The news about COVID-19, or the coronavirus, seems to change every time we look for updates. At this time, almost all the states surrounding us have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and testing has begun here in Northern Nevada. Our staff and Building, Grounds, and Safety committee have been compiling resources and getting ready for a number of different scenarios that we would like you to know about.
First, we know that as of right now, we don’t have any confirmed cases in Northern Nevada, and the current risk level for us is low. Because of this, you will only see a few small changes around the synagogue. We have placed bottles of hand sanitizer throughout the building, and we will be trying to minimize handshaking and personal contact for your safety and our own. We will also be slicing the challah at the oneg and will provide tongs for distribution. Please do your part by washing your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds. (Rabbi Sara has calculated that “Al Shloshah D’varim” once through without repeats is the perfect song to sing while you wash your hands when you’re in the synagogue!)
If more extreme measures of social distancing, such as school or business closures within the Washoe County School District become a reality, we will cancel Sinai School and Tot programs for the duration of the recommended period. We will also go to a streaming-only model for services, through Facebook Live, and can continue meetings via Zoom and other web-based or phone-based services. If you have not liked Temple Sinai on Facebook, please do so in order to be able to watch. We have not implemented any of these measures yet, so please don’t go looking for a streaming feed right now! This is just in case of a real emergency outbreak in our area, and we will let you know if we have to implement them.
We fully intend to see all of you at our Purim Festivities next week: Purim Carnival and the Purimspiel on Sunday, and the Megillah reading at Temple Emanu-El on Monday. We plan on celebrating Passover together at the Community Passover Seder on Wednesday, April 8, so don’t forget to RSVP. In this time of uncertainty, we hope that we can all draw strength from one another. As always, please let us know if you want to put someone on our Mi Shebeirach list or if you need a visit from one of us or a friend from the Caring Committee.
Rabbi Benjamin Zober
Rabbi Sara Zober