COVID-19 and Havurah

Dear fellow members of the Havurah Community,

*For regular updates please subscribe to our listserv here.

The Havurah leadership has considered, to the best of our ability, the information and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other sources, and the risk profile of Havurah community members. We are concerned about the many members of our community who are at higher risk due to their age and/or underlying medical conditions. The WHO is urging aggressive virus containment actions such as social distancing and cancellation of larger gatherings – decisions that must be made at the local community level, even in the absence of strong federal guidance. Such containment actions have been shown to limit virus transmission in other COVID-19-affected regions around the world. The principle of pikuach nefesh (preservation of life), guides us to prioritize the health and lives of everyone in our community, despite the disruption that will occur.

In light of our deliberations, we have made some difficult but important decisions regarding new protocols at Havurah in response to the developments around COVID-19.

We have decided to make the following changes to our programming:

Hebrew School has moved online until further notice. Especially because our Hebrew school is composed of students who hail from different school districts, we are taking these steps to limit the circle of possible exposure in the community.

The Annual Community Seder, scheduled for April 9th has been cancelled. We will be providing some resources for at-home Seders.

Our bi-monthly Shabbat worship services will continue at the discretion of service leaders and those who attend. An email will go out before Shabbat confirming details. There will be no oneg after services We have eliminated communal food at all events as an extra precaution.

Adult Education opportunities like Tacos, Tequila & Torah study will continue at the discretion of individual instructors. Until further notice these will no longer include a communal Taco bar.

We feel these changes are necessary and timely. It is our responsibility to take care of each other in challenging times and we know we will continue to support each other as this situation unfolds. As new information becomes available we will assess appropriate actions and keep you informed.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to be in touch with any member of our Leadership group. We will send out updates as things are changing rapidly! As always, we encourage initiatives from within our member led Havurah community to help and support each other, and to recognize those most in need.

Wishing you all good health and remember to wash your hands!

Havurah Leadership

Sarit Katzew
Pam Berenbaum
Mark Stefani
Matt Utterback