Dear Narayever Family,

Kohelet taught that עת לחבוק ועת לרחוק מחבק “there is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing” (3:5). Sadly, this is a time when we must refrain from embracing each other in the ways that we usually do as a community. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and in accordance with the most recent public health guidelines, we are suspending all Narayever services – Friday night, Shabbat morning, Sunday morning – until further notice. This is in addition to the already cancelled non-service programs and events, which we notified you about last week.

We make this decision with a heavy heart, because we know that our gatherings as a community honour Jewish tradition and nourish our souls. Nevertheless, we know this is something that we must do at this time in order to keep ourselves and the wider community healthy.

Our inability to be together physically, however, does not mean that the shul is ceasing to operate. The staff and Board are determined to find ways to maintain our connections and support individual members of our community at this difficult time, including:

1.      Our office staff will be mostly working from home. Feel free to contact Marsha (admin@narayever.ca) or Michael (narayever@gmail.com) by phone or email. Messages will be checked regularly, and responded to as quickly as possible. Please do not come to the Harbord office until further notice.

 

2.      Sabrina, our Director of Family and Youth Engagement, is working on ways to keep our young members learning and connected to Judaism during this time when they will be home for extended periods. All of these methods will be online, therefore, please follow the Family and Youth Instagram, @famyouthnarayever. Also, look out for messages from Sabrina to the Just For Families ListServe. If you do not currently receive messages from the ListServe and would like to, please email Sabrina at sabrina@narayever.ca to join. More to come from Sabrina soon.

 

3.      Rabbi Ed wants to provide as much support as he can to individual members at this very stressful and anxious time. If you would like to talk to him, please call him at 416.487.4200 or email rabbi@narayever.ca to set up a call. Please especially let the rabbi know if you are ill, as he would like to be of help in whatever ways he can. And if you have tested positive for Covid-19 and attended a recent Narayever event, please let us know immediately so that we can do our best to inform anyone who might have been in contact with you.

 

4.      Rabbi Ed also plans to offer on-line adult Jewish learning and prayer opportunities over the coming weeks. Stay tuned for details.

 

5.      The shul’s Hesed committee would like to step up to help individual members who may be isolated at this time, including those who are living alone or who must strictly isolate themselves due to underlying health issues. Let’s come together and support each other in the weeks ahead. Please take a look at the list of questions below. If you either have a need, or would like to volunteer to help, in any of the ways described, please be in touch – either through the Narayever office at narayever@gmail.com, admin@narayever.ca, or at hesed@narayever.ca.

 

-          Are you living alone, and feeling isolated in this new reality of “social distance”? Let us know if you would like to talk on the phone with a fellow Narayevernik.

 

-          Are you unable to get out to pick up prescriptions or groceries? Please let us know and we will gladly help.

 

-          Are you healthy and able to help deliver groceries & medications to others in your neighbourhood who cannot be out at this time? Please let us know if you can help.

 

-          Got some time on your hands? Feel like making some new friends (or reconnecting with old) and talking on the phone? This is a great way to strengthen our community.

Let’s help each other stay healthy and connected at this unsettling time. Even if we cannot gather in person, we remain a community of faith, friends, and support. Together we affirm that this difficult period will pass, and when it does we look forward to being together again in person, and resuming our services and all the other important programs and initiatives that we usually offer for youth and adults.

 

Rabbi Ed Elkin

Anna Pace, President, on behalf of the Narayever Board

Marsha Frydenberg and Michael Boyd, Administration

Sabrina Friedman, Director of Family and Youth Engagement

Jodi Block, Chair, the Narayever Hesed Committee