More than anything, we yearn to be physically present as a community. The health and the safety of all remains our utmost concern. I have been meeting regularly with our professional and volunteer leadership assessing the status of the ever changing and evolving guidelines from local, state and federal agencies and experts. Together with our COVID-19 Advisory Task Force and our expanded Spiritual Life Committee we have come to the difficult conclusion that we will not be able to gather in person to welcome the New Year and to observe Yom Kippur as we have in the past.
The Torah teaches us that we are to approach our relationship with God and community, “Bechol Levvavcha,” with all of our heart. Today this challenges us to be present with each other differently. We can celebrate the New Year in new and previously unknown ways in worship, study and Tikkun Olam.
The High Holy Day services for 5781 will be celebrated digitally. While we will not be physically present, the digital medium allows for an infusion of new creativity and meaning. In addition, we have plans to prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as a community during the Hebrew month of Elul which begins on August 21st. For these 30 days we will engage in the work of Cheshbon HaNefesh, accounting of our souls and Teshuvah, seeking repentance through digital gatherings for study, engaging, safe and limited in person activities and at home opportunities to find meaningful connection as we prepare together.
I am in awe of the creativity and adaptability of our congregation. I am inspired by my colleagues at Jeremiah and our volunteer leaders and all that we are doing to fulfill the vision of Temple Jeremiah: to be a Jewish community of meaningful connection. We will continue to update you throughout the summer. A detailed guide with all of our Elul and High Holy Day offerings will be mailed in the coming weeks.