Updated COVID-19 Information

Dear Friends:

Wherever one turns, one reads or hears of the increased spread of COVID-19, whether it be in our area or around the country. First and foremost, this presents a heightened health risk in our community and broader society. Secondly, so many of us have been so glad to see the schools of our community reopen. The further the spread reaches, the more challenging it will be to the schools to continue to offer in-person instruction without compromising their health standards. Finally, we remember so well how difficult it was to be without shul for months, and we certainly don’t want to return to that situation.

For all of these reasons, we urge you to please do your utmost to be diligent in the following areas, both in shul and around the community:

* Whether one has tested positive for COVID-19, exhibited symptoms, or has had significant exposure to someone who has tested positive, it is essential to stay home. One who is unsure whether or not he/she should stay home is encouraged to contact a medical professional or consult the CDC's website. Please also recognize that if an individual has been tested for COVID-19 due to symptoms, the individual and all members of the household should not come to shul or other public places until they receive their test results.
* It is essential that we all continue to be diligent about social distancing and mask wearing. Seats are marked at our minyanim to ensure appropriate distance. Please stay by your seat during davening. Please do not walk around the room during davening or congregate in discussion before or after davening. Please also remember that we request anyone who was at a gathering, whether it be social or a minyan, that did not observe these above referenced standards, to wait 14 days before attending YISE.
* So many of us look forward to Thanksgiving weekend as a wonderful time to get together with friends near and far.

This year, please seriously consider your plans in the context of the current health concerns.

See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html for guidance from the CDC.

Thank you for your continued diligence. With Hashem's help, and with the merit of all our prayers and efforts, may we all be healthy and well.

Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum
Yale Ginsburg, President
————————-
Previous message: 10/25/2020:

Dear Friends:

In the days leading up to Sukkos, YISE instituted a firm policy restricting those who had davened at other minyanim from attending minyanim at YISE for a certain period of time. We indicated that we would reassess the policy two weeks after yom tov, as there was concern of a possible significant increase of COVID-19 within our community.

Baruch Hashem, though we all must continue to be vigilant, we have not seen a significant COVID-19 increase in the community. That being the case, we are happy to welcome those who have davened at other minyanim to join us at YISE without any waiting period. We know this policy has created complications for different individuals. We are glad to remove this challenge, and look forward to greeting you again at YISE very soon.

We still would appreciate the effort to daven consistently in one place to whatever extent it is feasible, as this is an additional method of limiting possible COVID-19 spread within our community.

As we have reassessed this policy, we request that anyone who attends a gathering, be it a minyan, a simcha, or other social event, where masks are not worn and social distancing practices are not observed not attend minyanim at YISE for a period of 14 days.

May Hashem continue to watch over us, and may our efforts and tefillos be a merit for His continued protection.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum
Yale Ginsburg, President
————————-
Previous message: 5/14/2020:

Dear Friends:

This was a very challenging Shabbos. For so many of us, the opportunity to be in Shul on Shabbos, to sing Lechah Dodi together with the group, to answer Kedushah with the Minyan, and even to stand silently in Shmone Esrai with a room full of people, is the spiritual highlight of the week. Even besides the spiritual component, so many of us look forward to the weekly opportunity to reconnect with dear friends and neighbors. For many of us, this Shabbos felt empty and lonely. Though we have no idea why we are grappling with the situation that we are, perhaps this challenge serves as a powerful reminder of how blessed we are to be part of such a special Nation and community.

We also want to mention, on behalf of the entire Shul, warm Mazal Tov wishes to Sima and Richard Soskin on their son Yonah's upcoming wedding and Ilana and Aaron Branda on their daughter Adira Brachaâ's Bat Mitzvah. We had looked forward to celebrating with both families in Davening and at Kiddush, and are so sorry that we missed the opportunity. I would also like to note that we missed the opportunity to join Chaim Neustadter in marking his father Israel's Yahrzeit at the Hashkamah Minyan Kiddush. Mr. Neustadter, Z"L, was a beloved long-time member and Gabbai within the Shul.

We are sorry the announcement about the suspension of operations within the Shul came out so close to Shabbos. The decision was based on information that had only recently become available to us. It was surely a shock to many. A cyberbrief should be following shortly providing an opportunity for individuals to pick up items from Shul.

Nothing can replace our opportunity to stand together in prayer in Shul. Having said that, it would be valuable to many to have an opportunity to connect with the Shul community in some spiritual way, albeit remotely. Starting Sunday, March 15, we will be scheduling morning and evening conference calls. Each one should last around 15 minutes, beginning with the recital of one Perek of Tehillim and being followed by a brief Shiur. The morning call will begin with Tehillim, Perek 91 and then highlight an aspect of the weekly Parsha, the evening call will begin with Tehillim, Perek 130 and then discuss an aspect of the laws of Pesach. We hope this opportunity will make the void just a bit less, and should be a merit for the Jewish People and the entire World. The call details are listed below. Over the coming days we hope to provide you with more updates regarding opportunities to remotely access regular Shul Shiurim. May we only share good news.

Dial-in number: (425) 436-6314
Access Number: 808-449

Morning call schedule:
Sunday – 9am
Monday – Friday – 8:30am

Evening call schedule:
Sunday – Thursday – 7:30pm

Sincerely,
Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum

Sammy Franco, President
————————-
Previous message: 3/13/2020:

Dear Friends:

We all hear the shocking speed with which the developments involving the coronavirus have spread. Due to the highly concerning progression of the spread of this virus, and the real possibility of exposing our members to Sakanah, significant danger, YISE will suspend all operations, including Minyanim, Shiurim, and all programs until further notice, effective immediately.

We encourage everyone, both for the sake of personal safety and slowing down the spread of the virus, to minimize gatherings to the extent possible. Even if it means missing Kaddish or a Yahrtzeit, people are encouraged to Daven privately at home.

We hope to update you in the coming days with different options for Shiurim which can be accessed remotely, so we can continue to connect to Hashem as a Shul community.

Please Daven to Hashem that all those currently suffering from this illness be healed, that Hashem help control this spreading virus, and we all have the opportunity to continue to serve Him in good health, as a community.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum

Sammy Franco, President
————————-
Original message: 3/12/2020:

Dear Friends,

It is with great concern that we have been following developments across the Jewish community and beyond regarding COVID-19. Our response to the emerging situation requires us to balance a great deal of vigilance with our desire to continue our normal routines. Medical guidance, tailored to our individual community circumstances, is crucial in this regard.

With these vital priorities in mind, and upon consultation with medical professionals, YISE will suspend both Kiddushim and youth groups until further notice. Both of these gatherings present unique health concerns which should be avoided under the present circumstances. YISE acknowledges and appreciates the understanding of those who were scheduled to sponsor Kiddushim this week.

We are postponing the comedy event originally scheduled for this Saturday night. Additionally, the Sunday morning Kollel Brunch and Learn series will take place without the brunch from 9:30–10:15 am.

Minyan and Shiur schedules will remain unchanged at YISE, while we continue to monitor the evolving situation. If advised that it is appropriate, we stand prepared to make further modifications to our normal programming.

Please continue to be vigilant regarding matters of personal hygiene as previously advised. If you are unwell, please do not enter the Shul or other public places. We urge you to adhere to all medical advice you may receive regarding self-quarantine.

Let us Daven to Hashem to keep us all in good health and to return our lives to normal as soon as possible. In protecting each other as we navigate this unfolding situation, may we grow stronger as individuals and as a community.

Sincerely,
Rabbi Dovid Rosenbaum

Sammy Franco, President