurim
Sunday (3/29)
9 am: Talmud Class with guest presenter Yair Lichtman 

Monday (3/30) 
11:45 am: Four Questions, Four Sons and Five Cups of Wine? with Yair Lichtman
8 pm: Why is this Pesach Different From All Others? Addressing The Unique Situation and interactive Q&A. Rabbi Brander will address explain the unique situation with selling chametz, toveling kelim, burning the chametz and much more. Plus he will be taking questions. Please feel free to submit them in advance to admin@youngisraelwh.org.
This is part 2 of Rabbi Brander's Pesach for Rookies and Returnees Series. 

Wednesday (4/1)
11:45 AM: Pondering the Parasha: Vayikra Edition with Rabbi Brander  -- WILL NOT MEET THIS WEEK
8 PM: Seder Leader Survival Guide: Tips for a Succesful Seder presented in partnership with Rabbi Brander and Rabbi Stu Grant.
This is part 3 of Rabbi Brander's Pesach for Rookies and Returnees Series

 
Questions about selling of the Chametz (Mechirat Chametz), Fast of the Firstborns, Biyur Chametz (Burning of the Chametz), Toveling Keilim and other contemporary situation related matters will be addressed on Monday at part two of this series called Why Is This Pesach Different For All Other? 
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A PESACH QUESTION
 
Missed the first of Rabbi Brander's Pesach for Rookies & Returnees Series: Pesach Made Easy: Preparing for Pesach in just TWO Days? Don't Worry! 

Catch Pesach Made Easy: Preparing for Pesach in just TWO Days here. With Rabbi Brander, tour our homes and discuss what needs to be done to get ready for Pesach. Review topics including preparing one's home, kashering a kitchen for Pesach and more.

Click Here To Listen
Download YI Kashering Mini Guide
Missed this week's musical havadallah? Check it out here! 
 

Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.

Zoom Info and  Instructions 
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: www.youngisraelwh.org/zoom
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! 

If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. 

Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

Young Israel Update #9 - Fri 3/27 Shabbat Schedule, Shabbat Video Contest, Kabbalat Shabbat Sing Along, and much more!

PLEASE PLEASE take a few moments and review this email! It contains important updates, information about upcoming events and a plethora of other things!

Good Morning,

Thank you, everyone, again for your well wishes and joining us this morning. Miriam, Amalya Hodaya, Lielle Adira and I feel so blessed to be part of this warm community and Young Israel family.

As we move into Nisan and gear up to celebrate Pesach, we are reminded that we aim not only to mark our historic redemption from Egypt but to cultivate and exhibit true freedom in our lives even today. While we do not get to choose the circumstances we live in, it is our choice how we respond and react. Do we seize the moment to embrace and reflect on the family and friends we have in our lives? Do we take action to preach and protect everyone in our community and society by proactively engaging in social distancing, staying home unless absolutely necessary and forgoing meet up and playdates even in small settings? Do we seize the moment to transform everything we do into the precious mitzvah of saving another person's life? That choice is ours!

As always, and especially now, please know that Miriam and I are here for you and anything you may need! Please don't hesitate to reach out!

Wishing us all a Shabbat filled with strength, good health and inspiration,

Rabbi Tuvia Brander


Below, this email includes various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) IMPORTANT COVID-19 Joint Statement About Pesach

(2) Pesach Wine Sale Deadline -- TOMORROW
(3) Young Israel Shabbat Video Contest!!
(4) Let's Still Shabbat Together!! Pre Shabbat & Post Shabbat Programs!

(5) Shabbat Schedule for Shabbat Parashat Vayikra
(6) Mazel Tovs, Acknowledgments and Notes
(7)
This Week's Shiurim/Classes Schedule
(8) Preparing For Pesach - Recording of Pesach Made Easy: Cleaning For Pesach in 2 Days
(9) Update From Mikveh Bess Israel
(10) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs -- LET US KNOW!
(11) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(12) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

 

Joint Statement to the Orthodox Community
Regarding Pesach

Rabbinic leaders and organizations across the Orthodox spectrum have, individually, declared the health threat presented by COVID-19 a mortal threat (sakanas nefashos). We, leaders of major American Orthodox Jewish organizations, join together again to further clarify our shared and firm guidance for our communities.

We have heretofore urged not only full compliance with all health guidance issued by federal, state and local governments, but have gone beyond those pronouncements in urging our communities to remain at home and avoid, to the maximum extent feasible, any outside interactions.

With regard to the upcoming Pesach holiday, we note specifically the following critical mandates, shared in consultation with leading infectious disease and public health experts:

1. We are accustomed to honoring Pesach to the fullest degree, including taking haircuts, purchasing new clothing and tableware, and preparing the fullest menus. This year’s public health crisis mandates us to significantly limit all of the above. Our responsibility is to refrain from any NON-ESSENTIAL outside interactions, including especially in-store shopping. If there is a need for truly ESSENTIAL purchases, send one family member only – who is neither ill, vulnerable, nor of known exposure to COVID-19 – as rarely and as briefly as possible. Stores serving the community should shift to home delivery or drive-by parking lot pick-up of pre-orders, and – to the extent this is not possible – must take substantive steps to minimize crowding, maintain hygiene, and maximize social distancing.

We will truly honor Pesach by limiting our purchases to the truly ESSENTIAL, ensuring that all of us – especially the vulnerable – are able to celebrate Pesach in good health. We must STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES.

2. The Pesach plans of many have been completely upended. This creates severe difficulty for so many. We are deeply sympathetic to this enormous difficulty. Nevertheless, public health demands strict adherence to the current guidance. Travel to other cities must be cancelled, whether to vacation venues (Florida, etc.) or to family. Everyone must plan to celebrate Pesach where they are currently.

Individuals living alone or those absolutely unable to prepare for Pesach may choose to self-quarantine for 14 days, and then – if asymptomatic – may join with a welcoming local family that is similarly asymptomatic and that has been disciplined in staying home and limiting their interactions outside the home to the absolute minimum as described above.

These guests may join one family only for the duration, without additional company, and must carefully observe the mandated standards of scrupulous hygiene and social distancing. The elderly and high risk must seek medical advice before considering this.

STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES

We urge one and all – while strictly maintaining the prescribed guidelines – to look out for each other by reaching out to and providing for each other, especially those living alone.

We hope and pray that our sincere tefillos (prayers) and chassadim (acts of kindness) will move Hashem to swiftly remove this plague from the world and bless us all with health, peace and tranquility.

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Executive Vice President, Agudath Israel of America Rabbi Mendy Mirocznick, Executive Vice-President, Igud HaRabbanim - Rabbinical Alliance of America
Rabbi Shmuel Blech, Chairman, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Weisberg, Co-Chair, The Lakewood Vaad
Farley Weiss, President, National Council of Young Israel
Moishe Bane, President, Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President, the Orthodox Union Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, President, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Council of America

Download the full statement

 

Pesach Wine Sale -- Deadline TOMORROW!
Finally, we have a wine sale for this Pesach! Our apologies sorry for the delay. This year, we will be using Kosherwine.com for our wine sale. This will enable us to get wine delievered directly to our door without needing to go out and enabling us all to observe the essential social distancing.

To order, follow these 4 easy steps!!

(1) Print out this year's wine list (click here).

(2) Use the order sheet attached to fill in the wines you want, their price & the total. Please note the total number of bottles must be a multiple of 12, though items may be mixed.

(3) Fill out the shipping information with your home address, credit card information and etc.

(4) Scan and email this completed form to Steven Luger at swluger2@yahoo.com or drop it off at his home (37 Miamis Dr)

EASY EASY!!!

Don’t see a wine you want to order? Go to Kosherwine.com, see if it is in stock and add it to your order.

Orders MUST be in to Steve Luger by Friday March 27
DO NOT SEND ORDERS TO DIRECTLY TO KOSHERWINE.COM

Please note, tax will be added this (since it is being shipped directly to your home). We apologize for the short window! Chag kasher v'sameach

Questions? Ask Steven Luger at swluger2@yahoo.com.

 
Join this week's Shabbat Video Contest! Kids of all ages are invited to prepare videos of their family's Shabbat preparations. Send your video to YouthDirector@YoungIsraelWH.org to be entered into a raffle for an Amazon gift card!
 
 

Shabbat Schedule for March 27-28
Parashat Vayikra


All Zoom programs can be accessed either by computer (youngisraelwh.org/zoom) or on the phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#.

Erev Shabbat Friday, March 27
7:00 am – Virtual Shacharit on Zoom
11:45 amVirtual Tot Shabbat (Shabbat Morning Groups Ages 5 and under) with Becca Maurer
5:45 pmKabbalat Shabbat Sing Along with Rabbi Brander and Hudi Kowalsky
6:53 pm – Candle Lighting
6:58 pm – Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat (at home)*
7:40 pm – Repeat Shema after

Shabbat, March 28
9:00 am – Shacharit, Torah Reading & Musaf* (see below for instructions for davening at home)
9:49 am – Sof Zman Kiryat Shema (Latest Shema)
1:28 pm – Earliest Mincha (and before 7:13 pm)
7:55 pm – Havadalah and Shabbat Ends
8:10 pmVirtual Communal Havadalah with Sam Leichtberg and Stu Miller

Sunday, March 29 – Thursday, April 2
8:15 am – Virtual Shacharit on Zoom (Sunday)
9:00 amGemara Class by Yair Litchman on Zoom (Sunday)
7:00 am – Virtual Shacharit on Zoom (Monday-Thursday)
7:00 pm – Virtual Mincha & Maariv on Zoom

Erev Shabbat – Friday, April 3
7:00 am – Virtual Shacharit on Zoom
11:45 am – Virtual Tot Shabbat (Shabbat Morning Groups Ages 5 and under) with Becca Maurer
5:45 pm – Kabbalat Shabbat Sing Along with Rabbi Brander and Hudi Kowalsky
7:01 pm – Candle Lighting


**Shabbat Schedule
Under conditions in which we are unable to pray together in the same space, our sages felt that praying together at the same time serves as a virtual-bridge between us and binds our prayers into a force beyond compare.
Let us all, to the extent that we can, aim to begin davening in our homes tonight as Shabbat comes in (around 6:58 PM) and tomorrow at 9am (the latest time for the Shacharit Amidah is 10:50 am; the latest time for the Shema is 9:48 am). The earliest time for Mincha is 1:27 pm-which should ideally be davened before seudah shlishit, which in turn, should begin sometime before 7:12 pm.

Davening Protocol

  • Certain parts of Tefilah are omitted when davening individually:
    • including Barachu, Kaddish, Chazarat ha-Shatz (the repetition of the Amidah), and Kedusha
    • Friday night: Omit the blessing of Magen Avos (berachaachat me'ein shevah) after the Shemoneh Esrei of Maariv.
    • Shabbat day: Omit Berich Shemeih (yes Matthew). Ashkenazim also omit Yekum Perkan and Av Ha-Rachamim(since we are in Nisan).
  • Pitum HaKetoret, which follows Ein Kelokeinu, is seen as a particularly potent prayer at a time of need, especially in the context of the spread of disease, as the incense
  • At the end of davening, Tehillim (Psalm) 130 can be added as a way of focusing our attention on the dire needs of those suffering from the virus and in the hopes that our actions will limit its spread and severity.

