August 21, 2020
1 Elul 5780
Temple Tiferet Shalom Family,
I hope this message finds you all healthy and well! In March of this year, with the arrival of COVID-19 and state shutdowns, we were all hopeful that we could re-open the Temple building in just a few short weeks. Sadly, that was not something that was possible. The purpose of this message is to let you know that Temple Tiferet Shalom will begin to re-open its doors on September 1, 2020.
Before I turn to the re-opening process, I want to express my sincerest gratitude. Despite the formidable challenges, our Temple never actually shut down. Our incredible team of clergy, staff, faculty, and volunteers immediately re-tooled, educated itself about online resources, and re-imagined ways to connect our community. In fact, over the last six months, we’ve had the highest attendance on Friday Night Shabbat services online we’ve seen in a long time, and attendance in Adult Education programming has increased. If you haven’t attended our online services or adult education offerings yet, I highly encourage you to do this! It really has been wonderful seeing so many of our congregation on line. If you need assistance connecting with these online sources, please reach out to us, and we can help you with this.
I’m now pleased to let you know that we will be re-opening our Pre-School in September, and that our Religious School will be moving to a hybrid model when it re-opens in September. Families with children in Grades K-6 will have the opportunity to have their children attend in-person classes once a week. Our Pre-School and Religious School leaders are already in communication with families that have enrolled their children. Of course, there will be new rules in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but our teachers are so excited to see the children in person again!
In the near future, we will be turning our attention to starting to resume some in-person religious services. While the weather is nice, we anticipate doing a few of these services outdoors first. In fact, I’m pleased to announce that we just received a $2,500 grant from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies to purchase new technology to make this happen. Over the coming weeks, I will share more information about this with you. But, rest assured, if you are more comfortable participating online during this time, Temple Tiferet Shalom will continue to broadcast all services and adult education programs.
I’m also pleased to report that our clergy and Worship Committee continue to work very hard to develop a wonderful online High Holiday services for you that blends the best of our traditional liturgy with some new re-imagined segments. While we would have preferred to offer services in our sanctuary, this time demands that we do something different this year, and we are really pleased about how our plans are coming together. Though the primary Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services will be conducted online, there will be opportunities to for the community to join outdoors for Tashlikh and the traditional cemetery services.
In the meantime, please consider joining us online for Friday Night or Saturday Morning Shabbat Services, or for our adult education programming. We’d love to see you!
Rachel Zalvan, President