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Update: Friday, July 24

Dear Friends,

Our community continues to face the challenges of the pandemic with support for each other and with hope for the future. This is a time that none of us could have imagined, and we have been inspired by the many ways our community has been able to come together to share in life’s joys and sorrows. 

Over the last few months, Beth Am’s program staff and lay leaders have spent a significant amount of time developing procedures and protocols for the time when the campus can re-open, thoughtfully creating a phased approach to minimize risk to our members, clergy, and staff. Like many of you, we are coming to terms with the reality that the current situation will likely be with us for months to come. In light of the state of the public health crisis, we are now planning for all programming to continue virtually (online) through the end of December 2020. The main exception is to hold some small religious ceremonies — life-cycle events — that comply with orders from Santa Clara County.

This decision applies to youth education programs, which we had hoped to take place in person in a limited way. Given that gathering in person is not currently an option, we have shifted our focus to creating meaningful programming that will enable us to connect virtually as a community. We are seizing this opportunity to think imaginatively about our educational model and its curricula, and we will be sharing more of our plans with our school community in the month ahead.   

We will re-evaluate the plan for 2021 and hope to bring back some in-person gatherings for youth education and across the board in the winter/spring. We will continue to monitor the latest scientific information and guidance from the governmental authorities and public health experts, and we will remain flexible and ready to respond quickly should the communal health situation improve. But, first and foremost, we must consider the health and safety of our member families, clergy, and staff.

You are invited to join the conversation  this Sunday evening, July 26, at 7:00 PM for our next Summertime Chat titled, “Hitting Pause on Re-Opening.” You can  watch the recording. Rabbi Morrison, President Andy Cheng, Executive Director Rachel Tasch, and Recovery Team Chair Rachel Gibson will share our thinking and in turn want to hear your thoughts, questions, and concerns. 

We believe this is a moment of great opportunity to re-envision the nature of community and to design the Jewish future. While we all long for the moment we can embrace each other and return to our beautiful Beth Am spaces, we also know that this is a time for pikuach nefesh, preservation of life. Thank you for remaining our partners in this work.

L’shalom,

Andy Cheng, President
Rabbi Jeremy S. Morrison, Senior Rabbi
Rachel Tasch, Executive Director

Sun, August 9 2020 19 Av 5780