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Services During the Pandemic

Pikuach Nefesh - saving life - is one of the priorities in Jewish tradition and law. During the Pandemic we are trying to keep our congregants, friends and families safe. Since the Governor ordered everyone to stay at home in March, B'nai Zion's services, meetings, classes and social gatherings are being held online. We are trying to continue to have meaningful spiritual experiences in creative ways. We appreciate your patience and understanding. The majority of our congregation is considered "high risk" for the COVID-19 virus. Despite the fact that we would love to be worshiping together in the B'nai Zion building, until there are guidelines from our medical experts that it would be safe for us to be together, we are trying to find alternative ways to "gather." Currently we are using a few online options.

It turns out that despite our desire to regain a sense of normalcy, there are blessings to be found in these options. We have found that people join us from out of town who would not have been attending otherwise. Some people have moved away and are grateful to be back with their "spiritual family." Others are related to our congregants and enjoy getting to be "together." Some are in communities where they have not yet found a "spiritual home" and now have found our congregation. Some people are not comfortable in crowds, and finally have a way to participate. 

We also have heard from a few congregants who are not comfortable using technology. We are happy to help train people about how to use these online resources (such as Zoom, YouTube, etc.). In some cases we try "low tech" methods.

Rabbi Jana would love to hear from you about what you appreciate about online services, or other comments about how to stay safe, but continue to serve the congregation. You can use this form to contact Rabbi Jana.

Friday Evening Shabbat Services:

Our "Stay at Home Shabbat" Services are posted on YouTube 6 PM Fridays. Rabbi Jana has found a creative way to have people stay at home, and look forward to "attending" Shabbat evening service. Most weeks a variety of "guest readers" have been recording themselves reading portions of the service and sharing brief messages. Together with her tech support (her son, Max) Rabbi Jana has created a variety of meaningful services - with many surprises throughout. Since these services are posted on YouTube, they can be watched at the usual 6 PM on Fridays, or any time after that - whenever it is convenient. 

The "Stay at Home Shabbat" services also are including the prayerbook words onscreen - since most of the people watching do not have prayerbooks at home. 

Medical experts are currently saying that singing may spread the virus more than even talking. Being able to watch the service from home means that everyone can enjoy the music - and sing if they want, as loudly as they want - without worrying about catching or spreading the virus. 

Watch the Stay at Home Shabbat Evening services  HERE (the link takes you to the B'nai Zion YouTube Channel Playlist specifically for all of the Stay at Home Services).

If you Subscribe to the B'nai Zion YouTube channel, and click on the Bell on the B'nai Zion YouTube page, you will be notified every time a new video gets posted. It is possibly the easiest way to find out exactly where and how to watch each new video that gets posted.

If you have comments about the Friday Evening YouTube services, or would like to be a reader, contact Rabbi Jana.

If you are a Reader, use this site to find your reading and see the guidelines about how to submit your part.

Saturday Morning Services: 

Saturday morning we have Torah Study at 9:45 AM and Service at 11 AM. These have been conducted in ways that people sit in a room and study and worship face-to-face. Currently we are continuing that tradition - but on Zoom. 

The Torah Study is a discussion of the Torah portion of the week. We try to find ways to keep the Torah meaningful in our modern life. People of different backgrounds are some of our regulars. Please join us. It is ok if you have never studied Torah before, or if you read Torah every day. You do not have to prepare to join the group. Rabbi Jana shares a variety of materials while we are learning together. 

During the Shabbat morning service we sing and read the service - which Rabbi Jana shares online. We sing and often stop to share inspirations. 

KID-dush Shabbat:

Once a month Rabbi Jana likes to lead a service geared toward children and their families. In order to make these services available online, there are videos of each segment of the service, so that families can choose to run through everything, or select only a few. Rabbi Jana also adds new material every month - stories, fun learning experiences, etc. Recently we began to have Zoom services as well, so that the children and Rabbi Jana can see each other and interact again. These experiences are a lot of fun! An added bonus; most of the service that is on YouTube can also be used during the week. 
Find more details and links to the services  here, and in the links on the B'nai Zion Calendar.

Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780