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COVID-19 News

COVID-19 News

The most recent information is posted at the top of this page

Posted Thursday, 7/2/20 4:32pm 

July 2, 2020   
10 Tammuz 5780
We hope you and your family are well as we face the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Though summer is just under way, we are already planning for the High Holy Days, which start on the evening of September 18.  The High Holy Days Task Force, led by CEEBJ’s Worship Chair Rich Konz, began its work in early June. Its goal is to envision and plan for the much-anticipated season of spirituality and traditions that brings our community together to welcome the New Year.
The members of the Task Force, which includes professional staff, board members and congregants, have approached this undertaking with commitment, creativity, energy and a wide range of viewpoints and skills (including medical expertise).  Above all, the group is guided in this important task by the highest values of Judaism, in particular pikuach nefesh, the saving or preserving of human life, and the traditions of the Reform Movement. 
In accordance with these values, the Task Force has concluded that High Holy Days services cannot be conducted safely in our sanctuary this year.  However, though we will be observing the holidays differently, we will still come together to worship and celebrate the Days of Awe as a community.  We will see our Torah scrolls in their white mantels.  We will hear Kol Nidre and the other beautiful melodies that move our souls.  We will learn together.  We will listen to the call of the shofar.  We will remember our loved ones during Yizkor.  We will eat apples dipped in honey.  We will engage our children, youth, families, and adults of all ages.  And we will be able to see each other’s faces—though online or from a distance.  As we discover and engage in new ways of praying together and connecting with family and friends, we will experience the High Holy Days and ourselves anew, with fresh eyes and open hearts.
Though we will all miss being together in our beautiful sanctuary, this time is also a reminder that CEEBJ is more than a building.  Our strength lies in our outstanding clergy and staff, who remain available to lead and teach our congregation and address individual needs throughout the year, and in our committed members.  With your ongoing support, our community will remain strong and vibrant as we look forward to returning to our spiritual home when it is safe to do so.
We will advise you of the details of our High Holy Days services and observances as our plans develop further.  We welcome your questions and your thoughts and invite you to email us at or call (414) 228-7545 with your comments.  Please feel free to contact any of us or any of the other members of the Task Force: Audrie Berman, Reenie Kavalar, Ben Levin, Michael Levin, Norm Malmon, Cindy Rasansky, Sandy Stern, and Jeff Widell.
Marc E. Berkson, Rabbi                    

Michael Grinker, President
David M. Barash, Cantor                   

Susan Cosden, RJE, Director of Lifelong Learning
Andrew Appel, Executive Director

Rich Konz, Chair, High Holy Days Task Force
P. S.   If you are concerned about being able to access our High Holy Days services or any of our ongoing activities—due to lack of technology or limited skills—please call the CEEBJ Cares Hotline at (414) 301-1653 and leave a message.  One of our tech assistants will work with you to ensure your ability to participate in all that we do.

Posted Monday, 6/2/20 4:33pm 

Posted Tuesday, 3/24/20 4:45pm 

Dear Congregant:
With COVID-19 spread continuing and Governor Evers ordering all non-essential businesses to close, we have temporarily closed the synagogue building effective today.  Thanks to the work of our entire staff, we are all now working remotely from our homes; this, however, does not change the fact that we are still working in every way to support and build our congregational community which remains more open than ever.  We know that needs for support of all kinds are only growing.  So all of us, Rabbi Berkson, Cantor Barash, Susan Cosden, RJE, and I, and our entire staff and lay leadership, are working to do even more for all of CEEBJ.
While we are not in the building, we are set up to allow you to reach us as follows:
Contact: If you call CEEBJ at 414-228-7545, you have these choices:
1) Leave a message on the voice mail and Ardyth will collect those messages hourly during business hours and either call you back or pass on the message.
2) Dial one of the staff extensions (you will hear them in the voice mail recording) which will be immediately directed to that staff person’s smart phone.
3) And, of course, you can reach out by text or email.
Business hours: The office staff’s work-at-home hours will be from 10 AM - 4 PM, but if you need to reach Rabbi Berkson, Cantor Barash, Susan Cosden, RJE, or me, contact us directly at any time. 
Access to the building: The building is locked but if you have a special need to access the building, contact Rabbi Berkson or me.
Security: M’Johno Foster, our Director of Security, is keeping a close eye on the building which remains locked and alarmed.
Finally, if you need help or want to provide help related to COVID-19, you can leave a message at our new CEEBJ Cares Hotline (which will be announced more broadly very soon):  414-301-1653.
We will continue to keep you up to date with virtual services, music, learning opportunities, office hours, prayer and meditation groups and more.  Please continue to practice social distancing, handwashing and love.

Andrew Appel
Executive Director
Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun
main: 414-228-7545
cell:   414-797-1524



Sat, July 24 2021 15 Av 5781