No matter our circumstances, COVID-19 has introduced uncertainty into our lives.
The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (The Jewish Board) is offering to assist on addressing these challenges. The Jewish Board provides critical health and human services for all New Yorkers, regardless of religion, ethnicity, cultural background, gender identification, ability or age. The Jewish Board will be providing three free online learning sessions this week, where you can hear from their staff experts and have an opportunity to ask questions both before and after the session.
Tuesday, March 17, 12:30PM–1:30PM EST
Teens may already be tuned into a “virtual” world and living remotely — but how can you be present with teens in your life during times of stress and uncertainty, especially when schools are being suspended for unknown periods of time? Pam Schuller, Director of The Jewish Board’s Here.Now. program, will answer your questions about how you can support the teens in your lives.
CLICK HERE to sign up for Tuesday’s session.
Thursday, March 19, 1:00–2:00PM EST
Have recent events left you reeling? Andrew Belcher, LMSW, Director of The Jewish Board’s 100 Schools Project, will provide tips on managing anxiety during coronavirus and answer your questions on how to deal with unexpected disruptions in the lives of you and your loved ones.
Friday, March 20, 9:30AM–10:30AM EST
There are many ways to cope positively with uncertainty, and it is most important for individuals to learn about strategies and determine what works for them. Deborah Zicht, LCSW-R, Senior Director at The Jewish Board, will answer your questions and provide tips and tools for managing anxiety – including when to seek more help.
Questions? Email email@example.com to learn more about these workshops and future learning opportunities.
We’re all feeling the fear and uncertainty that come with a new threat and so many unanswered questions. This is when our shared community is at its best. So many members of our congregation are eager to provide support. So many members of our community need our assistance. As we continue to look out for and care for one another, sometimes taking action is the best path towards finding calm in the midst of a storm. This note contains a few suggestions for positive steps you may wish to consider to help you cope with the stress and concern with which we are living at this time.
Connecting with Our Clergy
First, please join one of our daily Zoom Gali Gali calls with our clergy. The call schedule for this week follows:
- Monday, March 16 at Noon with Rabbi Tom:
(CLICK HERE to join. Meeting ID: 208 092 522. No Passcode Required)
- Tuesday, March 17 at 5PM with Cantor David:
(CLICK HERE to join. Meeting ID: 409 501 950. Passcode: 360201)
- Wednesday, March 18 at 3PM with Rabbi Tom:
(CLICK HERE to join. Meeting ID: 666 046 493. N0 Passcode Required)
- Thursday, March 19 at 4PM with Rabbi Shira:
(CLICK HERE to join. Meeting ID: 780 052 557. Passcode: 758215)
- Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21: Worship together via live streaming. CLICK HERE or go to our website to live stream our Shabbat services.
Second, we welcome you to share your feelings, reflections and thoughts on Rabbi Shira’s blog. To join the blog, go to: www.NYKolAmi.org/WeAreAllConnected
Feeding our Community
While many of us are hunkering down these days, with refrigerators and pantries pretty well stocked, there are many people in our community who are hunkering down as well – but without provisions.
Kol Ami is already positioned to help through our Food Pantry. There are several ways you could safely participate, any of which would make a difference:
1. Drop off bags of food to designated sites in White Plains.
2. Deliver bags of food to congregants
3. Volunteer to pack bags (please note: at this time we are fully staffed, but we anticipate the need for additional volunteers)
4. Write a check to the Congregation Kol Ami Food Pantry
5. Click here to make an on-line credit card donation to the Kol Ami Food Pantry or go to: www.NYKolAmi.org/FoodPantry.
For volunteer option #1, please email David Elcott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For volunteer options #2, and #3, please email Pam Millian at email@example.com.
As is so often the case, many congregants have already inquired how to help others in our community.
All adults are encouraged to CLICK HERE to volunteer to assist congregants in need OR to indicate ways in which our temple members may assist you. This may be acts as simple as providing grocery runs, medication pick-ups, pet supply deliveries or fulfilling other requests for basic necessities. It may just be making calls to check in. Liz Ilberg has offered to match volunteers with those in need of assistance.
If you know congregants who are unlikely to read this, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Liz will ensure that everyone is contacted.
Please contact our Member Relations Chairs, Alison Adler (646) 483-3657 or Melanie Gluck (914) 319-6869 or email email@example.com should you need any further assistance during these stressful and challenging times.
The force of God moves through us in this world.
God has no hands but ours.
Stay safe and safely connected,
Your Kol Ami Family
To Our Religious School Community,
We know it has been a challenging time, and we wanted you to hear directly from us as we continue to make decisions for our Religious School and broader Kol Ami community.
We continue to be guided by our care and concern for everyone in our building. We both are or have been parents of Religious School students. Susan has taught many of your children as both a 6th grade and substitute teacher, and she served for several years as the Religious School Committee Chair. We say in the strongest and most heartfelt of terms that as we make decisions that affect Kol Ami schools — Your children are our children.
With the facts before us, and in consultation with state and county health departments and medical specialists, we continue to think several steps ahead. We have not been advised or required to take any specific measures but have chosen to take voluntary acts to protect the health and wellbeing of our children, our families, and our staff. For instance, we have been mindful of the presence of COVID-19 in neighboring communities and asked staff with even remote connections to those communities not to come to our building. In addition, we closed our building this week to allow for professional cleaning so that we all could have peace of mind that our physical spaces are safe. And we emphasize that we are fortunate that we still are not aware of anyone in our Kol Ami community who has tested positive for COVID-19.
As we are sure you know, we are facing a quickly evolving set of circumstances. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to make difficult decisions during this period of uncertainty. Given the continued governmental recommendations to avoid large gatherings and to practice social distancing, we have decided to continue to close our schools through at least March 29, and possibly longer.
But as you know, closure does not mean there will be a break in our connection to you and your children. We understand the challenges school closures place on families — and Pam, our teachers, and our Kol Ami community will be here to support you. Many of you have already been contacted by your children’s teachers with lessons and plans for home learning. Pam is continuing to work with our teachers to develop procedures to stay in touch with you and your children and to continue your children’s learning from your homes. She will be in touch with more information.
We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and will update you as developments arise.
As a school and a synagogue community, we believe it is our responsibility to care for and support each other during trying times. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Pam, to Executive Director Jess Lorden, to our Clergy, or to us if we can be of any help to you and your family.
Please stay and be well.