Dear Bet Shalom Family,
As Shabbat approaches this week, it is hard to believe we have been physically distant for close to two months. We have learned a lot about ourselves and our community during this time. We are physically distant, but we remain close in so many ways. There have been some tiny, tiny silver linings that have buoyed us. Most people had not heard the word “zoom” in the context of video conferencing two months ago, and now, most of us understand it as the lifeline that has kept us connected across great distance.
As Minnesota begins to slowly reopen, I am grateful for the leadership in our state who are being creative, sensitive and supportive while modeling a thoughtful approach which takes a 1000 factors into consideration all at once. A complicated balance is needed for each decision and we at Bet Shalom continue to look to our Governor and local authorities as to when and how we can return to our beautiful building and campus. Our approach to these decisions will be at least as conservative as the guidelines coming from the Minnesota Department of Health.
At this time, our goal is to first open our Early Childhood Center, Bet Shalom Yeladim, as soon as we can in order to support the families in our community who need childcare so they can return to work as they are called to do. Opening other parts of Bet Shalom will follow in due time.
I want to thank the 73 volunteers and staff members who have served as Network Captains and have kept our community even more connected than we were before. They will continue to connect with you to make sure you have what you need and to remind you that Bet Shalom is here for all of us as a vital support system and community. In addition to the captains, I want to thank the sizable group who have been at the ready to grocery shop and take care of other needs in our membership as they have arisen.
If you find that now you are able to make regular calls to members, or shop for others, please let me know. This has been a time of greater anxiety and need for support for so many of us.
If you feel you would benefit from participation in our Bet Shalom Anxiety Support Group or in our Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, please contact Amy Yoelin for details. These monthly groups are truly jewels in our crown and have been so helpful as points of support in our community.
We have so much to look forward to at Bet Shalom. The plants are popping out of the ground on Orchard Road and we know that even if we will not be able to gather for awhile in our sanctuary, we can soon start coming together in community to take care of our property (at an appropriate distance…we’ve received assurances from the City of Minnetonka that this will be allowed…contact Steve.Barberio@BetShalom.org for details).
Watch for a new Member Spotlight section in HaEtone where we will share stories about you and your families (as you submit them.)
Cantor Havilio will be joining us soon and we are so excited to welcome her family into our community.
And there is so much more to come. In the meantime, we will of course continue to gather virtually until the time comes when we can return together in person. Please know that Rabbi Crimmings, Steve Barberio, our staff and the Board of Trustees continue to be here to support you in this challenging time. Do not hesitate to call on us at any time.
I wish you each a Shabbat Shalom.
Rabbi David Locketz