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COVID-19 Response Update for March 13: Purim Spiel, School Canceled & More

03/14/2020 08:23:36 PM


Health & Wellness Team

As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to develop and unfold, seemingly on an hourly basis, we will continue to do our best to update and provide you with good and clear information. Our Health and Wellness Team met with representatives of temple leadership, Safety, Religious School and Facilities representatives to review developments and guidance from the CDC, public health officials, NC and local authorities. 

Based on that review, and out of an abundance of caution, Beth Shalom is taking the following steps and cancellations, effective immediately (as of March 12, 2020):

  • School will be canceled for the foreseeable future.
  • We will NOT be holding the Purim Spiel this weekend.
  • Most events, classes, and meetings will NOT be happening at the temple until circumstances change.

Recognizing we are a Jewish congregation and desiring to be supportive of our community’s needs and supporting each other, we WILL continue doing the following, so long as circumstances permit and we feel it can be done safely:

  • Will continue to have services, including Friday, March 13 (in lieu of the Purim Spiel)
  • Hold B'nei Mitzvot (if that is what the family desires)
  • Office hours with the Rabbi and staff, as appropriate. For now, we will only be available on Tuesdays and Fridays in the office but will be checking email and voicemail even when not on-site. Please reach out.
  • Board meeting this Sunday, March 15
  • Respond to families and people in need

We will be continually monitoring the situation and meeting regularly to assess what, if any, changes we need to make, either more restrictive, or God willing, resuming a more normal schedule.

We are also implementing enhanced cleaning protocols, with a focus on deep cleaning and disinfecting the more limited areas we are using (lobby, sanctuary, hallways, bathrooms and offices with a focus on shared surfaces, e.g. doors and handles, light switches, faucets, etc.). We are also temporarily banning food and eating in the building to reduce risks; this means no Oneg with the services.  

Reiterating an earlier point, we ask you, our members and families, to practice “social distancing” including: frequent hand washing and avoiding shaking hands. At services and at our gatherings, let’s say Shalom without a handshake. Please stay home if you develop any upper respiratory symptoms and/or fever, or otherwise feel unwell.

At times like this, being part of a true congregational community is especially important and can be a great source of support. That is why we will continue with a more restrictive set of activities we can safely have and remain open to all those who remain safely able to attend. Preserving health is a core Jewish value and priority, so as we continue with our events and services, if you are within any of the higher-risk categories (over 60, compromised or weakened immune system, pre-existing medical conditions), we advise you to stay at home as much as you can and only go out when you need to. As always, each individual and family must make the determination of what is best for them.

Finally, please remember that we as a congregation are here to support you and support each other. If you or a loved one becomes ill, please reach out to the Rabbi or leadership, just as you would for any illness or time of need. 

Please contact us directly at with any questions, concerns, or comments, and for anything you may need or want to let us know.

The members of the Health & Wellness Team are medical professionals; and the team advises the larger Safety Team and temple leadership.

Together we can get through this.


Kindest regards, 
Rabbi Edery, President Beth Nathison, and the Health & Wellness Team 


Helpful Links: 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Wake County Health Department 
Wake County Public Schools 

Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784