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Update March 18, 2020 – Online Daily Morning Minyan Starts Tomorrow @8:30 AM

We hope that you are healthy and are managing as well as possible during these challenging days. We continue to hold in our thoughts the well-being of those physically infected by the virus. We pray that they recover quickly and completely. To varying degrees, this virus has affected us all in different ways. We have experienced moments of anxiety and uncertainty, loneliness and stress. While it may seem that whole world has changed, perhaps we can find comfort and consolation in the immutable nature of our Jewish values, wisdom, traditions and customs.
 
Two thousand years ago, the great and wise sage, Hillel, taught: Al tifros min hatzibur, “Do not separate yourself from the community” (Pirkei Avot 2:4). For a Jew to remain apart from other Jews is perhaps the greatest violation of our beliefs, namely that Jews both need and are responsible for each another. This is why “social distancing” is particularly painful for our people.
 
The truth is, “social distancing” is a misnomer. What we must practice is “physical” distancing, not social distancing. Now is the time to emotionally, spiritually, and virtually connect more than ever with each other. Now is the time to call or video chat with friends, neighbors and loved ones. Now is the time to reach out and connect. Now is the time to remember that what makes us a congregation is not our building, sanctuary, chapel or even school. Rather, YOU are our congregation. It has always been our people, not our place, that mattered most. That truth remains unchanged.
 
Our now-virtual congregation is committed to leaving no stone unturned and no form of technology untried in our effort to create, foster and nurture new forms of communal connections. All ideas are welcome, and we appreciate your patience as we strive to continue to care for you, inspire you, teach you and uplift you.
 
Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 19th, ATJC will resume online our long-standing tradition of having a daily, weekday minyan. For the foreseeable future, this virtual minyan will take place only in the mornings, Sunday through Friday, at 8:30 AM during our regular time. Unlike our streaming Friday night and Shabbat morning services, our daily minyan participants (should you choose by activating your camera and/or microphone) will be able to see one another and hear each other. This way, we will not only ensure that we have a minyan, a quorum of 10 adult Jews, but we will feel that powerful sense of community that so many of us desperately seek and need now more than ever.
 
During our daily minyan as with our Shabbat services, Kaddish can be said for those in mourning or observing yahrzeit and the Torah readings will be read. Here is the Zoom link to join our daily morning minyan by video. This link will work on any computer or smart phone. You can also dial-in to the minyan from any smart telephone with one click  +19294362866,,302584813# or from any type of phone by dialing (929) 436-2866, wait, for the prompt, and then dial the meeting ID, 302584813#. We will be using our Sim Shalom for Weekdays Siddur from our chapel which can be downloaded here and either printed or viewed on a screen.
 
Our current, comprehensive schedule of weekday and Shabbat worship services can be found on our website here, including two weekly services for young children on Monday mornings 9:30 AM (Havdalah and Hebrew songs) and Friday mornings 9:30 AM (Shabbat prayers and songs). Our current schedule of Adult Education classes can be found here. Our Religious School families are receiving extensive regular email updates on the highly engaging online learning happening now on Sunday mornings. Our Tauber Academy families are connected with their teachers on WhatsApp and video conference and are eagerly anticipating their first virtual Tauber Shabbat service and celebration on Friday morning. Our Tikkun Olam volunteers have already reached out to all of our seniors, already delivered toilet paper and latex gloves among other items and will continue to care for all those in need. 
 
Please continue to check our website and Facebook pages for additional information, updates and announcements. Please note that we are exploring the possibility of live streaming one or more of the Passover Seders in real time, so please stay turned for more information.
 
As always, if there is anything you need—emergency or not—or if you have suggestions for virtual gatherings, classes, meetings, services or events, please reach out to us by email info@atjc.org or phone (305) 937-1880. Your resilience in the face of this crisis has been our greatest source of inspiration. We believe in the power of community, especially this ATJC community.
 
May we go from strength to strength, and may we see each other’s faces online soon.
 
Rabbi Jonathan Berkun
Rabbi Guido Cohen
Rose Rubin, President
Mark Flaxer, Executive Director
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

Latest Update as of March 15, 2020

 

March 15, 2020
 
Dear Friends,

After Shabbat, we greet each other Shavua Tov, “may we have a good week.” Indeed, we pray that the coming week will be good for all of humanity; may those who are sick have a Refuah Shleimah (“quick and complete recovery”) and may our collective, communal efforts be effective in slowing the spread of this global pandemic.

This past Shabbat was unlike any other in modern memory. Normally, we strive to bring people together. Yesterday, along with synagogues around the world, we not only urged people to stay home and join our streamed services Friday Night and Shabbat Morning , but we closed our doors to all physical participation. What began as a painful, yet necessary decision was transformed into something sacred by the many soulful, virtual, real-time connections you and many people around the world made with our prayers and with one another.

