ALL OF OUR COVID-19 INFORMATION RIGHT HERE!

Welcome to Beth Israel’s special COVID-19 web page.

In the coming weeks and months, it is extremely important that we all remain connected to one another. This will be best done over the phone and online. This page will be constantly updated with important information about staying connected to the Beth Israel family.

 

Effective immediately, the Beth Israel Cemetery is implementing the following COVID-19 risk management mitigation protocols:

  • All unveiling ceremonies scheduled from now through April 30 have been canceled. We are not scheduling or rescheduling any new unveiling ceremonies at this time. (A decision on rescheduling the May unveilings will be made by March 31.)
  • In the event of a funeral, clergy will coordinate all details with family via phone conferencing. All communications & paperwork will be conducted via phone and e-mails.
  • Our funeral chapel is accessible however, please use facilities with caution. Hand-washing is imperative during these trying times.
  • All funeral services will take place graveside. Burials may be attended only by immediate family members, grandchildren and Beth Israel staff. In order to recite the Kaddish, we will permit enough additional people in order to make up a minyan, including the officiating rabbi and either of our two funeral directors (Joseph Marciano and/or Howard Jampolsky).
  • The tradition of forming two lines to wish the mourners comfort will be discontinued.
  • We will provide disposable gloves for those wishing to use shovels. The filling of the grave by the mourners present will not be encouraged or required.
  • The hand washing station is closed. Those visiting the cemetery for funeral services or other visitations should wash their hands upon their return home.
  • Shiva Minyans will not be conducted in person. Virtual Shiva Minyans will be possible.
  • Visiting the cemetery for reasons other than a burial are permitted at this time (subject to change) but all visitors are expected to maintain a respectful and appropriate distance from others on the property.
  • If visiting the cemetery, do not place stones on headstone, or leave any materials at the grave-site. All stones and other items left behind will be removed and discarded.

 

Rabbi Jonathan Infeld                Esther Moses-Wood
Senior Rabbi                                   Executive Director

 

Dear Congregants & Friends,

As mentioned in our last few communications, the leadership at Beth Israel have been meeting daily to discuss the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and its implications. We have been in discussions with our task-force, health professionals and our Klei Kodesh. Based on these discussions, the Board of Directors met last night to discuss how best to care for our congregants, guests and staff.

As such, the Board has decided that Congregation Beth Israel will be closing its building to the public and congregants until after Passover (April 17th, 2020). We will reassess the situation at that time.  While we may not be able to have congregants access our building, we will still continue with our purpose of existence of bringing people closer to God, Torah & Israel.  As such we will be ramping UP our programs such as:

  • Streaming Lunch & Learn on a weekly basis rather than a monthly basis
  • Streaming Tea & Talmud weekly (rather than bi-weekly)
  • Adding new online programs to the weekly schedule

The below changes will be taking place from Tuesday March 17th:

  • All services will be live streamed via Zoom. We are working to have a permanent live streaming service set up in the Sanctuary. We will update you once this is up and running.
  • All meetings with Clergy & Staff will be held via Skype, Facetime or phone.
  • Synagogue staff will continue operating from the building and will keep their regular hours.
  • Classes, such as conversion class, Tea & Talmud, Lunch & Learn etc. will be streamed via Zoom.
  • B’nai Mitzvah training will be done via Skype, Facetime etc.
  • All food related events such as Friday night dinners, Kiddush lunches, Seders etc. will not take place at the facility.

Please note that the Ritual committee has decided with our Klei Kodesh to allow for live streaming on Shabbat & the recitation of mourners Kaddish from one’s home with the live streaming service for this extra-ordinary time.

These decisions were not made lightly by our Board.  We will continue to assess the situation daily and keep you updated on developments. People are asked to be vigilant about social distancing and hand washing.

Important Notices from our Community & Beyond:

  • If you are sick or unwell please stay home and rest & let us know. We are here for you.
  • The Hebrew Free Loan Association (HFLA) has established a Coronavirus Emergency Loan Fund (up to a maximum of $2,000) to support individuals with financial challenges caused by the coronavirus. (Click here to read more)
  • If you are in need of food or transportation, please contact the Jewish Family Agency at 604-257-5151

If you are concerned, worried, feel isolated or need to talk to someone please do call or e-mail us.  We are here to listen and help in any way possible.
Rabbi Infeld: rabbiinfeld@bethisrael.ca (604-731-4161 x 107)
Rabbi Stein: rabbistein@bethisrael.ca (604-731-4161 x 108)
Esther Moses-Wood (Executive Director): esther@bethisrael.ca (604-731-4161 x 110)

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Isaac Elias, head of our ‘COVID-19’ task-force as well as Dr. Mel Krajden & Dr. Natasha Press for their invaluable input and expertise in these matters.

For more information about this virus please click here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

We will continue to reassess the situation on a daily basis and keep you abreast of developments with regular communications. We thank you for your understanding.

 

Helen Pinsky, President
Rabbi Jonathan Infeld, Senior Rabbi
Esther Moses-Wood, Executive Director