Torah Reading
While Torah reading, in its most ideal sense, requires a true Sefer Torah, in lieu of that possibility our best option is to read the Parsha (Vayikra) and the Haftarah (Isaiah 43:21-44:23) from a whole Tanakh. If one doesn't have a whole Tanakh at home, reading from a Chumash is the next best option. Artscroll has generously made available this week's Parsha and Haftorah for free; you can download and print a copy here: http://www.artscroll.com/vayikradownload.html
The reading for Mincha need not be read from a Tanakh or Chumash, and reading it in the back the siddur suffices.

Havdalah:
Please make Havdalah in your homes once Shabbat has departed, after 7:55 pm. Everyone is then invited to participate in a community-wide virtual Havdalah, as per the call-in instructions contained at the bottom of this email. Though one cannot fulfill the obligation to say Havdalah through technological media (unless under pressing circumstances), one is welcome to say 'Amen' to any berakhot heard contemporaneously (i.e. live).

 
Mazel Tov to Naomi & David Rosen on the birth of a granddaughter, Maya Ruth, to Naomi's daughter, Ilana & Mitch Harris!

Mazel Tov to Miriam & Rabbi Tuvia Brander on the birth of a baby girl, Lielle Adira

Mazel Tov to Darona & David Hersh on the birth of a baby girl, Liana Pearl
 

10 Tips To Enhance Your Shabbat This Week!!

1. Print out something uplifting to read on Shabbat. Here is the one day of the week that we have to focus on our spiritual aspirations. In the absence of communal prayer, let’s think proactively about alternative ways to allow our spirits to soar.

2. Reach out to someone older or under quarantine. Let them know that they are not alone and that you are thinking of them.

3. Download and print Yair Lichtman's Youth Shabbat Survival Guide (here)

4. Dress for Shabbat. We won’t be in shul, but we can still accord Shabbat the dignity and kavod it so richly deserves by dressing as if we were going to shul.

5. If we can’t daven together literally, let’s at least daven together at the same time. We’ll start our Morning davening at home at 9am. (I promise we’ll end before 11am.)

6. Please recite this special Tefillah for the victims of the coronavirus.

7. Think about someone you miss seeing in shul. Either call them before Shabbat or make a mental note to call him/her after Havdalah.

8. Think about a favorite shul moment from Shabbat morning.

9. Sing. I know that in my own life, shul is the place where I do the most singing. Join us for our musical Kabbalat Shabbat and sing with us AND join us for a communal Havdalah as well. You can either Zoom in from a computer or just call in on your phone. (go to youngisraelwh.org/zoom)

10. Our conversation and our mental energy have become entirely consumed by the coronavirus. As Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, Shabbat is a sanctuary in time. We may not be in our literal sanctuary, but we can still use Shabbat to carve out this temporal sanctuary. Conservatively, let’s set aside an hour during which talk and thought of coronavirus is off limits. (And then I would invite you to transport this model into the rest of the week.)

 

This Week's Shiurim/Classes Schedule
All classes can be accessed via Zoom here or by phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#

Sunday (3/29) -- 9 am: Talmud Class with guest presenter Yair Lichtman

Monday (3/30) -- 11:14 am: Four Questions, Four Sons and Five Cups of Wine? with Yair Lichtman

Monday (3/30) -- 8 pm: Why is this Pesach Different From All Others? Addressing The Unique Situation and interactive Q&A. Rabbi Brander will address explain the unique situation with selling chametz, toveling kelim, burning the chametz and much more. Plus he will be taking questions. Please feel free to submit them in advance to admin@youngisraelwh.org.
This is part 2 of Rabbi Brander's Pesach for Rookies and Returnees Series.


Wednesday (4/1) -- 11:45 AM: Pondering the Parasha: Vayikra Edition with Rabbi Brander -- WILL NOT MEET THIS WEEK

Wednesday (4/1) -- 8 PM: Seder Leader Survival Guide: Tips for a Succesful Seder
This is part 3 of Rabbi Brander's Pesach for Rookies and Returnees Series

 
Missed the first of Rabbi Brander's Pesach for Rookies & Returnees Series: Pesach Made Easy: Preparing for Pesach in just TWO Days? Don't Worry!

Catch Pesach Made Easy: Preparing for Pesach in just TWO Days here. With Rabbi Brander, tour our homes and discuss what needs to be done to get ready for Pesach. Review topics including preparing one's home, kashering a kitchen for Pesach and more.

Click Here To Listen
Questions about selling of the Chametz (Mechirat Chametz), Fast of the Firstborns, Biyur Chametz (Burning of the Chametz), Toveling Keilim and other contemporary situation related matters will be address on Sunday at part two of this series called Why Is This Pesach Different For All Other?
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A PESACH QUESTION
 

UPDATE FROM MIKVEH BESS ISRAEL

We at Mikveh Bess Israel are closely tracking the progress of the coronavirus outbreak and following the guidelines put forth by the CDC, doctors, and Rabonim very closely to ensure the safety of all our users. According to the CDC the coronavirus bacteria is not passed through chlorinated water. We are maintaining proper ph and chlorine levels and spacing appointments 20 minutes apart. Please be sure to make your appointment 48 hours in advance so we ensure proper spacing of users.

  1. this time the Mikveh is only open for the purpose of Teharat Hamishpacha. We will be sanitizing the Mikveh and all surfaces between each user. If you have been told to quarantine yourself or a member of your family is sick, please reach out for further guidance. The Mikveh is only open at this moment to healthy individuals, whose family members display no symptoms.

We recommend all Mikveh preparations be done at home including the final shower, which should be done right before coming to the Mikveh. When you arrive at the Mikveh, do a final inspection and comb your hair. We will do an extra dip in the Mikvah to rinse off before Toveling (like Friday night) instead of the shower in the Mikveh building. If you do not have access to a bathtub or cannot prepare at home, please reach out for guidance.

What to expect at the Mikveh:

  • Upon arrival all users will be guided to take off their jacket and shoes, and immediately wash their hands. Linens will be given out as needed (all linens in the bathroom need to be washed after. This will help reduce unnecessary laundry.)
  • The Mikveh attendant will maintain a 6-foot distance and sanitize her hands before and after each Tevilah.
  • For your safety we will also be sanitizing each room and the Mikveh between each use.

We will be sending out periodic updates via whatsapp broadcast. To be included in this list please make sure you have Aidy Rubin's number saved in your phone. If she does not have your number but you wish to receive updates, please message her at 858-254-8536.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Michele Schwanke, President

Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other. We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow. We are preparing to support our community on many levels. If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support. If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.


Zoom Info and Instructions
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!!
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: www.youngisraelwh.org/zoom
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #.


Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together!

If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way.


Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

Young Israel Coronavirus Email #8: Conversations in coping TONIGHT, Wine, Sale, and much more

Good Morning,

PLEASE PLEASE take a few moments and review this email! It contains important updates, information about upcoming events and a plethora of other things!

Thank you everyone again for your well wishes. We look forward to naming our beautiful new daughter, God willing, Thursday over Zoom -- more details to come. We hope you will all be able to join us!

Just a reminder that tonight is Rosh Chodesh Nisan!! We celebrate in Nisan not only our historic redemption but a belief and conviction that our entire people and world continually are redeemed in Nisan! God willing, this Nisan will hold all levels of redemption for us and the entire world!

As always, and especially now, please know that Miriam and I are here for you and anything you may need! Please don't hesitate to reach out!

Wishing us all a day filled with strength, good health and inspiration,

Rabbi Tuvia Brander


Below, this email includes various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) IMPORTANT COVID-19 Joint Statement About Pesach
(2&3) Weekly Schedule of Tefillah 'Minyan' Zoom and Shiurim/Classes

(4) TONIGHT: Conversations in Coping: Virtual Support Group -- Wed 3/25
(5) Pesach Wine Sale
(6) Rosh Chodesh Tehillim Group TONIGHT on Zoom
(7) Update From Mikveh Bess Israel
(8) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs -- LET US KNOW!
(9) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(10) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

 

Joint Statement to the Orthodox Community
Regarding Pesach

Rabbinic leaders and organizations across the Orthodox spectrum have, individually, declared the health threat presented by COVID-19 a mortal threat (sakanas nefashos). We, leaders of major American Orthodox Jewish organizations, join together again to further clarify our shared and firm guidance for our communities.

We have heretofore urged not only full compliance with all health guidance issued by federal, state and local governments, but have gone beyond those pronouncements in urging our communities to remain at home and avoid, to the maximum extent feasible, any outside interactions.

With regard to the upcoming Pesach holiday, we note specifically the following critical mandates, shared in consultation with leading infectious disease and public health experts:

1. We are accustomed to honoring Pesach to the fullest degree, including taking haircuts, purchasing new clothing and tableware, and preparing the fullest menus. This year’s public health crisis mandates us to significantly limit all of the above. Our responsibility is to refrain from any NON-ESSENTIAL outside interactions, including especially in-store shopping. If there is a need for truly ESSENTIAL purchases, send one family member only – who is neither ill, vulnerable, nor of known exposure to COVID-19 – as rarely and as briefly as possible. Stores serving the community should shift to home delivery or drive-by parking lot pick-up of pre-orders, and – to the extent this is not possible – must take substantive steps to minimize crowding, maintain hygiene, and maximize social distancing.

We will truly honor Pesach by limiting our purchases to the truly ESSENTIAL, ensuring that all of us – especially the vulnerable – are able to celebrate Pesach in good health. We must STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES.

2. The Pesach plans of many have been completely upended. This creates severe difficulty for so many. We are deeply sympathetic to this enormous difficulty. Nevertheless, public health demands strict adherence to the current guidance. Travel to other cities must be cancelled, whether to vacation venues (Florida, etc.) or to family. Everyone must plan to celebrate Pesach where they are currently.

Individuals living alone or those absolutely unable to prepare for Pesach may choose to self-quarantine for 14 days, and then – if asymptomatic – may join with a welcoming local family that is similarly asymptomatic and that has been disciplined in staying home and limiting their interactions outside the home to the absolute minimum as described above.

These guests may join one family only for the duration, without additional company, and must carefully observe the mandated standards of scrupulous hygiene and social distancing. The elderly and high risk must seek medical advice before considering this.

STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES

We urge one and all – while strictly maintaining the prescribed guidelines – to look out for each other by reaching out to and providing for each other, especially those living alone.

We hope and pray that our sincere tefillos (prayers) and chassadim (acts of kindness) will move Hashem to swiftly remove this plague from the world and bless us all with health, peace and tranquility.

