***A version of this notice was sent via email to the T'chiyah community on March 12. Its information may not be precisely up-to-date. Please check your T'chiyah Times and our Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates. ***
Dear T’chiyah Family & Friends,
You've probably seen by now that there are growing amounts of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus / COVID-19 in Michigan.
Following the recommendations of public health & medical personnel in our congregation, as well as Jewish communities across the country, the T'chiyah Board has opted to suspend ALL in-person gatherings for at least the next month - including our weekend with SVARA and next month's planned Passover seder / Shabbat on April 10 - unless otherwise noted.
Per the safety plan of Jewish Senior Life, our Oak Park location (the Mondry Builiding) will also be closed off from all public use until further notice. As you know, this situation is rapidly changing, so we will continue to be in communication and adjust our practices as needed. Stay tuned for details about how to tune-in to our scheduled Shabbat programming, which will be offered as a remote webcast.
...But I need my fix of progressive, funky, T'chiyah-style Judaism! 😭
Don't worry. To the best of our ability, we'll be making use of the technologies we have to offer to provide experiences of Jewish learning and connection from the comfort of your own home via online livestreams and web-based content. This will include services, classes, and other opportunities to gather virtually. We also plan on sharing content and connective experiences from some of our kindred shul-communities like Hinenu Baltimore, Tzedek Chicago, fellow synagogues of Reconstructing Judaism, and our would-be guests (who want to return in the fall!), SVARA.
These offerings, although brought on by unfortunate circumstances, afford us an opportunity to experiment with new techniques of community-building that are more accessible to people who are home-bound, experience chronic illness, or otherwise cannot always attend services in-person.
T'chiyah members can count on some extra support from the congregation to ease this adjustment. Members will receive a list of other T'chiyahniks grouped by neighborhood, to give you some nearby folks to reach out to in case you're itching for a Shabbat dinner, want to coordinate some low-key Torah study or social time, or are in need of local assistance. (Contained small-group gatherings pose a decreased risk of transmission and serve to lessen the strain on the healthcare and public health systems, compared to large groups.)
Of course, we ask that you please use your discretion when it comes to attending private gatherings. Though we pride ourselves on our commitment to intergenerational community, engaging in social time with people of similar age groups may be advisable, to help to protect the more vulnerable folks over 60 from younger people, who are more likely to be transmit the disease. Please stay home if you've recently traveled or are exhibiting symptoms like: runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, and/or difficulty breathing. Members can also utilize the Chesed Committee's coordinating efforts, as needed, to help facilitate the delivery of supplies/medications/meals, trips to the store, etc. To reach the Chesed Committee, members may email Syma or Roz Schindler.
Times of crisis such as these are exactly the moment to lean on the supportive structures of community. If you've been on the fence about joining, now might be a perfect time to make it official.
What should I do in response to this? 🤷💭
The best course of action you can take is to follow the guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control, and if you wish, you can peruse the
information and subscribe for email updates from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. We hope you've seen (and have been following) the recommendations we've put out based on suggestions from the experts. If you believe you may have been exposed, please consult your primary care physician immediately - they will work with the local health department to coordinate virus testing. For more information, consult:
- Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
- Detroit Health Department
- Oakland County Health Department
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 / coronavirus situation and, as relevant, will keep you posted with information about this epidemic and what you can do to help all of our community remain safe. Stay tuned for an update about how to tune-in to this Friday's service.
We know that it will likely be challenging to adapt to such a different mode of communal practice, but - to paraphrase Mordechai from the Purim megillah - "who knows, perhaps we were made for times such as these!"
If you have any questions, please direct them to our Community Engagement Associate, Jake Ehrlich at TchiyahJake@gmail.com
For now, we say la-briyut v'la-kehillah - to health, and to the community!
Jake Ehrlich, Community Engagement Associate
on behalf of the T'chiyah Staff & Board