March 18, 2020 / 22 Adar, 5780
I hope that you are all staying well as we together work through these challenging times. Our preparedness team met again yesterday evening, and we would like to provide you with some additional updates. Based on most current state and national recommendations (as of this writing), and in an effort to maintain the health and safety of our community, we are making the following changes at Or Tzion. While we are hopeful that the threat posed by Covid-19 will pass quickly, we are unable to predict exactly how long these changes will need to remain in effect. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide regular updates and modifications as appropriate.
- Our building will be effectively closed, and staff will be working from off-site. Our main phone lines will remain open during regular business hours and calls will be forwarded to a member of our staff. If you need to reach any member of our staff or clergy, please call our main number at 480-342-8858 for assistance.
- Prayer services, both for Shabbat and Thursday morning minyan, are being moved to an online ‘streaming’ model. Our clergy will lead our community in prayer from our sanctuary. We encourage you to join us from your home via our link at otaz.org/livestream. Special accommodations may be made only for the immediate families of B’nai Mitzvot.
- In-person classes at the Roz Goodell Religious School are being suspended, and we will transition to a model of remote learning. Sharon Landay will be reaching out to families with children in the school over the next few days with further details.
- All meetings are being moved to teleconference platforms.
- All tutoring sessions and individual teaching will similarly take place in a virtual environment.
- All previously scheduled programs at the synagogue are being cancelled or switched to a virtual model. Please monitor our eBulletin and our website for detailed updates. At this time, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our community second night seder. If you have already registered and paid for this event, please allow us some time to process your refund.
- Our clergy will continue to perform shiva minyanim in a virtual manner as well.
- Our clergy will be providing new opportunities for us to connect remotely for online learning and to promote spiritual connectivity. Further details will be forthcoming in the days ahead.
- We realize that many of you may be in self-isolation now or in the near future. We have congregants who are available and willing to help (i.e. deliver a prescription or grocery items to a front doorstep). If you have specific needs in the days and weeks to come, or if you are able to help out a fellow congregant, please let us know.
We encourage you all to continue practicing social distancing and to take time to attend to your own physical and spiritual well-being. As a reminder, an excellent source of current information is the CDC website
Thank you again for your understanding and patience. These are challenging times, but together we will come through this stronger as a community. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or if we can support you in any way.
Rabbi Micah Caplan
Mitchell Ross MD, President
Frank Jacobson, Administrative Vice President
Linda Moskowitz RN, Immediate Past President
Scott Stone RN, Member-at-Large, Board of Directors
Sharon Landay, Interim Director, Roz Goodell Religious School
Nicky Spivak, Executive Director