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Executive Vice President, Agudath Israel of America Rabbi Mendy Mirocznick, Executive Vice-President, Igud HaRabbanim - Rabbinical Alliance of America
Rabbi Shmuel Blech, Chairman, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Weisberg, Co-Chair, The Lakewood Vaad
Farley Weiss, President, National Council of Young Israel
Moishe Bane, President, Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President, the Orthodox Union Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, President, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Council of America

Download the full statement

(2) Daily Tefillah Zoom - Virtual 'Minyanim' Together
Add some Tefillah and Torah to your routine, join us for our twice daily virtual davening get-together. Together, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time.

This week, 3/22 - 3/27, we will be davening Shacharit at 7 AM and Mincha followed by Maariv at 6:55 PM.


All of them can be accessed either by computer (youngisraelwh.org/zoom) or on the phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#.

(3) This Week's Shiurim/Classes Schedule
All classes can be accessed via Zoom here or by phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#

Monday (3/23) -- 11 am: Study in Responsa: Rav Moshe Feinstein's Position on Cheating On Tests with Yair Lichtman

Wednesday (3/25) -- 11:45 AM: Pondering the Parasha: Vayikra Edition with Rabbi Brander -- WILL NOT MEET THIS WEEK

Thursday (3/26) -- 8 PM: Pesach Series for Rookies and Returnees Part 1: Making Pesach Made Easy: A Simple Guide in a Complicated Year with Rabbi Brander.

Have a Pesach question Thursday's session? Send it to rabbi@youngisraelwh.org!

(4) Conversations in Coping: Virtual Support Group
Aliza Schulman, LCSW, will conduct two virtual support groups about how to deal with anxiety, isolation from social distancing and getting along with your household members.

TONIGHT -- Wednesday, March 25 at 8:15 PM

Both can be joined online at youngisraelwh.org/zoom or by phone at (646) 558-8656 Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#


Aliza Schulman, LCSW is a psychotherapist, marriage counselor, lecturer, and workshop presenter. She specializes in helping adolescents and adults with relationship, anxiety and life cycle challenges.

(5) Pesach Wine Sale -- Deadline SOON!
Finally, we have a wine sale for this Pesach! Our apologies sorry for the delay. This year, we will be using Kosherwine.com for our wine sale. This will enable us to get wine delievered directly to our door without needing to go out and enabling us all to observe the essential social distancing.

To order, follow these 4 easy steps!!

(1) Print out this year's wine list (click here).

(2) Use the order sheet attached to fill in the wines you want, their price & the total. Please note the total number of bottles must be a multiple of 12, though items may be mixed.

(3) Fill out the shipping information with your home address, credit card information and etc.

(4) Scan and email this completed form to Steven Luger at swluger2@yahoo.com or drop it off at his home (37 Miamis Dr)

EASY EASY!!!

Don’t see a wine you want to order? Go to Kosherwine.com, see if it is in stock and add it to your order.

Orders MUST be in to Steve Luger by Friday March 27
DO NOT SEND ORDERS TO DIRECTLY TO KOSHERWINE.COM

Please note, tax will be added this (since it is being shipped directly to your home). We apologize for the short window! Chag kasher v'sameach

Questions? Ask Steven Luger at swluger2@yahoo.com.

(6) Women's Tehillim Group -- Virtual Meeting Tonight
Join our second Virtual Tehillim Meeting, tonight, Wednesday, March 25th at 7:30 PM.
For those who have not been to a Tehillim Meeting, the 150 Tehillim chapters are normally divided up into 24 booklets that cover the 150 chapters. We (all those who are present) then read through the books (chapters) until we have finished it all.
Please sign up at the link below to read a few chapters with us. Here is a LINK to sign up for a section. You can access all of Tehillim in Hebrew and English here: https://www.sefaria.org/Psalms.1?lang=bi or https://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2601.htm

To join our Tehillim meeting via Zoom, you can either join online by clicking here: youngisraelwh.org/zoom or by calling in to 646 558 8656 and using Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by #

(7) UPDATE FROM MIKVEH BESS ISRAEL

We at Mikveh Bess Israel are closely tracking the progress of the coronavirus outbreak and following the guidelines put forth by the CDC, doctors, and Rabonim very closely to ensure the safety of all our users. According to the CDC the coronavirus bacteria is not passed through chlorinated water. We are maintaining proper ph and chlorine levels and spacing appointments 20 minutes apart. Please be sure to make your appointment 48 hours in advance so we ensure proper spacing of users.

  1. this time the Mikveh is only open for the purpose of Teharat Hamishpacha. We will be sanitizing the Mikveh and all surfaces between each user. If you have been told to quarantine yourself or a member of your family is sick, please reach out for further guidance. The Mikveh is only open at this moment to healthy individuals, whose family members display no symptoms.

We recommend all Mikveh preparations be done at home including the final shower, which should be done right before coming to the Mikveh. When you arrive at the Mikveh, do a final inspection and comb your hair. We will do an extra dip in the Mikvah to rinse off before Toveling (like Friday night) instead of the shower in the Mikveh building. If you do not have access to a bathtub or cannot prepare at home, please reach out for guidance.

What to expect at the Mikveh:

  • Upon arrival all users will be guided to take off their jacket and shoes, and immediately wash their hands. Linens will be given out as needed (all linens in the bathroom need to be washed after. This will help reduce unnecessary laundry.)
  • The Mikveh attendant will maintain a 6-foot distance and sanitize her hands before and after each Tevilah.
  • For your safety we will also be sanitizing each room and the Mikveh between each use.

We will be sending out periodic updates via whatsapp broadcast. To be included in this list please make sure you have Aidy Rubin's number saved in your phone. If she does not have your number but you wish to receive updates, please message her at 858-254-8536.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Michele Schwanke, President

(8) Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other. We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow. We are preparing to support our community on many levels. If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support. If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.


(9) Zoom Info and Instructions
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!!
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: www.youngisraelwh.org/zoom
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #.


Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together!

If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way.


(10)Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

Young Israel Coronavirus Email #7: NEW NATIONAL MEDICAL GUIDANCE FOR PESACH

Good Morning, 

PLEASE PLEASE take a few moments and review this email! It contains important updates, information about upcoming events and a plethora of other things! 

Thank you everyone for your well wishes. We look forward to naming our beautiful new daugther, God willing, Thursday over Zoom -- more details to come. We hope you will all be able to join us!

As always, and especially now, please know that Miriam and I are here for you and anything you may need! Please don't hesitate to reach out! 

Wishing us all a day filled with strength, good health and inspiration,

Rabbi Tuvia Brander


Below, this email includes various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) IMPORTANT COVID-19 Joint Statement About Pesach
(2&3) Weekly Schedule of Tefillah 'Minyan' Zoom and Shiurim/Classes

(4) TODAY: Conversations in Coping: Virtual Support Group -- Tues 3/24 & Wed 3/25
(5) Pesach Wine Sale
(6) Update From Mikveh Bess Israel
(7) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs -- LET US KNOW!
(8) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(9) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

 

Joint Statement to the Orthodox Community
Regarding Pesach

 

Rabbinic leaders and organizations across the Orthodox spectrum have, individually, declared the health threat presented by COVID-19 a mortal threat (sakanas nefashos). We, leaders of major American Orthodox Jewish organizations, join together again to further clarify our shared and firm guidance for our communities.

We have heretofore urged not only full compliance with all health guidance issued by federal, state and local governments, but have gone beyond those pronouncements in urging our communities to remain at home and avoid, to the maximum extent feasible, any outside interactions.

With regard to the upcoming Pesach holiday, we note specifically the following critical mandates, shared in consultation with leading infectious disease and public health experts:

1. We are accustomed to honoring Pesach to the fullest degree, including taking haircuts, purchasing new clothing and tableware, and preparing the fullest menus. This year’s public health crisis mandates us to significantly limit all of the above. Our responsibility is to refrain from any NON-ESSENTIAL outside interactions, including especially in-store shopping. If there is a need for truly ESSENTIAL purchases, send one family member only – who is neither ill, vulnerable, nor of known exposure to COVID-19 – as rarely and as briefly as possible. Stores serving the community should shift to home delivery or drive-by parking lot pick-up of pre-orders, and – to the extent this is not possible – must take substantive steps to minimize crowding, maintain hygiene, and maximize social distancing.

We will truly honor Pesach by limiting our purchases to the truly ESSENTIAL, ensuring that all of us – especially the vulnerable – are able to celebrate Pesach in good health. We must STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES.

2. The Pesach plans of many have been completely upended. This creates severe difficulty for so many. We are deeply sympathetic to this enormous difficulty. Nevertheless, public health demands strict adherence to the current guidance. Travel to other cities must be cancelled, whether to vacation venues (Florida, etc.) or to family. Everyone must plan to celebrate Pesach where they are currently.

Individuals living alone or those absolutely unable to prepare for Pesach may choose to self-quarantine for 14 days, and then – if asymptomatic – may join with a welcoming local family that is similarly asymptomatic and that has been disciplined in staying home and limiting their interactions outside the home to the absolute minimum as described above.

These guests may join one family only for the duration, without additional company, and must carefully observe the mandated standards of scrupulous hygiene and social distancing. The elderly and high risk must seek medical advice before considering this.

STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES

We urge one and all – while strictly maintaining the prescribed guidelines – to look out for each other by reaching out to and providing for each other, especially those living alone.

We hope and pray that our sincere tefillos (prayers) and chassadim (acts of kindness) will move Hashem to swiftly remove this plague from the world and bless us all with health, peace and tranquility.

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Executive Vice President, Agudath Israel of America Rabbi Mendy Mirocznick, Executive Vice-President, Igud HaRabbanim - Rabbinical Alliance of America
Rabbi Shmuel Blech, Chairman, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Weisberg, Co-Chair, The Lakewood Vaad
Farley Weiss, President, National Council of Young Israel
Moishe Bane, President, Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President, the Orthodox Union Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, President, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Council of America


Download the full statement

(2) Daily Tefillah Zoom - Virtual 'Minyanim' Together 
Add some Tefillah and Torah to your routine, join us for our twice daily virtual davening get-together. Together, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time. 

This week, 3/22 - 3/27, we will be davening Shacharit at 7 AM and Mincha followed by Maariv at 6:55 PM.


All of them can be accessed either by computer (youngisraelwh.org/zoom) or on the phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#.

(3) This Week's Shiurim/Classes Schedule
All classes can be accessed via Zoom here or by phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#

Monday (3/23) -- 11 am: Study in Responsa: Rav Moshe Feinstein's Position on Cheating On Tests with Yair Lichtman

Wednesday (3/25) -- 11:45 AM: Pondering the Parasha: Vayikra Edition with Rabbi Brander  -- WILL NOT MEET THIS WEEK

Thursday (3/26) -- 8 PM: Pesach Series for Rookies and Returnees Part 1: Making Pesach Made Easy: A Simple Guide in a Complicated Year with Rabbi Brander. 

(4) Conversations in Coping: Virtual Support Group
Aliza Schulman, LCSW, will conduct two virtual support groups about how to deal with anxiety, isolation from social distancing and getting along with your household members.


