During our URJ facilitated board retreat we were asked what we have stopped doing because of the pandemic. Initially we all thought it would be a long list, but the more we thought about it the less we could list. We are still praying together for Shabbat twice a month, we still have Adult Education with Rabbi Dean and Cantor Shayndel, and our religious school is still engaged in meaningful Jewish education. Even Food for Thought successfully provided food for 400 families in the midst of this pandemic. We had to change some of our activities. We lit Hanukkah candles together, but could not eat latkes together and of course we cannot do our potlucks. However, we are doing everything except eating together. With a lot of creativity we are adapting to our circumstances amazingly well.
Soon, on Sunday, February 21, we will be celebrating Purim with songs, storytelling, a reading from the Megillah, and a Purim shpiel. And we are planning our Community Passover Seder as well. We can’t gather together in-person, but we are still together online.
During this pandemic we are overcoming obstacles and learning a lot about ourselves and our community. We are more creative and more flexible than we imagined. If we remember these lessons when we return to more normal lives, we will be stronger, more inclusive, and more accessible than ever.
We are Temple Beth Hillel.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now, when? -Rabbi Hillel
~ Michael R Cohen, President, Temple Beth Hillel