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Keeping Our Community Healthy – In Response to COVID-19

March 11, 2020 - May 31, 2020, All Day

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Friday, May 15 Camps of Shaare Emeth COVID-19 Update – Click HERE for full statement. 

Effective at the end of day Monday, April 20, all in-person programs and activities of Congregation Shaare Emeth are cancelled or postponed through May 31, 2020.

The Shirlee Green Preschool will also abide by this decision.

Please view our full May 31st closure statement by clicking HERE


Click HERE to connect with us virtually. 

Dear Shaare Emeth Family and Friends,


In the book of Leviticus we read, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” During this rapidly changing time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the best way that we can demonstrate our love for one another is by focusing on the health and safety of the members of our Shaare Emeth community, as well as the health and safety of all people everywhere. Our tradition teaches us that pikuach nefesh, the act of protecting and saving life, comes before all other religious obligations, and our clergy, Temple leadership, staff and medical advisors have been working together to make the choices that we believe will best protect the community and the people who we love.


To this end, effective at the end of day Monday, April 20, we have decided to close our facilities and cancel all in-person programs and activities through May 31, 2020. The Shirlee Green Preschool will also close at the end of the day through May 31. Please see below for more details.


We will be in regular communication as we reassess based on the conditions and recommendations of local, state and federal agencies in order to update you regarding other changes and plans to re-open our facility and in-person programming.


Although our building will be closed, the work of our congregation and clergy will continue throughout this challenging time. Our leadership has made a commitment to continue paying all of our staff throughout this current closure.


We recognize that this is a trying and stressful time for all of us. During this time of physical isolation, we commit to offering opportunities to gather online as much as we can. We are working hard to bring you alternative, virtual avenues of fulfilling our core values of remaining connected through study, worship and acts of loving-kindness. We are grateful to live in a time that will allow us to connect in this way. Stay tuned for more information about online classes, prayer and meditation offerings and much more.


We know that during this unprecedented time of dealing with the implications of COVID-19 (coronavirus), many of you are facing unexpected health, emotional, and financial struggles. Some of you may have difficulty getting groceries and medications. Shaare Emeth is partnering with Jewish Federation of St. Louis and Jewish Family Services to ensure that we can do everything possible to support the community during this time.


Resources and How to Help


We hope to check in with many of you in coming days to see how you are holding up and to learn about any challenges you are facing.


If you would like to be a part of Shaare Emeth’s Chesed (Caring) Calling Team, and would be willing to reach out by phone to fellow congregants to see how they are doing please email Debbie Bram at [email protected].


If you would like to volunteer with Jewish Family Services to help members of the community get needed groceries or medicine, please contact Jeremy Goldberg, JFS’ Volunteer Coordinator directly at 314-513-1679 or [email protected].


If you are 65 years of age or older and would like to reach out directly to Jewish Family Services for support you can contact Lori Zimmerman with ElderLink St. Louis at [email protected] or 314-812-9300.


If you would like to speak directly with one of our clergy members, do not hesitate to reach out. You can call us through the Temple, 314-569-0010 or email us at:


Rabbi Jim Bennett, [email protected]

Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, [email protected]

Rabbi Lori Levine, [email protected]

Cantor Seth Warner, [email protected]


We are grateful for your flexibility and understanding as we navigate this uncharted terrain.


Michael Lefton, President

James Bennett, Rabbi

Rosalie Stein, Executive Director


Temple Closure Details 


Please note the following specific implications of our decision to cancel or postpone all congregational programming from March 17 through April 30, 2020:

  • Regular 6 p.m. Friday Shabbat services will take place ONLY online. We will continue to livestream Friday night services, which you can access by clicking HERE. These services will remain available in our service archive on our website.


  • Shabbat morning B’nei Mitzvah services will be rescheduled at a future date.


  • All other worship services are cancelled or will be livestreamed.


  • Funerals conducted by our rabbis will not take place in our building; we are working with the local funeral homes to encourage all families to hold graveside services for immediate family only. Clergy will be making all condolence calls and funeral preparations via telephone and/or virtual technology such as Facetime or Skype, etc.


  • Weddings, baby namings and other life cycle ceremonies will be postponed


  • All other in-person meeting and programs, youth group events, seniors programs and committee meetings at Shaare Emeth and off-site will be conducted via telephone, computer technology, cancelled or rescheduled in the future.At the advice and request of the hospitals and nursing homes, clergy will not be making in-person visits.


  • All in-person Religious School classes will remain closed through May 31



Additional Resources


Center for Disease Control (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Saint Louis County Government
https://www.stlouisco.com/Your-Government/County- Executive/COVID-19
Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services




If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in contact with any of us. Please check back on this website page, and keep an eye out for email communications from Shaare Emeth. You can subscribe to Shaare Emeth emails by clicking HERE.

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