News

A note about Tzedakah | Religious School Message | United Caring Services Needs

IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

We know these are challenging times for everyone in our community.  Our concern is focused on the safety, health, and well-being of all our TABI family. In abundance of caution, we are following recommendations by the URJ, Departments of Health and the CDC and the precedence shown by local schools and houses of worship.  We can be smart, safe and take care of those most vulnerable and susceptible to contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus.  In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, our top priority must be the health and safety of all.

TABI needs to do its part to slow the transmission of this virus.

Pikuach Nefesh – "saving a life." This is the most important Jewish value. Our sacred texts teach that we can forego almost any commandment or prohibition in order to preserve life. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, our top priority must be the health and safety of all. If we are forced to cancel or radically reshape a program, service or class, we are doing so in order to ensure that everyone’s safety is paramount.

With all this in mind:

1. Building will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized by our cleaning service Jani Clean.

2. TABI will effectively be CLOSED as of Monday - all in-person meetings, activities and worship will be postponed or moved to a virtual format.

3. Worship for the weekend of 3/20 and 3/27 will be virtual. Services will be on Livestream. Congregants can “check out” a prayer book to use at home if they make arrangements with the Temple or they are encouraged to download the kindle app of our prayerbook. The Kindle edition of our prayer book Mishkan T’Filah can be downloaded from https://www.amazon.com/Mishkan-Tfilah-Shabbat-Reform-Siddur-ebook/dp/B016R0HSLU for $4.99.  Consider downloading the siddur to your tablet and using it during services.

4. Some interactive format will be used for Torah discussion on those weeks - most likely via ZOOM. ZOOM is an online meeting app – up to 100 people can be on at the same time and meetings under 40 minutes are free. Sign up for ZOOM here: https://www.zoom.us/signup and we will send out links during the week for ZOOM meetings, classes and Torah Study next Saturday.  

5. We have not yet made a decision about the Passover Seder - that will be discussed next week.

Meetings and Classes:

For meetings and classes, we will be using ZOOM - a great video/audio conferencing platform.What you need to do is:

1. Go to Zoom.us and set up your free account. Check your email for instructions to connect to the Rabbi
2. You can also download the Zoom app for your iPhone or iPad here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/zoom-cloud-meetings/id546505307 (if you use an Android or Kindle device, just go to their app store.)
3. Please take the time to read through the features of ZOOM: https://www.zoom.us/meetings
4. Watch this instructional video.
5. In the meeting invite you will see a number that says:"One tap mobile" - if you can't video chat, you can always "call in" to a meeting - just tap that number instead of the url to join the meeting.
6. There are also "dial by location" numbers at the bottom of the invitation. You can always use the old fashion method of "calling in" to a conference.

The more we familiarize ourselves with the "tool" of ZOOM, the more comfortable we will be and the more we can get done.

We are hearing a lot about “Social Distancing” and that makes good sense from a “physical” perspective.  We want to make sure that while we are distancing ourselves physically, we continue to draw towards one another emotionally and spiritually. So, join us virtually for worship, if you see a ZOOM adult ed or Torah study class – join in. If you are on a committee, attend a virtual ZOOM meeting. Also, check in on our older congregants. If they need supplies or food – drop it off or have it delivered to their door. If you know of a member who is not tech savvy – help them get internet in their home or help connect them to an internet enabled tablet so they can stay in touch and stay connected.

Most importantly, we want everyone to stay well, safe, wash hands often and we look forward to joining together as a community once it is deemed safe to do so. I will be available each day by phone an email for congregants who are in need or need to talk about anything.  We will all get through this and we will support one another through this crisis.

Tzedakah:

Our board, just recently, agreed to the establishment of a new fund at TABI – a Community Tzedakah fund. This fund is available for individual contributions.  The goal is: to establish a community Tzedakah fund, with proper oversight, which will help alleviate basic needs for members of our congregation.

A small group of four or five, along with the rabbi will make up the oversight committee for the Community Tzedakah Fund.  Following Maimonides Ladder or Tzedakah, the goal is to minimize “shame” and maximize “honor” when it comes to helping members of our community who are in need. In most cases, the individual will use the Rabbi as the point of first contact. If, after discussion and counseling, the rabbi determines that the need is greater than what the Discretionary Fund can accommodate, the rabbi will approach the committee and arrange a meeting between the individual in need and one or two members of the committee.  The committee members will determine what is appropriate and act accordingly.

In keeping with our Jewish values, we will strive to maintain anonymity of both donors and recipients of this fund. Perhaps a board report might indicate that X amount of monies were contributed, and checks were issues for rent, utilities, bills, personal needs – general and anonymous.

If you find yourself in need during the COVID-19 Pandemic, please reach out to me directly and we can discuss whether this fund or my Discretionary fund can help. Kol Yisrael aravim zeh l’zeh – we are each responsible for one another.  If you are in need, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you can help, mail a check to the office and indicate “Community Tzedakah Fund” in the notation or donate online via PayPal on our website.

We will all get through this. We are a strong community. Now, we may be more of a “virtual” community – but we are still a community. Join us for worship, participate in the ZOOM Talmud study (assuming you signed up for the Talmud study we started a few months ago) look out for other opportunities to connect and help us help those in need.

Religious School

From Principal Gloria:

During this strange and disturbing time, I would like to take a few minutes of your time to share with you some online resources that you will hopefully find helpful.

First is an online siddur for Shabbat. This is a good time to start a Shabbat tradition in your homes. The “Mishkan Tfilah For Youth” is geared specifically to families of young children.

An online siddur (prayerbook) for Shabbat.

The second thing I wanted to bring to your attention is the Jewish Interactive website. It has all kinds of interactive games, coloring pages, stories and more.

Next up is a real treat: We were planning to have the Bible Players come to TABI to put on a great show for the last day of TABI School in May, but have had to postpone that until the Fall.

The Bible Players virtual improv show this Sunday on Facebook live! Check out their Facebook page. It will be streaming on Facebook Live Sunday morning at 12 PM EDT. (remember that’s 11am our time!)