Dear Temple Isaiah, Kulanu, and TIPPS families,
Just six days ago, we wrote to you to assure you that the health and safety of our Temple family is our highest priority. Although much has happened since last week, we write today to re-assure you that that remains true.
Yesterday, in conjunction with the Temple staff and with advice from experts in infectious disease and public health, we arrived at what we believed were the most prudent short-term actions the Temple could take given the situation. However, Governor Hogan’s Executive Order, announced this afternoon, has further transformed our decision-making. Effective immediately and for at least the next two weeks:
- We invite congregants to worship with us on Friday nights only via the Temple’s livestream.
- Friday, March 13 — 8pm service with Rabbi Axler and Cantor Droller
- Friday, March 20 — 8pm service with Rabbi Axler – This is “Shabbat Across Howard County.” Accordingly, we encourage you to gather together in small numbers for Shabbat dinner, as you feel appropriate, and at 8pm, tune your devices to the streaming site.
- Friday, March 27 — 7pm service with Rabbi Axler, Rabbi Plotkin, and Cantor Droller
- Shabbat morning services, which include B’nai Mitzvah celebrations through the end of March, will be held only for families of the B’nai Mitzvah. Information about the livestreaming of these services will be forthcoming.
- Kulanu families — Rabbi Plotkin and Rachel Petroff Kessler will work with our teachers to provide online opportunities for students to gather as a community to maintain their learning (especially in Hebrew). More information about these opportunities will come out beginning as soon as tomorrow. They, in coordination with the Kulanu Committee, will also make every reasonable effort to re-schedule cancelled programming once we are able to safely and responsibly resume the Kulanu program.
- TIPPS families — Meredith will communicate with you separately.
- While the Temple office will remain open (potentially with limited hours), unless necessary, we ask that you communicate via phone or e-mail.
ALL other non-essential activities and programs (e.g., Tot Shabbat, Torah Study, Family Education sessions) are cancelled until further notice. We will attempt to use as many online tools as are at our disposal to remain meaningfully connected to one another in this difficult time.
Please be assured that Temple leadership will be monitoring all elements of this situation, including the local, State and Federal response. We will be putting in extra effort to keep our website as up-to-date as possible so that you can stay informed as events progress. Please also follow our Temple Isaiah Facebook page as a place for us to gather digitally.
We strongly recommend that for your general health and that of our community, you continue to adhere to all the health guidelines about which we have been writing to you. Likewise, we will continue our enhanced cleaning processes within the building to ensure that when we can return to normal operations, the building will be prepared. Importantly, if you or a family member is diagnosed with the virus, we ask that you alert us as soon as possible.
During this time of crisis and challenge, many of you may experience times of stress and anxiety in addition to illness. Rabbis Axler and Plotkin will remain available to you through these challenges, either by phone or in person as appropriate to each individual’s needs and health. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them or any member of the Temple Isaiah staff.
As Governor Hogan said in his press conference, we are all in this together. During this time, please reach out to friends and neighbors in need of support. We hope you will take advantage of the opportunities that Temple Isaiah will provide for you to be with your community through on-line platforms.
With the love of your community and hopes for your continued good health,
Marshall Kohen Rabbi Craig Axler