TODAY -- Tuesday, March 24 at 12 noon
Wednesday, March 25 at 8:15 PM


Both can be joined online at 
youngisraelwh.org/zoom or by phone at (646) 558-8656 Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#


Aliza Schulman, LCSW is a psychotherapist, marriage counselor, lecturer, and workshop presenter. She specializes in helping adolescents and adults with relationship, anxiety and life cycle challenges. 

(5) Pesach Wine Sale -- Deadline SOON!
Finally, we have a wine sale for this Pesach! Our apologies sorry for the delay. This year, we will be using Kosherwine.com for our wine sale. This will enable us to get wine delievered directly to our door without needing to go out and enabling us all to observe the essential social distancing. 

To order, follow these 4 easy steps!!

(1) Print out this year's wine list 
(click here).

(2) Use the order sheet attached to fill in the wines you want, their price & the total. Please note the total number of bottles must be a multiple of 12, though items may be mixed.

(3) Fill out the shipping information with your home address, credit card information and etc.

(4) Scan and email this completed form to Steven Luger at 
swluger2@yahoo.com or drop it off at his home (37 Miamis Dr)

 

EASY EASY!!!

Don’t see a wine you want to order? Go to Kosherwine.com, see if it is in stock and add it to your order.

Orders MUST be in to Steve Luger by Friday March 27

DO NOT SEND ORDERS TO DIRECTLY TO KOSHERWINE.COM

Please note, tax will be added this (since it is being shipped directly to your home). We apologize for the short window! Chag kasher v'sameach

Questions? Ask Steven Luger at swluger2@yahoo.com.

(6) UPDATE FROM MIKVEH BESS ISRAEL

We at Mikveh Bess Israel are closely tracking the progress of the coronavirus outbreak and following the guidelines put forth by the CDC, doctors, and Rabonim very closely to ensure the safety of all our users.  According to the CDC the coronavirus bacteria is not passed through chlorinated water.  We are maintaining proper ph and chlorine levels and spacing appointments 20 minutes apart.  Please be sure to make your appointment 48 hours in advance so we ensure proper spacing of users.  

At this time the Mikveh is only open for the purpose of Teharat Hamishpacha. We will be sanitizing the Mikveh and all surfaces between each user.  If you have been told to quarantine yourself or a member of your family is sick, please reach out for further guidance.  The Mikveh is only open at this moment to healthy individuals, whose family members display no symptoms.   

We recommend all Mikveh preparations be done at home including the final shower, which should be done right before coming to the Mikveh.  When you arrive at the Mikveh, do a final inspection and comb your hair. We will do an extra dip in the Mikvah to rinse off before Toveling (like Friday night) instead of the shower in the Mikveh building.  If you do not have access to a bathtub or cannot prepare at home, please reach out for guidance.

What to expect at the Mikveh:

  • Upon arrival all users will be guided to take off their jacket and shoes, and immediately wash their hands.  Linens will be given out as needed (all linens in the bathroom need to be washed after.  This will help reduce unnecessary laundry.)
  • The Mikveh attendant will maintain a 6-foot distance and sanitize her hands before and after each Tevilah.  
  • For your safety we will also be sanitizing each room and the Mikveh between each use. 

We will be sending out periodic updates via whatsapp broadcast. To be included in this list please make sure you have Aidy Rubin's number saved in your phone.  If she does not have your number but you wish to receive updates, please message her at 858-254-8536.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Michele Schwanke, President

(7) Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please 
donate here.


(8) Zoom Info and  Instructions
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: 
www.youngisraelwh.org/zoom
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 


Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! 

If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: 
CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. 


(9)Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at 
www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

3/22 - Young Israel Coronavirus Email #6: Important Information -- PLEASE READ

Good Evening, 

PLEASE PLEASE take a few moments and review this email! It contains important updates, information about upcoming events and a plethora of other things! 

As we go into a seond week of this brave (temporary) new world, we are sending you all lots of strength, love and support (from a safe distance of course). I, like so many of you, cannot help but feel a bit distant and alone; but let me assure you that we are alone together. We are here for you and so many have been here for us!

This coming week, we will be sending information in preparation for Pesach as well as so much many other things going on. We will be working to try to send a single email each day with all the important information. Please take a few minutes each morning to read it. It will continues to contain vital information about the current COVID-19 outbreak.

As always, and especially now, please know that Miriam and I are here for you and anything you may need! Please don't hesitate to reach out! 

Have a good evening and a week filled with strength and good health, 

Rabbi Tuvia Brander


Below, this email includes various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) IMPORTANT COVID-19 Health Reminder: STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES!!
(2&3) Weekly Schedule of Tefillah 'Minyan' Zoom and Shiurim/Classes

(4) Young Israel Trivia Fun (for you!)-- Monday 3/23 at 8:30 PM 
(5) Conversations in Coping: Virtual Support Group -- Tues 3/24 & Wed 3/25

(6) Pesach Wine Sale
(7) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs -- LET US KNOW!
(8) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(9) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

 
IMPORTANT HEALTH REMINDER!!!

STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES! This is a halachic imperative of the highest order
 that each and every one of us must obey for the sake of the health of our own families, communities and fellow citizens.
We cannot repeat this often enough. Stay home. Avoid groups, playdates or public interactions of any kind, for any purpose. Leave home only for essential needs and only if you are healthy, have not been exposed to the virus, and are not in a high risk category. Observance of this mandate is critical.

As we look towards Pesach, please prepare for the very real reality that beloved family, friends (especially those older and very young) will not be able to come spend Pesach with us here in West Hartford. To paraphrase the Talmud, better we spend one Pesach by ourselves in order to spend many other Pesach holidays together with family and friends in good health and happiness

(2) Daily Tefillah Zoom - Virtual 'Minyanim' Together 
Add some Tefillah and Torah to your routine, join us for our twice daily virtual davening get-together. Together, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time. 

This week, 3/22 - 3/27, we will be davening Shacharit at 7 AM and Mincha followed by Maariv at 6:55 PM.


All of them can be accessed either by computer (youngisraelwh.org/zoom) or on the phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#.

(3) This Week's Shiurim/Classes Schedule
All classes can be accessed via Zoom here or by phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#

Monday (3/23) -- 11 am: Study in Responsa: Rav Moshe Feinstein's Position on Cheating On Tests with Yair Lichtman

Wednesday (3/25) -- 11:45 AM: Pondering the Parasha: Vayikra Edition with Rabbi Brander 

Thursday (3/26) -- 8 PM: Pesach Series for Rookies and Returnees Part 1: Making Pesach Made Easy: A Simple Guide in a Complicated Year with Rabbi Brander. 

(4) Young Israel Trivia Fun: Take A Break -- We Know You Deserve It!
Monday, March 23 at 8:30 PM

This was supposed to be our shul's 50th Anniversary Celebration party ... so let's have some shul fun anyway! How well do you really know Young Israel?  Find out when we play a little Young Israel of West Hartford Trivia!! Take a well deserved 30 minute break to just relax and have a good time with your friends!  Have a pen and paper ready, numbered 1-25 for some old-fashion low-tech no-more-new-fangled-machine-run-contraptions. The person with the most answers correct will receive an incredible amount of self satisfaction plus a non-redeemable coupon for toliet paper and bathroom tissue! 
With your Trivia Host - David Rosen


All of them can be accessed either by computer (youngisraelwh.org/zoom) or on the phone at (646) 558-8656 and Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#.

(5) Conversations in Coping: Virtual Support Group
Aliza Schulman, LCSW, will conduct two virtual support groups about how to deal with anxiety, isolation from social distancing and getting along with your household members.

Tuesday, March 24 at 12 noon
Wednesday, March 25 at 8:15 PM


Both can be joined online at youngisraelwh.org/zoom or by phone at (646) 558-8656 Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#


Aliza Schulman, LCSW is a psychotherapist, marriage counselor, lecturer, and workshop presenter. She specializes in helping adolescents and adults with relationship, anxiety and life cycle challenges. 

(6) Pesach Wine Sale -- Deadline SOON!
Finally, we have a wine sale for this Pesach! Our apologies sorry for the delay. This year, we will be using Kosherwine.com for our wine sale. This will enable us to get wine delievered directly to our door without needing to go out and enabling us all to observe the essential social distancing. 

To order, follow these 4 easy steps!!

(1) Print out this year's wine list (click here).

(2) Use the order sheet attached to fill in the wines you want, their price & the total. Please note the total number of bottles must be a multiple of 12, though items may be mixed.

(3) Fill out the shipping information with your home address, credit card information and etc.

(4) Scan and email this completed form to Steven Luger at swluger2@yahoo.com or drop it off at his home (37 Miamis Dr)

 

EASY EASY!!!

Don’t see a wine you want to order? Go to Kosherwine.com, see if it is in stock and add it to your order.

Orders MUST be in to Steve Luger by Friday March 27
DO NOT SEND ORDERS TO DIRECTLY TO KOSHERWINE.COM

Please note, tax will be added this (since it is being shipped directly to your home). We apologize for the short window! Chag kasher v'sameach

Questions? Ask Steven Luger at swluger2@yahoo.com.

(7) Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.


(8) Zoom Info and  Instructions
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: www.youngisraelwh.org/zoom
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 


Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! 

If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. 


(9)Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

3/20 - Young Israel COVID-19 #6: Shabbat Schedule and more!! 

Good Morning Young Israel Family,

TGIF - Thank God, it is Erev Shabbos!!

Looking back at this past week, it is hard not to feel "wow, what a week it has been!". Our Young Israel is closed, schools are closed, work has been moved home, social distancing is all over -- our world has been turned upside down.

At the same time, I think about the incredible strength each of us has shown these past few days - managing shutdowns, juggling family, work and chesed, stepping up for those in need, reaching out to others and, not any less significant, getting to this Friday! Kol HaKavod -- we should all be proud of what this week has turned out to be for each one of us and our community as a whole. I certainly am! 

As we transition into a Shabbat perhaps unlike we have ever experienced before, it is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate these victories and successes and use them to propel us forward - through Shabbat and into next week. Below, you will find my top 10 tips for enhancing this upcoming Shabbat (plus a bonus feature courtesy of the Porat family!!).

Additionally, I hope you will join us for some of the exciting virtual opportunities for us to still 'Shabbat' together! Either before Shabbat or afterward, I encourage you to come online and connect with our Young Israel family and our cherished community! 

As always, and especially now, please know that Miriam and I are here for you and anything you may need! Please don't hesitate to reach out! 

Have a wonderful day, filled with strength and good health, 

Rabbi Tuvia Brander


Below, this email includes various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) Week-In-Review
(2) Friday Tefillah Zoom Continues
(3) Let's Still Do Shabbat: Pre & Post Shabbat Programs 
(4) Ten Tips For Preparing For This Shabbat
(5) Shabbat Schedule & Davening Instructions
(6) Next Week's Minyan & Classes Schedule 
(7) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs -- LET US KNOW!
(8) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(9) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

 
Virtual Davening Get-Togethers!
Youth Trivia Challenge & Tehillim Group



(2) Daily Tefillah Zoom - Virtual Davening Together 
Add some Tefillah and Torah to your routine, join us for our twice daily virtual davening get-together. Together, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time. 

