Shalom – Menachem Szus (April 4, 2020)

Shalom to you all.

This week we started reading the third book of the Torah, Vayikrah. It deals with various issues relating to the Mishkan work and the functions of the Kohanim. It’s appropo for these times, as the Kohanim would declare when people were in a state of cleanliness and could rejoin the main body of the nation.

In these times of battling the COVID-19, I want to share with you how our shul, NHBZ, is continuing to function.

As you know Rabbi Smason has gone into even higher gear, providing non-stop shiurim, lessons, via ZOOM and FreeConference.

The shul facility continues on physical lock down. Our Office Staff, Jeff and Laura, come in regularly to continue their work.

Our custodians, Alan and Theresa Swan, have been coming in to clean the facility and prepare it for Pesach. They are also getting around to various other technical maintenance, which had been previously placed on the back burner.

Our Anniversary Dinner Committee, under Lenny Alper’s chairmanship, has been meeting electronically and is continuing to plan the 2020 event and how to mitigate the current situation.

Our search for an Associate Rabbinical Couple continues. We are in the process of interviewing candidates and raising funds for this very necessary function. Please contact Jay Umansky to contribute and with any questions.

David Gellman has been maintaining and enhancing our website, to include new and necessary information and links.

Our Security Committee is working on obtaining grants from FEMA and the Jewish Federation to enhance the security of our facility. Thank you to Janet Haber for dealing with this.

Our Board met electronically and made very difficult and necessary decisions in view of the current situation.

Our Executive committee will be meeting electronically next week to deal with various day-to-day decisions which are needed to continue the functioning of our shul.

If you get a chance to call our office staff, please do so and strengthen their courage and morale. If you have anything you would like to share with me or to talk to me please call or send an email.

On a personal note, I have noticed something extraordinary. Old Bonhomme Road is relatively full of people walking in small groups, spaced appropriately. In almost looks like NY (before this pandemic) in the middle of the night. When I speak to some of them, they also remark about this unfamiliar phenomenon.

Call your family and friends, regularly. Especially those who might be living alone and who don’t have access to social media. Send letters. What a novel idea.

Be well and stay healthy, wash hands.
Stay physically separated but electronically connected.

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Szus, Board President