Holding Our Sacred Services During Corona Virus

Dear Beth El Members & Attendees,

Shalom. At present thus far into the Corona Virus containment efforts, Beth El is continuing hold our regular TnT & Erev Shabbat Services.

Because CPC is a public building – here is how we will proceed for maximum safety: 
1. All Attendees are advised to bring their own “Purell” (or equivalent) and to apply to their hands upon entering CPC, and after touching any surface directly with hands; and bring a personal packet of Clorox or Lysol sanitary wipes (they come in purse-travel size packets) would also be advised. CBE will seek to provide a general large Purell source in the lobby … but we might not be able to guarantee one. Having your own personal source will avoid lacking this important aspect of antiviral precautions.

2. All Attendees are advised to bring a “sneeze/cough” clothe (a few folded layers of a standard paper towel will do), and to sneeze/cough into it (or crook of elbow if no time to get to the cloth) when necessary. Purell hands immediately after dealing with a sneeze or cough.

 3. Attendees who are not family (dwelling together) should sit 3 feet apart in pews.

4. Instead of hugs and handshakes, fist-bumps & elbow-bumps are recommended greetings.

5. If anyone sneezes or coughs nearby in your direction – move away, and if “droplet” landings on your clothing or your skin seem possible, then immediately Purell the surface, or apply a sanitizing wipe of some sort.

6. Immediately upon arrival at home after services, deposit clothing worn at shul directly into hamper for washing. Do not “recycle” clothing worn at shul into use without laundering.

7. [Recommended] It is advisable, after outer clothing having contacted shul furniture or surfaces are off, to wash hands for 2 rounds of  “Happy Birthday to you …”   –– or –– optimally, shower immediately, in shower soaping hands like hand washing before washing any other parts of your or your child’s  person.

8. We are looking into broadcasting our services virtually for anyone under quarantine or otherwise ill – but we do not want to go too quickly to virtual services, because that represents a danger from decline in service attendance due to the ease of stay-at-home viewing. “The Loneliest Generation” (the present teens and twentysomethings) has had their loneliness crisis by the mistake that digital contact is as good as in-person contact: and science is showing clearly, it is destructively nowhere near the equal. We are designed for fellowship-in-person with other people: not merely seeing their image on a flat screen. FYI.
We are looking forward to seeing the COVID-19 bug brought under control as soon as possible; and until then, we will continue to provide our services to the Manhattan and larger community as our calling, balanced with sound wisdom, lead to prudent continuation of our community’s vision and mission.

Shalom u’bitachon – (Peace and safety) to all,

Rabbi Bruce
Rabbi Bruce L. Cohen

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