This morning, Friday, we will be davening Shacharit at 6:45 AM.

See below for next week's schedule.
Direct computer link: www.youngisraelwh.org/zoom

(3) Let's Still Do Shabbat: Pre & Post Shabbat Programs


As we prepare for a very different sort of Shabbat this week, we will be hosting a number of virtual ways for us to still "Shabbat" Together!

Friday morning at 11:45 am, we will be hosting our Tot Shabbat Groups for children 6 and under.

Friday afternoon, everyone is invited and encouraged to join us for a Pre-Shabbat Musical Kabbalat Shabbat!

Plus, after Shabbat, don't miss our communal Havdallah and our adult Melaveh Malka Virtual Hangout afterwards!

All of them can be accessed either by computer (youngisraelwh.org/zoom) or on the phone by calling 1 (646) 558-8656 and using the Meeting ID: 685 094 0946#.

(4) 10 Tips To Enhance Your Shabbat This Week!!
1. Print out something uplifting to read on Shabbat. Here is the one day of the week that we have to focus on our spiritual aspirations. In the absence of communal prayer, let’s think proactively about alternative ways to allow our spirits to soar.

2. Reach out to someone older or under quarantine. Let them know that they are not alone and that you are thinking of them.

3. Download and print Yair Lichtman's Youth Shabbat Survival Guide (here) with Becca Maurer's pre-Shabbat activity (here)

4. Dress for Shabbat. We won’t be in shul, but we can still accord Shabbat the dignity and kavod it so richly deserves by dressing as if we were going to shul. 

5. If we can’t daven together literally, let’s at least daven together at the same time. We’ll start our Morning davening at home at 9am. (I promise we’ll end before 11am.)

6. Please recite this special Tefillah for the victims of the coronavirus.

7. Think about someone you miss seeing in shul. Either call them before Shabbat or make a mental note to call him/her after Havdalah.

8. Think about a favorite shul moment from Shabbat morning. 

9. Sing. I know that in my own life, shul is the place where I do the most singing. Join us for our musical Kabbalat Shabbat and sing with us AND join us for a communal Havdalah as well. You can either Zoom in from a computer or just call in on your phone. (go to youngisraelwh.org/zoom)

10. Our conversation and our mental energy have become entirely consumed by the coronavirus. As Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, Shabbat is a sanctuary in time. We may not be in our literal sanctuary, but we can still use Shabbat to carve out this temporal sanctuary. Conservatively, let’s set aside an hour during which talk and thought of coronavirus is off limits. (And then I would invite you to transport this model into the rest of the week.)

PLUS!! Just to bring a little bit of the Young Israel to you, I am thrilled to share this short taste of Shabbat services at our shul (courtesy of the Porat family!)

Click here
Want to be featured next week -- send Yair Lichtman your clip at youthdirector@youngisraelwh.org!

(5) Shabbat Schedule & Davening Instructions

Shabbat Schedule

Candle Lighting tomorrow is 6:45 PM

Under conditions in which we are unable to pray together in the same space, our sages felt that praying together at the same time serves as a virtual-bridge between us and binds our prayers into a force beyond compare.

Let us all, to the extent that we can, aim to begin davening Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv in our homes tonight as Shabbat comes in (around 6:46 PM) and tomorrow at 9am (the latest time for the Shacharit Amidah is 10:56 am; the latest time for the Shema is 9:55 am). The earliest time for Mincha is 1:28 pm-which should ideally be davened before seudah shlishit, which in turn, should begin sometime before 7:04 pm.
 
Davening Protocol

  • Certain parts of Tefilah are omitted when davening individually:
    • including BarachuKaddishChazarat ha-Shatz (the repetition of the Amidah), and Kedusha
    • Friday night: Omit the blessing of Magen Avos (beracha achat me'ein shevah) after the Shemoneh Esrei of Maariv.
    • Shabbat day: Omit Berich Shemeih (yes Matthew). Ashkenazim also omit Yekum Perkan and Av Ha-Rachamim (since it is Shabbat HaChodesh).
  • Pitum HaKetoret, which follows Ein Kelokeinu, is seen as a particularly potent prayer at a time of need, especially in the context of the spread of disease, as the incense
  • At the end of daveningTehillim (Psalm) 130 can be added as a way of focusing our attention on the dire needs of those suffering from the virus and in the hopes that our actions will limit its spread and severity.  
  • Birchat HaChodesh (Blessing the New Month) is recited as this week is Shabbat Mevarchim. Rosh Chodesh Nisan yihyeh b'yom HaChamishi (Rosh Chodesh Nisan will be on Thursday). The Molad will be Tuesday (morning) 10:14am and 11 Chalakim (Jerusalem Time)

Torah Reading
While Torah reading, in its most ideal sense, requires a true Sefer Torah, in lieu of that possibility our best option is to read the Parsha (Vayakhel & Pekudei), the Maftir (HaChodesh), and the Haftarah (Chodesh) from a whole Tanakh. If one doesn't have a whole Tanakh at home, reading from a Chumash is the next best option. Artscroll has generously made available this week's Parsha and Haftorah for free; you can download and print a copy here: https://artscroll.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/vayakhel-pekudei-download.pdf
The reading for Mincha need not be read from a Tanakh or Chumash, and reading it in the back the siddur suffices.
 
Havdalah:
Please make Havdalah in your homes once Shabbat has departed, after 7:47pm. At 8 pm, everyone is then invited to participate in a community-wide virtual Havdalah, on our Zoom (log on instructions below). Though one cannot fulfill the obligation to say Havdalah through technological media (unless under pressing circumstances), one is welcome to say 'Amen' to any berakhot heard contemporaneously (i.e. live).

(6) Next Week's Schedule
Minyan Times
Mincha Maariv next week will be at 6:55 PM. We will begin Mincha together followed by a chapter of Tehillim and short D'var Halakha from Rabbi Brander in memory of those whom we are saying Kadish for and concluding with Maariv. 
Shacharit, Sunday, will be at 8:15 AM and Monday-Friday at 7:00 AM.


Classes
Sunday morning at 9 am join Rabbi Brander's Talmud Class
Monday morning at 11 am join Yair Litchman exploring Rav Moshe Feinstein's Position on Cheating On Tests
Wednesday at 11:45 join Rabbi Brander's parasha lunch'n'learn - Pondering the Parasha

Also, stay tuned for a series on exploring the practical aspects of making Pesach, especially this year, including a review of kashering, cleaning for Pesach as well as a look on how to lead a seder this year!

Plus, we are in the process of finalizing a virtual support group focusing on how to deal with anxiety, isolation from social distancing and getting along with your household members.  

(7) Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.

(8) Zoom Info and  Instructions
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: www.youngisraelwh.org/zoom
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. Lastly, did you know that you don't even need a computer to use Zoom -- you can easily connect with a simple phone call -- just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

(9)Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

Young Israel Coronavirus Email #4: Daily Zoom Tefillah Times, Update On Closure, Youth Trivia Challenge, Shabbat Schedule and More!

Good Morning Young Israel Family,

I continue to be amazed by the tireless chesed and wisdom across our community.  Everyone has a role to play: giving, receiving, connecting, and collaborating. Just like in the construction of the Mishkan, we all have our part to play in the makeup of the beautiful community we call our own. 

Allow me to encourage each one of us to find 5 minutes today to reach out to someone in our community and say hello. Help remind them and ourselves that while we may be feeling distant and alone -- we are alone together!

Have a wonderful day, filled with strength and good health, 

Rabbi Tuvia Brander


Below, this email includes various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) Daily Tefillah Zoom Continues
(2) UPDATE on Shul Closure and IMPORTANT Medical Guidance 
(3) Today Youth Trivia Challenge on Zoom with Yair Lichtman
(4) Shabbat Schedule
(5) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs -- LET US KNOW!
(6) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(7) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

 

(1) Daily Tefillah Zoom - Virtual Davening Together 
Add some Tefillah and Torah to your routine, join us for our twice daily virtual davening get-together. Together, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time. 

Tonight, we will be davening Mincha followed by Maariv at 6:45 PM. We will begin Mincha together followed by a chapter of Tehillim and short D'var Halakha from Rabbi Brander and concluding with Maariv. 

This morning, we will be davening Shacharit at 6:45 AM.

Direct computer link:  https://zoom.us/j/6850940946 . Full the zoom link information can be found below.

(2) UPDATE on Shul Closure and NEW Medical Guidance

Our Young Israel Board met last night to be briefed and review/plan our continued communal response to the current situation. At present, our building will sadly continue to be closed into next week. We will continue to reassess the situation early next week.  

It is critical for us to underscore the importance of staying home, not going out and certainly not gather with others in any setting! The OU shared the following update this evening:

  • During these extremely difficult and precarious times, we again turn to one and all with the clear and unambiguous mandate to heed the guidance of our governments and health authorities regarding the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. 
  • STAY HOME; SAVE LIVES! This is a halachic imperative of the highest order that each and every one of us must obey for the sake of the health of our own families, communities and fellow citizens. 
  • We cannot repeat this often enough. Stay home. Avoid groups or public interactions of any kind, for any purpose. Leave home only for essential needs and only if you are healthy, have not been exposed to the virus, and are not in a high risk category. Observance of this mandate is critical. 
  • We pray to the Almighty for the recovery of all those already affected by COVID-19, and for the swift success of the efforts of our government for testing, containment, treatment and prevention.

This is on top of the important medical guidance shared yesterday about individuals coming into our area from other parts of the country: (below courtesy of the OU)

Many individuals - including thousands of students - are returning to their communities from areas with active communal transmission - including Israel, New York and New Jersey. These individuals should practice separation for 14 days in the family home, having a separate room for sleeping, a separate bathroom if possible, and otherwise keeping a safe distance. 
They should not be the ones doing the shopping trips or any ventures out into the community until they have been home for 14 days symptom-free.

We advise strongly against those returning from such areas - as well as all grandchildren - kissing or hugging or having other close contact with elderly grandparents or others considered high risk from COVID-19.
With regard to what specific steps to take within the family home to separate those returning from the other members of the family, parents should consult with their own medical advisors and should adhere to all governmental, public health and local medical guidelines for how to practice separation for returnees from areas of active transmission. Many local synagogues and communities are helping members to be informed and connected to appropriate sources of guidance.

(3) Youth Trivia Challenge -- THIS AFTERNOON!!
Today, Thursday afternoon, the Young Israel Kidz Club will be hosting a ZOOM-based Trivia Challenge for children grades K-8 (K-2 at 4:00 PM, 3-5 at 4:45 PM,6-8 at 5:25 PM). See flyer below for more information. Log on at Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/6850940946


(4) Shabbat Schedule and Upcoming Programing
As we prepare for a very different sort of Shabbat this week, we will be hosting a number of virtual ways for us to "Shabbat" Together! Friday morning at 11:45 am we will be hosting our Tot Shabbat Groups for children 6 and under. Friday afternoon we are all invited to log on for a musical Kabbalat Shabbat! Plus, after Shabbat, don't miss our communal Havdallah and our adult Melaveh Malka Virtual Hangout! More details to follow in tomorrow morning's email!! 

