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Responding to COVID-19

Updated 17 March, 2020

The Torah teaches us all the importance of compassion, care and community. We are blessed to be a part of a loving congregation and we wish to be there for each other in this time of great uncertainty. As the COVID-19 virus spreads and the information and advice changes on a daily basis, we are making decisions that we feel are the best ones for our congregation at this time.

Given the global nature of this pandemic, we are taking into account the advice and guidance of Australian and international health organisations. We ask that we all be gentle with one another whatever decisions we each choose for ourselves, our community and our families and with that in mind, we would like to share with you what we have chosen for our synagogue.

We have suspended all our face to face activities for the present time. We are truly blessed to live in an age where virtual connection is available to us through various electronic means and as much as possible, we are going to continue our activities and events this way. We also have some new ways to link together including a “thought for the day” from our clergy. Maintaining connections with each other is vitally important and we will do all we can to be in touch with you all.

  1. All our prayer services at the synagogue will be suspended. We plan to live stream Shabbat Live and a Saturday morning service and we will send you those details as soon as possible. We are also planning to light candles together at the beginning of Shabbat. We will be able to come together using the wonder of technology and usher in the Shabbat with our community.
  2. This Friday evening’s Renewal Beach Kabbalat Shabbat will continue as planned from 6:00pm at Nielsen Park. Please bring your own picnic dinner. Email orna@emanuel.org.au for details.
  3. All our adult education programmes including Hebrew, Darkeinu, Cantilation/trope, will not take place in person. As much as possible we will have online opportunities to “gather and learn” and we will notify each class individually of the arrangements for your class.   
  4. All of our children’s education programmes will be suspended including Kef Kids and the Bar/bat mitzvah programme. Our teachers and clergy are working on some wonderful ways for us to remain in touch and continue learning together with our children through technology. They will be in contact with you all
  5. Weekly, monthly and quarterly gatherings will be suspended, including Conversation about Israel, J Baby, women’s Rosh Hodesh group, Jewnatal, pre marriage group, Shabbat Tot, Lunch ‘n’ Learn and In Conversation.
  6. Meditation: Rabbi Triguboff’s up-coming meditation class will be transferred online. More details soon.
  7. Events: all of our up-coming events will either be postponed or moved online.
  8. Our office: our staff will mostly be working from home but the work of the synagogue will continue and we will be able to engage with you by telephone, email and other means.

These have been difficult decisions for us to make as we know the importance of communal connection and gathering, especially at these times. We are doing all we can to continue to feel the presence and support of community even though we are not meeting in person.

Please reach out to us if you are feeling vulnerable, lonely or frightened and we can talk together by phone or facetime. Call your friends and family, remain in contact. We pray for the health of all those who are ill and the healthcare workers who are heroically fighting this battle.

May we all find strength as we walk this journey together and we wish you health and peace.​​​​​​​

Wed, 8 July 2020 16 Tammuz 5780