Dear IHC Families,
Over the past few days, we have seen many schools and communal organizations close in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus to the more vulnerable among us. The CDC and national Jewish organizations are closely monitoring the situation across the country, and we continue to be in touch with them to decide what is best for our congregation.
We understand there is great concern about gatherings of more than a few people, especially because those types of meetings or programs heighten the risk to the community at large. While we believe the risk to most of us is low, we feel a responsibility to our entire community to help “lower the curve” of infection rates.
While it is important to note that at the time of this letter, we have not been notified of any cases of or exposure to COVID-19 within the IHC community, we have decided it is most prudent at this point to undertake the following actions to help limit potential exposure to the broader community:
- We are suspending all congregational programs, group meetings, and events beginning on Sunday, March 15th through April 12th, the end of our spring break.
- As of today, our ECC will still be in operation and our staff and clergy will be available.
- This Friday’s Shabbat evening service will take place, but there will not be an oneg either before or after. The service will also be available via Facebook Live (more information about this will be emailed tomorrow).
- Shabbat morning services this Saturday, March 14 will be held, as usual.
- Friday night and Saturday morning services starting Friday, March 20th through April 12th will be streamed online and will not be available to attend in person.
- Tanakh Study will not be held this Saturday and will resume when congregational programs resume.
- The Jewish Learning Program (Sunday) and Derech Torah (Sunday and Wednesday) will not be held through April 12th.
- Hebrew Intensives will meet through online-based services. More information will be sent directly to families involved in Hebrew Intensives.
- B’nai mitzvah tutoring will meet though online-based services. More information will be sent directly to families involved with tutoring and clergy meetings.
- Adult Education classes, whether daytime or evening, will not be held through April 12th. We will be working on scheduling additional make-up sessions for Introduction to Judaism. We are exploring the use of technology for our adult learners to continue weekly learning.
- Any affiliate, task force, or group meetings or events, such as Sisterhood, Brotherhood, Youth Groups, LAF, Choir, and Klezmer, will not be meeting at IHC through April 12th. Please look for further information from these organizations and groups in the coming days.
- The Congregational Annual Meeting will not be held on April 19th and will be rescheduled for a later date with more information to follow.
We hope to resume our regular scheduling in mid-April. Please know that we are monitoring the situation carefully and will keep you up to date with any changes.
We also promise to explore creative ways to strengthen the bonds of community over the coming days and weeks. We have begun to explore ways to share Shabbat with those who need to stay home, to study together using the powerful tools of social media, and to reach out to those who may feel lonely or afraid.
Please watch for more opportunities to connect with us, and please continue to follow common sense precautions to limit the spread of all illness. We look forward to seeing you all soon, safe and sound.
Daniel Silien Marc P. Katz
Executive Director Board President