Beyond these programs, Rabbi Brander will be starting a Pesach Series next week and we have some other surprises in store! 

Plus, we are in the process of finalizing a virtual support group focusing on how to deal with anxiety, isolation from social distancing and getting along with your household members.  

(5) Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.

(6) Zoom Info and  Instructions
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: https://zoom.us/j/6850940946 
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. Lastly, did you know that you don't even need a computer to use Zoom -- you can easily connect with a simple phone call -- just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

(7)Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

Young Israel Coronavirus Email #3: Daily Zoom Tefillah, Lunch'n'Learn, Torah Resources, Upcoming Events and More!

Good Morning Young Israel Family,

Every new day has new challenges and opportunities.  Let's continue to adapt together and expand our circles of connection and support ever wider. 

Today, let's try reaching out to a friend or relative you haven't connected with in a while -- show them you care and you'll see it will brighten your day too!!

Have a wonderful day, filled with strength and good health, 

Sincerely,

Rabbi Tuvia Brander



Below, this email includes various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) Daily Tefillah Zoom Continues
(2) Important Medical Guidance Concerning Individuals from Out of Town (including returning students)
(3) Rabbi Brander's Lunch'n'Learn is BACK TODAY at Zoom!

(4) Young Israel Book Club Meets Tonight -- Dont Miss It!
(5) Great Free Torah Resources Available
(6) Upcoming Programs -- Stay Tuned!
(7) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs
(8) Zoom Info and Instructions/Assistance for those not yet connected
(9) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

 

(1) Daily Tefillah Zoom - Virtual Davening Together 
While we may not be able to formally constitute a minyan, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time.

Tonight, we will be davening Mincha followed by Maariv at 6:45 PM. We will begin Mincha together followed by a chapter of Tehillim and short D'var Halakha from Rabbi Brander and concluding with Maariv. 

This morning, we will be davening Shacharit at 6:45 AM.
All the zoom link information can be found below (Here is direct computer link:  https://zoom.us/j/6850940946)

(2) IMPORTANT Medical Guidance Abt Individuals from Out of Town (including returning students)
The following medical guidance was received last night, 3/17, from the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America:

We have already advised that social distancing for each and every member of our community is critical. People should maintain physical distance from others, and should limit shopping trips, sending only one person on those trips.
The situation continues to evolve at a rapid pace and thus these guidelines are formulated based solely on currently available information and advice. Significant developments have compelled this addition to the guidelines previously issued by the OU.
We must further add:
Many individuals - including thousands of students - are returning to their communities from areas with active communal transmission - including Israel, New York and New Jersey. These individuals should practice separation for 14 days in the family home, having a separate room for sleeping, a separate bathroom if possible, and otherwise keeping a safe distance. They should not be the ones doing the shopping trips or any ventures out into the community until they have been home for 14 days symptom-free.
We advise strongly against those returning from such areas - as well as all grandchildren - kissing or hugging or having other close contact with elderly grandparents or others considered high risk from COVID-19.
With regard to what specific steps to take within the family home to separate those returning from the other members of the family, parents should consult with their own medical advisors and should adhere to all governmental, public health and local medical guidelines for how to practice separation for returnees from areas of active transmission. Many local synagogues and communities are helping members to be informed and connected to appropriate sources of guidance.

(3) Rabbi Brander's Parasha Lunch'n'Learn TODAY!!
Our weekly Parasha lunch'n'learn, Pondering the Parasha, continues today at 11:45 am on ZOOM. We have the privilege this week of exploring Parashat Vayakel & Pekudei. 
You bring the lunch -- We'll bring the Torah!!
Download (and print) the source sheet: click here!
All the zoom link information can be found below (Here is direct computer link:  https://zoom.us/j/6850940946)

(4) Young Israel Book Club Meets Tonight - 7:30 PM
Tonight, Wednesday 3/18, at 7:30p the YI Book Club will be discussing The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. Everyone is welcome to join us for the discussion! 
We can open the discussion at 7:20p so you can adjust your screen before we start at 7:30. 
Join via Zoom, you can either join online on your computer or smartphone by clicking here: https://zoom.us/j/6850940946 or you can connect easily by calling in simply by dialing our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #.   

(5) Great Free Torah Resources
There are a number of INCREDIBLE Torah resources now available free during these trying times.

a) YUTorah.org has for a long time been the largest repository of shiurim and Torah classes online in the world. Check out featured speakers, trending topics and so much more! (Rabbi Brander even has one or two items there).

b) Aleph Beta presents wonderful illustrated and deeply insightful content on a host of different topics from the weekly Parasha to the upcoming Pesach holiday. They are now offering a free month while stuck at home: Click Here to get it!

c) Artscroll is now offering free digital volumes of their famous English-translated Gemaras. Check it out and pick up our Daf Yomi cycle at http://kb.artscroll.com/article/AA-20706/132/

(6) Upcoming Programs -- Stay Tuned!
This Thursday afternoon, the Young Israel Kidz Club will be hosting a ZOOM-based Trivia Challenge for children grades K-8 (different times for different ages). See flyer below for more information.


Additionally, Rabbi Brander will be giving a series of sessions on making Pesach next week- whether for the first time or the next time -- dont miss it!

Much more is also coming!!

(7) Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.

(8) Zoom Info and  Instructions
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: https://zoom.us/j/6850940946 
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. Lastly, did you know that you don't even need a computer to use Zoom -- you can easily connect with a simple phone call -- just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

(9)Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

YI Coronavirus Email #2: Daily Zoom Tefillah, PJL Resources, UpcomingEvents and More!

Good Morning Young Israel Family,

Our Young Israel was founded to be, and has always been, a beit k'nesset - a place of gathering.  A place we physically share in order to create community.  This is our mandate.

One of the hardest parts of the current situation we all find ourselves in, with our commitment to #flatteningthecurve and ensuring positive public health, is that it limits our capacity to realize this fundamental mission. Yet, we remain committed to and undeterred from focusing, in these days, on continuing to create community in every other means possible - through email, on Zoom, in phone calls and well wishes. We'll get a skywriter if we have to!  

You, too, can be a part of helping us all realize this goal! Reach out to someone else -- call and check in on someone stuck at home or left without childcare or someone living alone. Help me and all of us continue to create the community we are so proud to be a part of! 

Have a wonderful day, filled with strength and good health, 

Sincerely,

Rabbi Tuvia Brander


 

Below this email includes various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) Daily Tefillah Zoom Continues
(2) Update: Community Leadership Meets and Community-Wide Responses Discussed
(3) Women's Tehillim Group -- Virtual Meeting Tonight
(4) Rabbi Brander's Pondering The Parasha Lunch'n'Learn Continues Weds.
(5) Resources For Parents and Children Stuck At Home From PJ Library
(6) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs
(7) Zoom Instructions and Assistance for those not yet connected
(8) Young Israel Zoom Information
(9) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
 

 

(1) Daily Tefillah Zoom - Virtual Davening Together 
While we may not be able to formally constitute a minyan, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time.

Tonight, we will be davening Mincha followed by Maariv at 6:45 PM. We will begin Mincha together followed by a chapter of Tehillim and short D'var Halakha from Rabbi Brander and concluding with Maariv. 

This morning, we will be davening Shacharit at 6:45 AM.
All the zoom link information can be found below (Here is direct computer link:  https://zoom.us/j/6850940946)

(2) Community Leadership & Community-Wide Response
Yesterday, Rabbi Brander and Les Loew participated in a ZOOM conference with  community leadership, Mayor Shari Cantor and Amiee Krauss from the Department of Public Health organized by the Jewish Federation. We continue to help lead the way as our community continues to plan for and respond to this developing situation. Rabbi Brander represented the entire rabbinic community and presented an update on what is happening in synagogues across the region, some of our Young Israel's pioneering ideas and some of the potential communal needs will be developing in the near future.
(picture below)

(3) Women's Tehillim Group -- Virtual Meeting Tonight
In response to the Cornovirus, we believe it is appropriate to attempt a first-ever Virtual Tehillim Meeting, tonight, Tuesday, March 17th at 7:30 PM. 
For those who have not been to a Tehillim Meeting, the 150 Tehillim chapters are normally divided up into 24 booklets that cover the 150 chapters. We (all those who are present) then read through the books (chapters) until we have finished it all. 
Please sign up at the link below to read a few chapters with us. Here is a LINK to sign up for a section. You can access all of Tehillim in Hebrew and English here: https://www.sefaria.org/Psalms.1?lang=bi or https://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2601.htm

To join our Tehillim meeting via Zoom, you can either join online on your computer or smartphone by clicking here: https://zoom.us/j/6850940946 or you can connect easily by calling in simply by dialing our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #.   If you need more help using Zoom, check out our tutorial at https://www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19 

To sign up for a perek/chapter click here. 

(4) Rabbi Brander's Parasha Lunch'n'Learn Continues Wednesday
Our weekly Parasha lunch'n'learn, Pondering the Parasha, continues tomorrow at 11:45 am on ZOOM. We have the privilege this week of exploring Parashat Vayakel & Pekudei. 
All the zoom link information can be found below (Here is direct computer link:  https://zoom.us/j/6850940946)


(5) Incredible Resources Available For Parents and Kids Stuck At Home From PJ Library
PJ Library has put together an incredible website of resources, activities, crafts, cooking and so much more for children of all ages. Check it out here: https://pjlibrary.org/familyactivities

(6) Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.

(7) Zoom Instructions and Assistance for those not yet connected
Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. Lastly, did you know that you don't even need a computer to use Zoom -- you can easily connect with a simple phone call -- just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

(8) Young Israel Zoom Log On Information
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: https://zoom.us/j/6850940946 
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

(9) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

Young Israel Coronavirus Email #1: Daily Zoom Tefillah, COVID-19 Relief Fund, and More!

Dear Young Israel Family,


As we begin a new week, we remain stronger together to confront the challenges of Covid-19 and its impact on our lives.  This email contains various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

(1) Daily Tefillah Zoom Continues
(2) Zoom Instructions and Assistance for those not yet connected
(3) Link to Rabbi Brander's Update and Words of Inspiration
(4) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs
(5) Young Israel Zoom Information
(6) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository

Reminder to all to take good care of ourselves and each other!

May this be a week of strength,

Rabbi Tuvia Brander
Les Loew, Coordinator

 


(1) Daily Tefillah Zoom - Virtual Davening Together 
While we may not be able to formally constitute a minyan, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time.

Tonight, we will be davening Mincha followed by Maariv at 6:45 PM. We will begin Mincha together followed by a chapter of Tehillim and short D'var Halakha from Rabbi Brander and concluding with Maariv. 
Tomorrow morning, we will be davening Shacharit at 6:45 AM. We will conclude Shacharit learning a mishnah from Tractate Pesachim to honor the memories of those for whom community members have been saying Kaddish at this time. 
All the zoom link information can be found below.