If we learned anything this past Shabbat, we learned that through creativity, innovation and resilience, we CAN keep our authentic, strong sense of kehillah kedoshah, a holy congregation. This Sunday morning, our first-ever virtual Religious School connected our teachers with students at home in the most meaningful and beautiful of ways. It was a joy to watch them learn, interact with each other, and even chat together in real time. If you’ve never seen students studying Judaism in their pajamas, it is a sight to behold!

In the coming days, we are excited to imagine and fashion many more opportunities to stay connected through technology. We plan to pray together, learn together, talk openly with one another, and even find ways to share l’chayim’s together (BYOB of course). We know that this new reality is taking its toll on our souls in different ways. We must strive together to not only care for our bodies, but for our hearts and minds as well. As a congregation, we will leave no stone unturned in our effort to care and support one another.

DAILY MINYAN NOW CLOSED TO PHYSICAL PARTICIPATION
This quickly changing and constantly evolving situation also makes it necessary for us to re-evaluate our plans and decisions regularly. While we had hoped to continue our physical daily minyan that historically attracts less than 20 participants, we no longer believe it is prudent to do so. Effective Sunday afternoon, March 15, our daily minyan is closed. While we will endeavor to stream this daily service, please be patient as we work on the logistics of this plan. This decision today was informed by advice from medical experts as well as several factors, namely (1) our inability to clean our facility to a standard that guarantees zero transmission, (2) the dogged persistence of many of our senior members to keep coming, and (3) our observance of how difficult it is for people to practice necessary precautions such as refraining from touching each other and their own faces.

PASTORAL CARE
As always, if you are in need of spiritual care because of a birth, illness or loss, please contact our Rabbis directly. If you need help (with grocery or pharmacy pick-ups) or if you can offer help, our Social Action Committee is ready to help. Please email Rabbi Jonathan Berkun jberkun@atjc.org or Rabbi Guido Cohen gcohen@atjc.org .
 
SYNAGOGUE OFFICE
Unless we are streaming specific virtual classes or services, the clergy and staff will not be present in the synagogue campus. Instead, we will be working remotely to care for our congregation and community. We remain reachable by email info@atjc.org  and on our main office phone (305) 937-1880.

IT IS A MITZVAH TO “FLATTEN THE CURVE”
The Mishnah teaches that to save one life is to save an entire world. The Talmud teaches that there is no greater value than pikuach nefesh, saving and preserving life. It also teaches that we must err on the side of caution when there is uncertainty with respect to a life-threatening situation. Please take precautions and do whatever you can to protect and safeguard your own life and the lives of others. 





ATJC CARES
We know how unsettling this is for our congregational family. Hopefully, we can find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our anxiety. We are bound to one another and remain responsible for each other.

Please check our website www.atjc.org regularly for additional updates and follow us on Facebook . We appreciate everyone’s understanding, cooperation and support. We pray that everyone affected by COVID-19, physically and emotionally, has a Refuah ShleimahWe will continue to support one another through this challenging time and looking forward to our congregational life returning to its normal routine.   

Shavua tov,
Rabbi Jonathan Berkun
Rabbi Guido Cohen
Rose Rubin, President
Mark Flaxer, Executive Director
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
• CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary
• Protect Yourself and Your Family (CDC)
• Basic Protective Measures (WHO)
 • Florida Department of Health (FDOH)
 • FDOH Newsroom

Update as of March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020 
 
Dear Friends,
 
Together with you, we are watching with increased concern the coronavirus health crisis that is affecting our world. By now, we hope you are taking all the necessary and prudent precautions in the wake of this global pandemic. We hold in our hearts those individuals around the world who are sick and pray for a Refuah Shleimah, a quick and complete recovery. The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community is our primary priority.
 
As Jewish tradition teaches, there is no higher value than the preservation of life, Piku’ach Nefesh. Although we are not aware of any person that has tested positive for COVID-19 in our congregation, after extensive deliberation, consultations with medical experts, and in accordance with CDC guidelines, we are making judicious adjustments to our services, classes, meetings and programs.
 
We believe it to be both a Jewish and moral imperative to take steps to prevent transmission of this virus. To do this, in addition to adopting protocols for cleaning hands and frequently touched surfaces, we are considering three criteria: our ability to (1) maximize the volume of air in indoor, closed spaces at ATJC; (2) maintain safe social distances between people (seating, close conversations and fellowship); and (3) prevent physical contact between people (shaking hands, hugging and kissing).
 
Older adults and people with severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. If you fall into this category or you know someone who does, please note that the CDC urges this population to avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. We hope that the elderly members of our community will heed this advice. If the situation worsens, we may be obligated to make additional adjustments to our ATJC activities to protect the most vulnerable among us.
 
