Sunday, March 15, 2020

Online Minyan at Bnai Shalom

March 15, 2020
Dear Members of B’nai Shalom,

We are friends and family, facing the challenge of rapidly spreading COVID-19 “Corona Virus” in our area and the world.  How do we stay close, when we need to be physically apart from each other? How do we build community, when obligated by our tradition to protect life by distancing? How do we join in minyan, and say memorial prayers, when we can’t gather?

Beginning this evening, we will hold evening and morning services electronically online and by telephone. One of us will lead the service from the chapel, and the rest of us will participate from home.  If you have a computer with a camera and microphone, or if you have a smart phone, follow this Weekday Evening Minyan link at 8:00 pm or this Weekday Morning Minyan link 7:00 am for weekday services.  If you want to just “dial in” on a telephone, then dial 929-205-609. The access code via telephone for morning Minyan is 450 192 936 while the access code for evening Minyan is 304 491 162.  You will be connected live to the service, be able to speak and be heard by the prayer leader. 
Beginning this Friday night, Shabbat Evening services will be held at 6:00 p.m., and conclude prior to candle lighting time.  Please use the Weekday Evening Minyan link and call in numbers for those services. I am actively working on creating the best way for Saturday morning services to be handled in a similar manner: please stay tuned.
We will add special prayers for healing and strength at these troubled times, where you can add the names of those in your heart. 

Since the prayer leader is not “in a minyan,” he/she will not say certain prayers, including the kaddish, but we will, of course, say memorial prayers at the Ark (El Malei Rachamim) in memory of any yahrtzeits you may be observing for past loved ones.  In this way, with the yahrtzeitcandle in your home, your obligation for memory is lovingly fulfilled. 
If you need any assistance with this new process please feel free to contact Gary Rothschild in the Synagogue Office (973-731-0160 x202, Gary will be available via email and telephone during business hours as well as during Minyan times to help walk anyone through this process with any issues that they may have.

Stay safe, and stay involved.  We care about you and are in this together.
Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Robert Tobin

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