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COVID-19 Updates: March 12, 2020

03/16/2020 01:19:02 PM


March 12, 2020


Kol ha'olam kulo gesher tzar m’od


The whole world is a narrow bridge. The main thing is not to be afraid.

In all of our varied communities and locally in our cities, the fear and reality of the spread of COVID-19 is present. We at JRC are dedicated to the well-being and safety of both our members and our surrounding communities. In this time of illness and trepidation, Judaism obligates us to take responsibility for one another. This means practical and emotional and spiritual work:


-JRC is cancelling all programs, classes, religious school and in-person committee meetings at JRC through Friday, March 20th. As the situation evolves, we will evaluate and adapt our approach as appropriate. Watch for emails and look to our website for updates.


All of our Shabbat evening services and our Shabbat morning b'nai mitzvah services will continue as usual. Please use your best judgment as to whether you are well or comfortable to attend. We are working on Livestreaming our services through Facebook Live on the Members of JRC Facebook Page.


No Food or Drink will be served at JRC with the exception of the early childhood center, staff personal food, and lifecycle events catered by professional caterers. There will be no food for Onegs.


The Illinois Department of Public Health does not recommend closing early childhood centers at this time. Therefore, JRC’s Early Childhood Center will remain open.


-JRC will continue its rigorous cleaning processes, according to DCFS and CDC guidelines. We encourage everyone wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering the building.


-Maintain physical social distancing from one another. If you are sick, feeling unwell, have medical concerns or are feeling vulnerable, please stay home.


-Please don’t shake hands, hug, or kiss one another. Our clergy are actively modeling these practices. Help keep each other safe with waves, “live long and prosper” priestly blessing hands, or a warm smile.


-Please keep your hands and mouths away from communal objects. This means not kissing prayerbooks, the Torah scrolls, tzitzit, etc. We can share blessings and love without physical contact.


-Canceling in-person events does not mean canceling community. There are lots of ways we are connected and must be connected. Stay emotionally and spiritually connected to one another. Check in on your fellow congregants, neighbors, and community members. A friendly phone call or email is still a form of connection and it is vital for those who are alone. Social distancing does not mean social isolation.


Please Remember:


  • Don’t take unnecessary risks. One who saves a single life is as though one saves the entire world. The Talmud couldn’t be more clear. Every life matters, and it’s up to each of us to be responsible for each other.


  • Your clergy are here for you. Rabbi Rachel, Cantor Howard, and Rabbi David are available to talk by phone at any time. There is no shame in needing support - only the blessing of taking care of one another.


Finally, some important perspective:


This is a matter of piku'ach nefesh. If we slow down the spread, we enable our health care system to manage this. Less people die. This is an equity issue and a disability justice issue, a misogyny issue, an economic issue, and an ageism issue. It is our elders, pregnant people, homeless, and people with compromised immune systems (disproportionately disabled, poor, and people of color) who are in the highest risk, and our actions to curtail the spread disproportionately saves their lives.


When fears multiply

And danger threatens;

When sickness comes,

When death confronts us -

It is the blessing of shalom

That sustains us

And upholds is.

Lightening our burden,

Dispelling our worry,

Restoring our strength,

Renewing our hope -

Reviving us.

-Rabbi Hershel Matt


Rabbi Rachel Weiss

Sharon Diaz, Executive Director

Elliot Frolichstein-Appel , President


Tue, January 19 2021 6 Shevat 5781