For centuries, synagogues have played a central role as places of holy gathering, learning, prayer and service. Purim 5780 was a wonderful example of how Beth Am, in particular, is thriving as a dynamic and joyful kehillah. Our Sages teach there comes a time when Jewish community is confronted with sha’at had’chak, an hour of duress, when lives and safety are at risk and the kehillah must adjust accordingly. Traditionally, sha’at had’chak occurred when Jews, specifically, were threatened. But the moment in which we find ourselves is not limited to Jews or synagogues, nor even Americans or Israelis. The advent of COVID-19 is a global crisis, and our faith demands of us that we stand now as citizens of the world.
We have assembled a special COVID-19 task force including medical and public health professionals from our congregation to develop and periodically review policies to ensure that we can maintain our essential functions in a safe and responsible manner. This task force will convene regularly and make necessary adjustments to our policies in response to current developments of the pandemic and the latest advice from public health organizations. The task force has decided we will implement the following policies:
- Shabbat Services will continue virtually on our website. Click Here to go to livestream page
No in-person services will be held.
Jewish Discovery Lab and all youth programming will be virtual until further notice.
All Beth Am Programming will be virtual until further notice. Click here for the latest list of programs taking place, and how to access them.
Meetings of the synagogue, such as committee meetings or strategic plan task force meetings – particularly those of larger groups – will be held remotely via telephone or video conference. Check the calendar or check with the chair of the committee for more information.
We recognize that “social distancing” makes it difficult to accomplish the rich community-building to which we aspire at Beth Am. These are temporary measures to deal with the situation at hand. We will need to find new ways to express our appreciation for and support of one another. When possible we will use technology to bridge the divide.
Rabbis Burg and Gludt remain available to anyone who is in need of pastoral care. In addition, our congregation will begin to think through how best to support our most vulnerable members through this crisis. Please contact Rav Daniel at RavDaniel@BethAmBaltimore.org if you wish to be part of that conversation. Additionally, IFO and Social Action will consider how best to support our surrounding Reservoir Hill community.
During this “hour of duress,” may we continue to hold each other from afar, and may the bonds of friendship that unite our Beth Am family, our “house of the people,” continue to grow even as we endure this difficult congregational, national and global moment.