As a number of you might already know the Chief Rabbi has, with what he refers to as “much pain and the heaviest of hearts”, determined that we must suspend all activity in our synagogue until further notice.
Whilst closing the Synagogue is in effect a simple enough exercise, as the Chief Rabbi says there will be many questions about how we sustain Jewish communal life, particularly with Pesach approaching. We do not profess to have all the answers yet, but we have made a start as to how we should address the impact of Covid-19 as a community, here in Pinner.
Filling the Spiritual Void
At this challenging time, our prayers and Torah study is something that can bring us immense comfort and strength.
- Rabbi Kurzer will be live-streaming his personal prayers at the scheduled times of Shacharit and Maariv. If anyone would like to join and daven at the same time, you are welcome to do so.
- Those who would like to have someone say Kaddish on their behalf should be in touch with Rabbi Kurzer who will try and arrange for someone in Israel to do so.
- The Kurzers have started to ‘vlog’ their Pesach preparations at this tumultuous time. To follow their ups and downs, join their ‘Pesach Prep with the Kurzers’ WhatsApp group with this link.
- Rabbi Kurzer will be continuing his ‘Gems for your Journey’ WhatsApp group even though many will not be commuting. Join with this link.
- There will be a number of other initiatives going ‘live’ in the next few days, likely to include pre-Shabbat video messages, pre-Shabbat singing and post-Shabbat communal Havdalah, live-link Shiurim classes and more.
In these extraordinary times, our first thoughts should rightly be for the well being and welfare of our community. We already have a fantastic community care programme, Pinner Care, with much support already provided by many volunteers whose efforts are organised by our Welfare Coordinator Karen Kinsley. At this time, when we are not able to offer any religious, educational, cultural and social events on our premises, it is vital that we make every effort to ensure our members remain connected to each other and to the community. Whilst many members will need to place themselves in physical isolation, we want to ensure that they do not feel isolated. As a result we are putting into place several initiatives:
- We have created a special email address firstname.lastname@example.org to allow those who need help to get in touch, as well as those who can offer help. Karen Kinsley and the team will be monitoring the email address to ensure we can answer every question and connect those that need support with those that can offer their support. Please see the poster here for more details.
- We have opened a special phone line (020 8868 7204 and then press option 5) where you can leave a message that will be responded to within 24 hours. More urgent messages will be prioritised.
- Through our existing team of volunteers we will get in touch via phone with all members in the government ‘high risk’ demographic over the coming week to 10 days. Our aim is to ‘check-in’ with them, to better understand the context of their isolation and understand what they will need and want over the coming weeks and to get a sense of their support network.
Just as the Synagogue will remain closed as a place of worship and a centre for our educational, social and cultural programmes, so the office will remain closed until further notice. However, administration services will continue remotely. For any queries, in the first instance please phone (020 8868 7204 Option 1) or email to email@example.com - we will deal with your queries as soon as practicable.
We will continue to work hard on behalf of the community to provide the support and direction that members request and require at this extraordinary time. If you have any specific questions please contact any one of the team, whose details are below.
We wish you well.