(2) Zoom Help!! 
Especially in these trying times, we want everyone to be able to connect together! If you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, here is a great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, we are happy to send someone to your home to set it up and make sure you have the ease of access you need to connect with the many different programs coming your way. Lastly, did you know that you don't even need a computer to use Zoom -- you can easily connect with a simple phone call -- just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

(3) Link to Rabbi Brander's Update and Words of Inspiration
Click below to watch and listen to Rabbi Brander's short presentation last night. More clips and words of inspiration are coming shortly.
 

Click here to watch a recording of Rabbi Brander's Update and Words of Inspiration from tonight.

(4) Addressing Financial/Resources Needs
As a community, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact Rabbi Brander or Les Loew so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.

(5) Young Israel Zoom Log On Information
Remember all Young Israel Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information!! 
To join Zoom online on your computer or smartphone go to: https://zoom.us/j/6850940946 
You can also connect simply by calling in! Just dial our special conference call: 1 646 558 8656 and when asked key in our Meeting ID: 685 094 0946 followed by # and then another #. 

6) Young Israel COVID-19 Information Repository
All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at www.youngisraelwh.org/covid19

Email: Video Update & Words of Inspiration From Rabbi Brander

Email 3/15: Upcoming Events & Zoom Tutorial

Good Afternoon, 

We have always known that our Young Israel was so much more than just a building! Now just because we cannot gather in person -- doesn't mean we cannot connect with one another through uplifting and engaging programs! 

We are launching a number of virtual opportunities for us to continue to connect, learn and grow together from the comfort and safety of our homes! Here are just a couple of upcoming ones!! 

Also, if you are not sure how to use Zoom yet, check out this great tutorial: CLICK HERE. Also, did you know that you don't even need a computer to use Zoom -- you can log on like a conference call using this number +1 646 558 8656 and this Meeting ID: 685 094 0946!

Best, 

Rabbi Tuvia Brander


Virtual Davening Together -- Mincha 
Sunday at 6:50 PM
While we may not be able to formally constitute a minyan, we can still harness the power of prayer together by davening at the same time. We will begin Mincha together followed by chapter of Tehillim and short D'var Halakha from Rabbi Brander


Update Word of Inspiration
Sunday at 8:30 PM (NEW TIME)
Rabbi Brander will share some words to address the trying times we find ourselves in. Plus there will be an update on Shul operations as well as an open opportunity for any questions and suggestions! 

****
Remember all Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information, please see below:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/6850940946
 
Meeting ID: 685 094 0946
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,6850940946# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,6850940946# US (New York)
 
Dial by your location
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
        +1 253 215 8782 US
        +1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 685 094 0946
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adAWFNBPyq

Email 3/15: Young Israel 50th Anniversary Gala POSTPONED

March 15, 2020
19 Adar, 5780
 
 
Dear Young Israel Family and Friends,
 
We have all been closely following the spread of the coronavirus and trying to navigate the uncertainty and concerns it is presenting. 
 
With the unfolding developments, it is clear that unfortunately, we need to postpone our 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner & Show.
 
As you can imagine, this decision was made with great deliberation and discussion. We apologize for the inconvenience it may cause, but we are confident that it is the responsible and appropriate thing to do.
 
Moving forward, we are going to divide the exciting milestone celebration into two parts: 
 
  • We are looking forward to publishing the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Ad Journal complete with memories, photos and reflections as well as sharing, for your viewing pleasure, our 50th Anniversary Video. Both will be shared on March 29th and will be widely circulated, on-line and electronically, to ensure ads and messages receive their maximum exposure. 
 
  • We are working to reschedule our dinner and musical performance for either June 14th  or November 1st (subject to adjustment if needed). More information will be forthcoming.
 
We are so grateful to those who have submitted ads and made reservations. We know that these are difficult times and people are being hit hard in many ways but it is exactly in times like this that our community relies on Young Israel’s strong leadership, and we need to ensure that OUR shul is strong. 
 
 
We need YOUR help to make this a success, despite the challenges surrounding it. 
 
 
It is not too late to go to youngisraelwh.org/5oth to submit your ad immediately, so you can be included in the beautiful commemorative journal that will soon be released. (The deadline to submit ads has been extended until March 20th).
 
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 50th@youngisraelwh.org.
 
Thank you for your understanding and for your unwavering commitment to our successful 50th Anniversary campaign and to a beautiful event in the near future.
 
May we all be blessed with good health, peace and simcha.
 
 
Sincerely

The 50th Anniversary Gala Committee

Email 3/14: Important YIWH Closing Information

Shavua Tov,

As we close out a beautiful and bittersweet Shabbat at our shul, the reality of the days ahead truly begins to set in. It is impossible for me to articulate how heart-rendering and unthinkable the prospect of closing our doors and shuttering our shul is to me. We are a community that prides ourselves on our unity and closeness and the idea of disbanding, separating and isolating from one another goes against all that we believe in and work so hard on. Davening as a community in communal prayer is central and core to who we are as individuals, as a community and as a people.

And yet that is why we are taking this unthinkable yet necessary step at this time to cease all operations within our building effective immediately.

To be clear, we have not been instructed to quarantine.  We are not obligated to remain in our homes at all times.  We have been advised to shut down the shul to maximize social distancing, best achieved by avoiding gatherings.  
 
Taking this draconian measure to close our shul is a reflection of the severity of this moment.  It goes without saying that if we are forfeiting Tefillah B'Tzibbur (communal prayer), we must be equally vigilant to avoid other places of gathering as much as possible (such as the gym, the mall, movie theaters, public sit-down eating areas, etc.). All community members are strongly encouraged to work from home, if possible.
 
At the same time, our Young Israel is much for than just a building. We will be launching a number of virtual opportunities for us to continue to connect, learn and grow together beyond our structure. Towards that end, I invite you to join me tomorrow night at 7:45 PM for some words of inspiration and an update via Zoom (see log-in information below).
 
Here is some important information for the upcoming days:

Young Israel Building
The building is closed until further notice. We will continue to evaluate and update the community every few days. If you need to retrieve something from the building, please be in touch with me.
 
Minyanim
Obviously, minyanim will NOT be meeting.
 
Under these conditions in which we are unable to pray together in the same space, our sages felt that praying together at the same time serves as a virtual-bridge between us and binds our prayers into a force beyond compare.
 
Towards that end and to the extend possible, we invite everyone to daven together at our regular times (tomorrow, Sunday: Shacharit 8:15 am and Mincha & Maariv 6:45 pm). We will be having a virtual davening get-together tomorrow beginning at 8:15 am via Zoom (see log-in information below). Obviously, we will not be able to form an actual minyan but it will give us an opportunity to daven together. Plus, we will use this opportunity to explain what should be said and what should be skipped without a minyan.
 
We implore you not to attend other minyanim and not to form private minyanim in households or even outdoors. This will undermine our communal effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. We need to lead by example and I personally will be davening alone in my home.
 
Kaddish
Being away from shul is difficult for all of us, and I'm sure that it stings particularly hard for those who are saying Kaddish. I am working on arranging with a rabbi in a community where shuls are not closed to say Kaddish on behalf of those who cannot here. Please let me know if you would like to be added to this list.

Additionally, learning some mishnayot in memory of loved ones can be a powerful memorial as well. I would only add the words of the Arukh HaShulchan, who-in the context of an old debate over who gets precedence regarding saying Kaddish-wrote:
אע"פ שאמירת הקדיש והתפלות מועילות להאבות, מכל מקום אין אלו העיקר, אלא העיקר הוא שהבנים ילכו באורח מישור, כי בזה הם מזכים האבות...
Even though saying Kaddish and prayers assists our ancestors, it is not the most important thing for them-the most important thing is that their children live upright lives.

I can think of no better way to bring honor and merit and pride to our ancestors than an act of love in the hopes of saving lives-which is precisely what we are all doing together.
 
Shiurim and Classes
We will continue to have our regular scheduled learning opportunities (and even launching some new ones).
 
For right now, my Talmud class will be taking place like regular tomorrow morning at 9 am via Zoom (log on information is below). All are invited to join!!
 
Chesed & Volunteers
If you are staying home out of caution and need assistance with providing for your needs (such as food shopping), please contact me and we will help make arrangements with our volunteers.

Also, volunteers can sign up here:  https://forms.gle/KoDSH1uCLGYsLPbBA
 
Shiva
Sick and Shivah visits should be conducted by telephone or video calls.
 
Mikvah
While Mikvah will remain open, women under mandatory quarantine or who are experiencing symptoms may not use the Mikvah. Please see the message from the mikvah below and feel free to call me with any questions.
 
I anticipate the situation will continue to evolve and we will continue to re-evaluate and send out further communications.  In the meantime, we remain available to answer questions or to arrange help in any way that we can. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me or Les Loew!
 
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support – for the shul and for each other! Like with all things, we are in this – and will get through this – together!
 
Sincerely,
 
Rabbi Tuvia Brander
 

****
All Zoom-based Meeting will have same log on information, please see below:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/6850940946
 
Meeting ID: 685 094 0946
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,6850940946# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,6850940946# US (New York)
 
Dial by your location
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
        +1 253 215 8782 US
        +1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 685 094 0946
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adAWFNBPyq

 

MESSAGE FROM MIKVEH BESS ISRAEL:

Mikveh Bess Israel is actively monitoring the situation with COVID-19, and we are committed to doing everything possible to help keep everyone safe as we move through these unprecedented times.  

We would also like to take this communication as an opportunity to reiterate our cleanliness procedures at the mikvah. According to the CDC, no traces of COVID-19 have been detected in drinking water, and there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. For more information, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html.

Mikveh Bess Israel has established protocols to ensure, to the best of our abilities, that attending the mikvah will be a safe, secure and healthy experience. Please take comfort in knowing that we have renewed our protocols and have the following procedures in place:

  • Our preparation rooms are cleaned in between each use (sometimes multiple times in a 24-hour period) with a disinfecting cleaner and with emphasis on any handheld items. Additionally, our common areas are thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, paying special attention to door handles and railings.  
  • All linens are laundered before use with hot water and detergent.
  • We have hand sanitizer in several locations throughout our facility to be used by our staff in between interactions with patrons. Please use them generously as well.
  • Mikvah Attendants are washing their hands with soap and water frequently throughout the evening, including in between taking patrons to the mikvah.
  • All of the mikvah pools are filtered daily and chlorinated. 

We have once again impressed upon our cleaning staff the importance of their attention to our ongoing protocols.

We have and will continue to consult with medical professionals and other communal institutions.

We do need your help. Should you be feeling flu-like or any other symptoms, please consult with and get clearance from both your doctor and your Rabbi before attending the Mikvah.  Anyone in quarantine is prohibited from using the Mikvah should consult their Rabbi.

Thank you for partnering with us. We pray that these precautions will not only protect against the spread of any illness but will also be seen as a heartfelt prayer for the cure of all those who are ill and for the protection from any further illnesses to all.



