In conjunction with the Board of Trustees, we have decided to cancel in-person events, effective immediately, for the next month. Taking into consideration guidance from our county, state, and federal officials, we believe that this is necessary to help maintain the health and safety of the community. We will meet as a Board on April 15 to assess whether we need to extend these measures further or whether we can safely resume public events in our building.
While we will not be meeting in person, we will have many opportunities to stay in touch, which we will enumerate in detail below.
Shabbat Services – We will continue to have Shabbat services at 7:30 pm each Friday night, but starting tomorrow they will be via Facebook Live. There are two ways to access our feed and you do not need to have a Facebook account to watch. If you do not have a Facebook account, you can go to our website (www.sinaireno.org) and navigate to the “Live” page, where you will be able to view the feed from your computer or mobile device. If you do have a Facebook page, be sure to LIKE the Temple Sinai Reno page and view the live stream there. Saturday morning services and Torah study are canceled until we resume normal operations in the building. If you are interested in having a copy of Mishkan T’filah to follow along during services, Temple Sinai members have a few options. First, you can stop by the synagogue today or tomorrow until 3 pm and sign out a copy. Second, if you have the tech-savvy, you can access the flip-book at this link. Or if you want to get the ebook on your own device, it is currently only $4.99 on Amazon. At services, we will continue to read the Yahrtzeit and Mi Shebeirach lists, so if you have names to submit, be sure to keep contacting Mike in the office with any names you need to add.
Shabbat Unplugged! – The March 20th Shabbat Unplugged! is canceled. We will reschedule with Toby Pechner when we can all be together in the same room again. Please join us on Facebook Live on the evening of the 20th at 7:30 pm for a live stream Kabbalat Shabbat service.
Tot Shabbat – On April 3, at our normal time of 5:30, tune in to our Facebook Live feed for a special Tot Shabbat with the rabbis!
Contacting the office – The office will be open during office hours as usual. Feel free to call or stop by if need be. If you’re getting stir-crazy, you may want to pick up a book or two from our library!
Contacting the rabbis – As always, you can give the office a ring or send us an email. Additionally, we will be available on two different video/chat platforms, Google Hangouts (for anyone who has a Gmail account) and Skype. To find us on Google Hangouts, go to the chat box in your Gmail inbox in the left corner and search for firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. To use Skype, download the program and create a login, and then call or chat us at smzober or benjamin.zober. We will be signed-in at any time that we are in the office. Please call us if you need anything!
Social Media – Please do NOT send us Facebook messages, as we are monitoring it but only intermittently. You can also follow us on Instagram at @sinaireno. We will try to post things and keep it fun while we’re away from the building!
We know that this is absolutely not ideal, and we will have growing pains as we all figure out how to make this work. It is very important, however, to reiterate that as we practice responsible social distancing, we certainly don’t have to be practicing social isolation, and we will do our best to stay in touch with everyone. We can all do our part in calling one another and intentionally keeping up our synagogue friendships in the next month. Remember, the recommendations are to keep groups small, not to hole ourselves up in the house and never leave. Being a community means reaching out to those we love and keeping the most vulnerable in our community safe.
Below this letter, we have included specifics for each of the events between now and April 15. If anything isn’t clear, please let us know and we’ll be happy to answer any questions. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, please be in touch with us about what you need and how you’re doing. We are still a community, and we can’t wait to be together again after this ordeal is over.
Rabbi Sara Zober
Rabbi Benjamin Zober
Specifics About Events Scheduled in the Next Month
Community Passover Seder – Unfortunately, we will be unable to hold our Community Passover Seder this year because of the guidelines against large groups. We are looking for a way to be together through live stream or Zoom as well for those who want company at the seder, so stay tuned! If you have already RSVP-ed for the seder for this year, Mike Stombaugh will be contacting you regarding refunds.
Mah Jongg Tournament – The tournament is postponed until it is safe to meet once again. The Sisterhood will be contacting those who have RSVP-ed directly with more information.
Committee Night – Committees are welcome to meet if they deem it safe and necessary, but we are asking that they coordinate to not exceed the safe capacity of 20 people in the building. Off-site or online meetings are highly encouraged.
Dance Groups – Our dance groups are independent, and they will determine among themselves whether to hold their classes in the social hall on Mondays and Thursdays.
Introduction to Judaism – We will continue with these classes when normal operations resume. We will make up the lost weeks by extending the course on the subsequent Tuesdays and will reschedule the Shabbaton as well. Please contact the rabbis directly if this is a hardship for you.
Art Education Class – The Art Education Class will be postponed until we get back from this hiatus. Please stay tuned for announcements about when this class will start.
Torah for Tots – Scheduled for April 2, Torah for Tots will not be meeting. Families will receive a communication from Judy as well.
Talmud Study – Talmud study is canceled until further notice. Stay tuned for announcements about when we will bring it back.
Sinai School and Hebrew High – Sinai School and Hebrew High are on a two-week spring break that has now been extended until April 15. We will resume classes once it is safe to do so. We also follow the Washoe County School District, and if they are closed, we will be closed as well.
Good Websites to Keep an Eye On
- Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
- CDC COVID-19 Landing Page
- CDC Resource Page
- Washoe County School District Coronavirus Updates