DAILY MINYAN
Daily minyan services (8:30 AM daily and 5:30 PM Sunday – Thursday) will continue as scheduled but will be MOVED TO THE SOFFER SANCTUARY. Those attending will be required to maintain a safe distance from one another and refrain from any physical contact with one another. Every other row will be left empty, and unless people share a household, we will require at least three empty seats between people. Despite how strange it may feel—and that social distancing is antithetical to our sacred mission to foster a strong sense of community—the medical experts require these necessary precautions at this time. Effective immediately, bagels and coffee will not be served after morning minyan until further notice (see FOOD). We will endeavor to stream these services, so please check our website www.atjc.org or Facebook for details.
 
SHABBAT
Effective THIS SHABBAT March 13/14, Shabbat services (Fridays 6:45 PM, Shabbat mornings 9:15 AM, Saturday evenings 6 PM) will be held ONLY VIRTUALLY VIA STREAMING and CLOSED TO PHYSICAL ATTENDEES. We recognize that this is a difficult, if not painful decision for many in our congregation. However, given the large number of regular attendees, of whom many are older, our medical experts have advised us against hosting largely attended services. We will endeavor to stream these services, so please check our website www.atjc.org or Facebook for details.
 
FOOD
Based on advice from medical experts, we will not be serving food until further notice. This includes bagels and coffee following morning minyan and kiddush on Friday night and Shabbat morning. We understand that sharing food is what often what helps bring our community together. However, at this time, social distancing is an essential precaution to avoid spreading illness.
 
ADULT EDUCATION
All Adult Education classes will be held virtually on an online platform until further notice. We will be in touch soon by email and/or social media with a revised schedule and login details. This includes:
  • Adult B’nai Mitzvah Class (Thursday afternoons)
  • Friday Morning Talmud Class (Friday mornings)
  • Torah Para La Vida in Spanish (Friday mornings)
  • Talmud class in Spanish (Tuesday mornings)
  • Melton Classes
TAUBER ACADEMY
Out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with the decision many other local schools have made, effective Monday, March 16, Tauber Academy will close and move to individual learning at home until further notice. Historically, Tauber Academy has followed the policies of Miami-Dade Public Schools with respect to emergencies such as hurricanes and other storms. However, our medical experts have advised us against hosting students and teachers physically in our classrooms on our campus at this time. We recognize that this will impose hardship and difficulty for many parents. Our teachers and Director, Cindy Behar, are available to help families manage these challenges and are in regular communication by phone and email updates.
 
BAR/BAT MITZVAH PREPARATION
All Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation will continue online (Facetime) until further notice. Your tutor will be in touch soon about the schedule and details.
 
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
Beginning Sunday, March 15, Religious School will conduct classes online until further notice. Families will soon receive an email from Religious School Coordinator, Corinne Farkash, about virtual classes and additional educational resources. We are committed to the continuation of Hebrew and Judaic studies and will explore every creative way possible to achieve our educational mission. All Teen Torah classes are postponed.
 
PASTORAL CARE
As always, if you are in need of spiritual care because of a birth, illness or loss, please contact our Rabbis directly. If you need help (with grocery or pharmacy pick-ups) or if you can offer help, please email Rabbi Jonathan Berkun jberkun@atjc.org or Rabbi Guido Cohen gcohen@atjc.org.
 
COMMITTEE MEETINGS
All in-person meetings will be moved online to virtual meetings or postponed until further notice.
 
COMMUNITY EVENTS
All community events at ATJC have been postponed until the end of March.
 
PASSOVER
A decision regarding our Passover Seders will be made next week.
 
SYNAGOGUE OFFICE
Outside of daily minyan times, there will not be clergy or staff in the synagogue campus. However, we will be working remotely to care for our congregation and community. We are reachable by email info@atjc.org and on our main office phone (305) 937-1880.
 
ATJC CARES
We know how unsettling this is for our congregational family. Hopefully, we can find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our anxiety. We are bound to one another and remain responsible for each other. Thankfully, we are fortunate to live in an era that allows us to pray, learn and stay together without physically being in the same place. The Jewish tradition and the Jewish people have always been creative and resilient. We encourage you to take advantage of the blessing technology affords us to join our many worship, learning and communal opportunities from home.
 
This is an evolving situation, developing at times hour by hour. Please check our website www.atjc.org regularly for additional updates and follow us on Facebook. We appreciate everyone’s understanding, cooperation and support. We pray that everyone affected by COVID-19, physically and emotionally, has a Refuah Shleimah. We will continue to support one another through this challenging time and looking forward to our congregational life returning to its normal routine.
Shalom,
 
Rabbi Jonathan Berkun Rabbi Guido Cohen
Rose Rubin, President

Mark Flaxer, Executive Director

Sun, April 5 2020 11 Nisan 5780