Moving High Holidays to all-virtual, August 2021
At [our August 10] Board meeting, the CBH Board of Directors unanimously voted to support a joint proposal issued by Rabbi Greg, the High Holy Day Planning Committee and the CBH COVID Task Force to move our upcoming High Holy Day services to an all-virtual platform again this year.
The Board struggled with the decision, knowing how much we had all been looking forward to a partial return to normalcy. Each year, the month of Tishrei brings us Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah – holidays that are usually accompanied by much togetherness. We miss our campus and our community even more this year than last.
Still, we cannot deny the seriousness of the Delta Variant trend lines. Today’s Enterprise reported 502 new COVID cases over the past ten days, the highest count since January. Increasing numbers of cases are reported in individuals who are fully vaccinated, and although the great majority of those do not become seriously ill, some do. As we mentioned in our last letter, the Jewish mandate to protect human life and well-being (pikuach nefesh, or “watching over a soul”) is important enough to override our desire to meet in person.
Services for Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur will now be conducted in a Zoom format as we did last year. Please see here for more detailed information.
To counter our disappointment, we are working on a variety of ways for our CBH community to come together in smaller in-person groups to celebrate and observe the holidays. We are planning an outdoor Tashlich program at the Northstar pond, as in previous years, where we can spread out and stay relatively safe. Bring your shofars (we will have our Shofar Service then), blankets (and chairs to relax in), a little nosh and, of course, your voices. Please wear a mask. Birdseed will be provided for the ceremony of casting away our deeds that we hope to change.
Other small in-person events at CBH are still scheduled, including the DRTY Board retreat, and the Campus Picnic on August 29. We hope to add more and welcome your thoughts and suggestions on how to do so within your COVID comfort zone.
Thank you and Shanah tovah um’tukah,
Mitch Singer and Elisabeth Dubin