Dear Temple Emanuel of Tempe community,
We hope that you and your loved ones are faring well today as we continue to navigate this difficult time. We at Temple Emanuel are holding you in our thoughts and will communicate to you regularly, with updates and invitations to continue participating in our community, albeit differently than we normally do. Please read through for opportunities and information:
This Friday our clergy plan to send a Shabbat video, which can be viewed Friday evening or at any time you choose. It will include music and teaching to lift us all up. You’re invited to join us from home, including lighting your own set of candles. Saturday morning’s service will be a participatory experience, including Torah study, brought to you on Zoom. More information on these will be sent later this week, in our Thursday Shabbat Shalom email or a separate communication.
Join our Virtual Community for “Unwind & Whine & Cheese.” Bring your own beverage as we join with Rabbi Dean this Thursday evening to share and connect from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Hang out with us by following :
If you are able to, join Temple Emanuel’s Facebook group () and download the . It will be helpful in staying connected with us.
We thank you for your continued understanding during this time and look forward to speaking and connecting with you virtually. If you are in need of help or pastoral care please reach out to us by email, and if you are able to offer assistance to those in need please reach out as well; we are coordinating opportunities for outreach to one another. We expect to have a comprehensive system up and running next week.
Our Community Fundraising event:
As we shared on Monday, our April 4 fundraising event will be postponed. We hope to hold it in the fall, and are gathering information so that we can share it with you. We are so grateful to the numerous committee members who have worked tirelessly and with passion on this event.
If you have already purchased tickets for this special event, they will be honored for a future event, whether it be next fall or in the spring of 2021.
If you would like your purchase to be refunded, please contact Jocelyn at
Alternatively, if you are feeling comfortable with your own finances at present and would like to support the temple through this difficult time, feel free to let us know that you would like us to keep your ticket purchase as a donation.
Our synagogue staff continue to work remotely, and our custodian, Stephen, is working to sanitize and deep clean our building, and to catch up on important repairs. The health and well-being of our employees, is a top priority. We are actively continuing our searches for Prayer Service Leader/Cantorial Soloist and for Managing Director.
Watch for more information tomorrow in our Shabbat Shalom newsletter.
Yours in community,
Rabbi Dean Shapiro
Cindy Weschrob, President
Gerri Chizeck, Managing Director
Jocelyn Richards, Director of Finance & Human Resources
Dear Temple Emanuel Community,
These are tumultuous times. As the Coronavirus spreads throughout the world, many of us are caring for vulnerable people. Some of us are at risk ourselves. With schools, business, and public events shutting, we are home with our children and concerned for our livelihoods. As if that weren’t enough, the situation is changing rapidly. It’s hard to know what to believe.
Last night, the Arizona Department of Health made the recommendation that large gatherings be cancelled. In response, and so that we can protect our own community’s health, the health of the people we care for, and reduce the burden on our public health system, the Executive Committee has decided to suspend nearly all in-person synagogue events for the foreseeable future. This is a painful decision to make, but social distancing is critical to stopping the spread of this virus. This is an “all hands on deck” moment.
Well-loved events, such as the Women’s Seder, Community Seder, and Havdalah and a Hike are cancelled. The Annual Meeting is postponed, and the spring fundraising event is postponed; we are working on what it might look like. Shabbat services will migrate online. Bar & Bat Mitzvah ceremonies will be held for family members only; guests will be invited to view them online. (We are communicating directly with all Bat/Bar Mitzvah families.) Religious School is cancelled until March 27; Sharon will communicate directly with parents and teachers.
We will revise our plan as the situation warrants.
That said, Temple Emanuel is not going away. We’ll create ways for us to be together online, to support one another through story, song, and prayer. We’ll continue our children’s Jewish learning online, too. Expect to hear from Rabbi Dean later this week with invitations to connect and requests to assist. In times like these, we need one another.
Many of us feel isolated and afraid. If you are in need of pastoral care, please let Rabbi Dean know. Your synagogue community is here for you in these tumultuous days. Further, the synagogue office will be closed until further notice. Staff members will work from home, and our building will be open only when absolutely necessary. Please communicate with us via email, and understand if phone calls are not returned promptly.
Our people know a lot about surviving difficult days. As we have for generations, we draw on our resources of wisdom, community, humor, and story, and we know that this, too, shall pass.
Yours very truly,
Dean Shapiro Cindy Weschrob Gerri Chizeck
Rabbi President Managing Director
P.S. REMINDER – We WILL NOT be sending out any requests for “gift cards for people in need.” If you receive any emails of that nature, please know that it is a scam and not from Temple Emanuel.