Temple Beth Shalom Response to COVID-19
In a number of places in our tradition, we are informed that whoever saves one life saves an entire world. Pikuach nefesh, the preservation of life, is an essential mitzvah. As COVID-19 spreads throughout the US, we can help save lives by temporarily changing the way our community operates over the coming weeks. After having consulted with local health professionals and civic leaders, representatives from other local Jewish communities and with the New Mexico Jewish Federation, with our staff and with the Temple Board, we are making the following changes to how our community shall operate over the next few weeks….
Our Shabbat and festival services will continue to be led from the pulpit but with all members watching online at home instead of coming to the Sanctuary. All our services are live-streamed through the Temple website, at www.sftbs.org, (click on the Shabbat Live Streaming button) or CLICK HERE. During this totally unique situation, we will form a virtual community of prayer instead of a physical one. The Central Conference of American Rabbis has provided a free Mishkan T’fillah flipbook, available at https://www.ccarnet.org/publications/resources-repaginated/?fbclid=IwAR25sJENmdky__vhmOtqKILmVTU5xF2esaIZPWCAlc7YtxkzNnxp3kQj_Yw#dflip-df_10110/1/ so that members who do not have a siddur at home can follow along. If you would like someone’s name to be mentioned before Kaddish, please send an email to before midday on Friday.
Our regular educational activities, such as Torah study, Foundations of Judaism course, Yiddish class, Talmud class, etc., are cancelled for the next week and will continue after that on Zoom. Zoom is a wonderful free online gathering space, similar to video conferencing, and we will send out more information about this to members separately. Using Zoom, we will be able to connect and learn together without even being in the same room. We are even planning on using Zoom for some exciting new educational offerings and will tell you about these in due course.
Our Religious School and our Preschool were already due to be closed next week for Spring Break. Joy and Sarah will be in touch with our families very soon to let them know what is planned after Spring Break.
All of our staff members will continue to work but will usually do so from home. We will keep minimal staff on site in the office during normal office hours in case of emergencies. Appointments with members of staff, including Rabbis, will only be face-to-face in very limited circumstances. If you absolutely need to visit the office, or if you have questions for office staff, please call ahead on 505-982-1376. In case of emergency, please contact Faith either at or or on 917-692-0180.
We acknowledge that this time has the potential to be frightening and isolating for some of our members, especially if anyone in our community does become unwell. Supporting each other and being there for each other is an absolutely strength of Temple Beth Shalom. Next week, we will share how we plan to increase support for our members during this unique time.
You will undoubtedly have many questions. We have started an online thread where members can ask their own questions and also see the answers to other people’s questions. Please go to www.oursermondiscussion.boards.net - the same page that we use to share and discuss the sermons.
Please be assured that we will in no way be closing - we will merely be interacting differently for a while. Through responsible and compassionate social distancing, we will do everything in our power to limit the spread of this virus. We will keep you updated as things develop.
Rabbi Neil (Principal Rabbi) and Michelle LaFlamme-Childs (President)
weekly online schedule of TBS activities
CONTACTS FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ATTENDING AN ACTIVITY
Joy Rosenberg - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Neil - email@example.com
Rabbi Jenny - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday to Friday: Sage Advice-Daily Reflection on Pirke Avot with Rabbi Neil/Rabbi Jenny (by email)
Sunday 10 -11:30 am Foundations of Judaism (Zoom meeting) with Rabbi Neil
Monday 11-11:20 am Parshat HaShavua for Kids-Torah with Joy, ages 5-12 (FacebookLive)
Monday 11:30 - noon Parshat HaShavua for Adults-Torah with Joy, ages 13 and up (FacebookLive)
Tuesday 10:30 - 11 am Creative Shacharit (FacebookLive) with Rabbi Neil
Wednesday 6:30-7:30 pm Adult Hebrew: Alef (Zoom) with Joy Rosenberg
Thursday 9:30-noon Beit Midrash (Zoom) with Rabbi Nahum
Thursday 5:30-6:30 pm Adult Hebrew: Bet (Zoom) with Joy Rosenberg
Thursday 7-7:30 pm Nefesh Shalom Meditation (FacebookLive) with Rabbi Jenny
Friday 6:30 pm Kabbalat Shabbat Service with Rabbi Neil
Saturday 9-10:30 am Torah Study (Zoom meeting) with Rabbi Neil
Saturday 10:30 am Shabbat Shacharit Service
Saturday 8:30-8:45 pm Havdalah (FacebookLive) with Rabbi Neil and Rabbi Jenny