Mikveh Bess Israel
61 North Main St
West Hartford, CT 06107

Email: Shabbat 3/13 COVID-19 Update

Dear Friends,
 
We find ourselves in difficult times. A virus is spreading that has affected global health, world economies and our feelings of safety and security. Schools are closing, workplaces are changing and even our shul, our center of holiness and spirituality, is impacted and affected. We know that God watches over us and will always protect and provide. Yet, at the same time, we must put in our effort to protect the health of our families and community. We have been working with local medical professionals to assess our situation and developed an appropriate framework for navigating this crisis:
 

  • This Shabbat, we will be operating in a modified way (see below)

 

  • Our community schools are closing as of Monday, March 16th. In order for school closures to be effective and impactful, we are advised by medical professionals, the OU, RCA and Halakhic authorities that shuls must close as well. As such, it is with much sadness and difficulty that we announce that the shul will be ceasing daily minyanim and all other programs this coming Sunday morning. Arrangements will be made to retrieve tefillin and other personal items from the shul.

 

  • On Sunday, we will send a detailed email regarding how we will continue our learning, spiritual growth and connection to God and one another in the days ahead.

 
This Shabbat
 
(1) All non-minyan programs sre cancelled including Kiddush, the Shabbat Afternoon Class, Seudat Shlishit, any informal kitchen kiddush and Shabbat Morning Youth Groups.

(2) Out of an abundance of caution, we have asked Yair Lichtman, who is from areas where there have been cases, not to come this Shabbat.

(3) We will be taking very proactive steps to encourage social distancing. This includes asking everyone – regardless of their normal seat – to spread out in shul. If too many people come for davening, we will open a second minyan downstairs.

(4) We strongly encourage those in vulnerable populations consider not coming to shul and to consult their physicians as to whether it is wise for them to be in shul during this time.  If their physician feels it would be best for them to avoid Shul for the time being, they should Halakhically follow that advice even if it means they will miss saying Kaddish, observing a Yahrtzeit, etc.  They should instead daven at home and time their davening to be at the same time as our minyanim.

(5) In addition, anyone who feels uncomfortable attending shul at this time, should in no way feel guilty for not attending.  Each one of us has to make the best decision for ourselves and our family.  If you chose not to attend shul, please however, make every effort to continue to daven preferably at the same time that we daven in shul, which is what is strongly encouraged by the Gemara in Berachot and codified in the Shulchan Aruch.

With all the cancellation and closure conversation swirling around, we think it is critical to reframe our conversations around healthy personal and public health habits. It is entirely inconsistent to apply social distancing in schools and shuls and then go to gyms, movie theaters or other areas of possible public exposure. We need to all practice and model behaviors that will maximize our own and the public’s good health.  We strongly urge that everyone adhere carefully to social distancing protocols. This means that people should remain at home when possible and not gather in large gatherings with friends at their homes or in public places, such as malls, movie theaters, eateries, etc. Experts have shared that social distancing will help to contain the virus, and it is critical to us as a community that we each do our part to slow its spread.
Please know that we are constantly monitoring this situation and these guidelines are evolving and changing. We will share any updates with you in a timely fashion.
 
We take this opportunity to wish you, our Young Israel family, a gut Shabbos. May this be a Shabbat of peace and health. May HaKadosh Baruch Hu, the Master of the World and Healer of all Flesh, shower blessings upon our shul, community and all humanity.
 
Sincerely,
Rabbi Tuvia Brander
Les Loew, Coordinator
 

Email 3/12: Shabbat Update COVID-19 

Dear Young Israel Family,

We are living in uncertain times. The outbreak of COVID-19 has challenged many of the ways we live our lives and added a level of uncertainty and an element of the unknown that is almost as difficult.

Like many of you, we have been watching and monitoring the developments in this outbreak in our region, around the globe and across the Jewish world. As we have said again and again, nothing is more important than the safety and good health of you our community and family! We continue to follow the guidance of our local and communal medical professionals and take our cues from the CDC, Department of Public Health and our state and town government. We have been consulting with our team of health professionals, Drs. Ganeles, Luger and Porat. We are so grateful for their time, support and wisdom! We are also in constant contact with synagogues and Jewish institutions across the region as well as across the country. It is important to note, that while there are many valuable shared suggestions and lessons, every location and communal situation is different and requires unique consideration and application.

That said, as of now, neither the CDC, local health authorities nor local hospitals have instructed us to cease operations. After careful consideration, we feel it is our responsibility to curtail some of the activities at Young Israel in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus while minimizing the disruption to daily life. If you and your family have further concerns, in consultation with your physicians, please take whatever precautions you conclude are most appropriate.

Arriving at these decisions is not easy, as the situation is fluid. Please anticipate further communications as the situation evolves.
 
Minyanim

  • We will continue to have regular minyan both during the week and on Shabbat.
  • All minyanim until further notice will meet upstairs in order to facilitate spreading out and social distancing protocols.
  • If you are not feeling well in the slightest-including any fever or cough-please do not come to shul. You are exempt from davening with a minyan as your presence puts others at risk.
  • If you are in a vulnerable group, which includes people 70 years old or above, people with comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease, or if you are otherwise immunocompromised, it is vital that you take additional precautions against contracting this disease. If you are unsure whether you fit any of those criteria, please consult your physician. If you have any hesitation about attending shul because of any of these reasons, you are exempt from davening with a minyan.
  • Upon entering shul, each person is asked to wash their hands (extensively and hygienically, not just ritually), as this is one of the most effective means of mitigating the spread of disease. Please make liberal use of hand sanitizer and frequent hand washing throughout davening as well.
  • We continue to ask people NOT to shake hands while at Young Israel. While it may feel uncomfortable or even silly, you can nod or bow slightly, or bump elbows.
  • We also continue to ask people to refrain from kissing the Mezuzot, Torah or Tallism.

Kiddushes, Seudat Shlishit and Socializing

  • In keeping our Mayor’s and Governor’s guidance to curtail social gatherings of more than 100 people, we will be putting all kiddushes on hold until further notice.
  • At the present, we will continue to have Seudat Shlishit and ask everyone to sit a bit more spaced out downstairs.
  • All other social programs are being postponed until further notice (including Sunday’s Leil Shira). 
  • An email about our 50th Gala Anniversary is forthcoming.

Classes and Shiurim

  • Rabbi Brander’s Sunday morning Gemara class and weekly parasha lunch’n’learn will continue to meet but over the virtual platform Zoom (details will be sent out later).

Youth Department

  • Shabbat Morning groups will run this week and then stop meeting until school resumes.
  • Yair Lichtman, our youth director, will be coming this Shabbat. He was not exposed and was never in any need of formal quarantine. Yet, as he was on the YU campus, his whereabouts and health have been monitored for the last 14+ days and he is completely healthy.
  • Other youth events will be assessed individually as they get closer.

 
Shopping Assistance

  • If you are staying home out of caution and need assistance with providing for your needs (such as food shopping), please contact Rabbi Brander and he will help make arrangements with our Chesed committee to assist.
  • If you would like to volunteer to help with these needs, please add your name to this list: https://forms.gle/KoDSH1uCLGYsLPbBA .


These are trying times. We find ourselves needing to make decisions without all the information that we are used to having available to us. It demands prudence, balance, care and concern for those around us. While the vast majority of the people who contract the virus may only experience mild to moderate disease, a significant minority can become seriously ill. It is our responsibility to care for and protect as many as possible. It's also an opportunity to teach our children how we respond in times of crisis. We should demonstrate by example that we are both taking practical steps to protect our health as well as turning to the Almighty. We should not panic, but remain calm, while allowing children to express their fears and concerns. In doing so, we not only help build their resilience, but raise a generation who learn that as a community, we rise to the occasion when people need to be protected.
 
We will, of course, continue to monitor this evolving situation and will continue to re-evaluate these policies. In the meantime, we remain available to answer questions or to arrange help in any way that we can.  Please don't hesitate to reach out.

May the Almighty watch over us and all of our communities and protect us from this and all illness!
 
Sincerely,
 
Rabbi Tuvia Brander (rabbi@youngisraelwh.org)
Les Loew (coordinator@youngisraelwh.org)

Email 3/4: Important Coronavirus Precautions and Policies

Dear Young Israel Family,
 
By now you may have heard of the case of Coronavirus in the Orthodox community in New Rochelle, leading to the closure of three Jewish days schools as well as a large Westchester orthodox synagogue. We pray for a Refuah Sh'leimah for Eliezer Yitzchak Ben Shifra, as well as all those affected by this and all illnesses.
 
We are all watching, with care and real concern, the spread and danger posed by the Coronavirus. While there is no reason to panic, we want to use this opportunity to remind the community of precautions we should all be taking.
 

  • For the time being, consistent with recommendations from the CDC and Department of Health, we ask people NOT to shake hands while at Young Israel. While it may feel uncomfortable or even silly at first, you can nod or bow slightly, or bump fists, elbows or even tap feet. We ask you to respect and understand that Rabbi Brander and your fellow congregants won’t be shaking your hand. It is for your safety and ours.
  • We also ask that you refrain from kissing mezuzot and the Torah as it passes by; to show honor to the Torah, we suggest bowing as the Torah passes or kissing your own hand.

 
Additionally, here are some other recommended practices, whether at Young Israel or not:
 

  • Clean your hands regularly when you are in public
    • You may do so with soap and water but you must wash for at least 20 seconds for it to be most effective.
    • Hand sanitizer is equally effective in killing viruses like Corona (but does not physically clean dirty hands); to use properly, cover the entire hand and fingers and let dry.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze, preferably with a tissue that is immediately disposed of or, minimally, into your sleeve - then reclean your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances and in your care for use when you cant immediately wash your hands.

These are excellent practices, regardless of coronavirus, which help contain the spread of the flu among other illnesses. Millions of Americans this season have gotten the flu, with nearly 20,000 deaths, including over 100 children. If you have not already done so, get the annual flu vaccine, unless medically contraindicated.
 
We ask that if you have symptoms of illness, including fever, coughing, stomach bug or any other sickness, please DO NOT come to shul, during the week or on Shabbat. This is true even if you are a mourner saying Kaddish and even though this coming Shabbat we have the Biblical mandate to hear Zachor (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Protecting and preserving health supersedes these other considerations. Under these extenuating circumstances, Zachor may be read at home this week from a Chumash and then may be properly fulfilled later in the year while listening to Parshat Ki Teitzei. Additionally, if you are sick (as described above), we ask that you NOT come to any of the megillah readings. Please contact Rabbi Brander to work out alternative arrangements.
 
There is a hand sanitizer shortage. We are making our best efforts to procure some. Please bring your own sanitizer to shul if you can, and be sure to wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
 
Most importantly, we will continue to keep abreast of the situation and update everyone with any adjustments, changes or new instructions, partic. We have asked Drs. Tali Porat, Steven Luger and Carolyn Ganeles to take the lead on addressing the Coronavirus for our Young Israel and we very much thank them for their time, wisdom and expertise.
 
May the Almighty bless us all with good health, wellness and prosperity.
 
Sincerely,
 
Rabbi Tuvia Brander, Mara D’Atra
Les Loew, Coordinator

Wed, April 8 2020 14 Nisan 5780