This week our Board of Trustees heard some of the early recommendations of our COVID-19 Task Force (that includes medical health professionals) and our Clergy team regarding this year’s High Holy Days. The bottom line is that we believe that September will be too soon to safely welcome large numbers of people into our building given the current projections for confronting this ongoing pandemic. Therefore, based on the values of Pikuach Nefesh (safeguarding life), Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh (demonstrating responsibility for one another) and Chesed (profound love and kindness), we have come to the decision that for this new year of 5781, Shaare Emeth will be holding virtual (online) High Holy Day services. Though we will miss the opportunity of worshipping together in our sacred spaces and greeting each of you with a Shanah Tova, we know this is the right choice to make for the health and safety of our community.
While High Holy Days 5781 will be a different experience for all of us, the clergy, staff and lay leadership are committed to creating opportunities that will allow us to observe the sacred time from Elul through Simchat Torah in beautiful and meaning-filled ways. We will celebrate our ability to adapt to challenge and change and gather virtually to focus on the true meaning of these days: reflection, repentance and reconnecting with our most essential and life-giving values. We will keep you updated as our plans take shape so that every member can take part in welcoming our new year.
Meanwhile, if you have thoughts, questions or concerns about the High Holy Days, or about anything related to our congregation’s response to the coronavirus, we welcome your input via email at [email protected].
Each year, as we prepare for the High Holy Days, a unique sound rings in our ears – the sound of the shofar. Hearing it reminds us to reconnect with our inner goodness and connection to God. This year the sound of the shofar also summons us to strength in the face of challenge, hope in the face of adversity and joy in our efforts to be together in new and exciting ways.
Josh Wallach, President
Jim Bennett, Rabbi
Rosalie Stein, Executive Director
We hope to check in with many of you in the 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:
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.