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Coronavirus Information

Coronavirus Information

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

Posted Friday, 3/13/20 2:53pm

Posted Friday, 3/13/20 11:15am

SHABBAT CHILI DINNER and KIDushat Shabbat Service
To Be Rescheduled

To all who were planning on joining us for the KIDushat Shabbat service and the Shabbat Chili Dinner this evening, we wanted to let you know that in light of decisions that we are making for the safety of our community as it relates to Covid-19, we are postponing these events this evening to a later date. 

We know this will be a wonderful evening, and will look forward to seeing you all there when we've rescheduled. Please keep your eyes out for a comprehensive email later today regarding our plans for tonight's Shabbat Eve Service and the rest of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shabbat Shalom,

Andrew Appel
Executive Director

Marc Berkson
Senior Rabbi

Michael Levin

.Posted Saturday, 3/7/20 9:14pm

Dear Congregants, 
Per our last note regarding CEEBJ’s approach to handling the current coronavirus situation, I wanted to give a brief update. Our Director of Lifelong Learning, Susan Cosden, has a son who has been studying abroad in Rome, Italy. Although there have been no outbreaks in his area, his school is repatriating the students, and he will be in home quarantine at Susan's home in Milwaukee for 14 days, per CDC requirements.  In preparation for his arrival, Susan has been in consultation with the North Shore Health Department (NSHD).  NSHD informed her that as long as their condition was monitored, it was appropriate and safe for her to come in to work at CEEBJ.
Despite this recommendation, and after discussions with senior leadership including Susan, we have decided to have Susan work from home for 14 days, beginning tomorrow morning.   We feel that while we believe there is little risk in having her come in as reflected by NSHD’s recommendation, there may be new information coming in daily about coronavirus, and it was better to act out of an abundance of caution.
We so appreciate the staff and volunteer leaders who will be helping out during this period.  If anyone has any questions, please feel free to call or write.
Shavua tov,

Andrew Appel
Executive Director

Posted Wednesday, 3/4/20 12:41pm

Dear Congregants,
It has been an eventful few weeks with public attention worldwide focused on the novel coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. We recognize this may be causing concern, and we want to let you know about our current approach at Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun.
The primary value of pikuach nefesh, the saving or preserving of life, is a paramount mitzvah that transcends virtually all others. From dramatic rescues to judicious precautions, care of health is fundamental in our tradition. But it is also critical to strike a balance between justified concern and impulsive fear. Allowing fear to obscure fact could worsen the damage from a threat to the well-being of our community.  And so, we at CEEBJ are striving to be thoughtful and measured in our responses to the challenges posed by Covid-19. 
First we consult with health agencies such as the North Shore Health Department and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who provide guidance about preventative actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory disease. We also reference policies and practices of organizations such as local school districts, and we reflect on our own past experiences with other diseases, including flu outbreaks.
At CEEBJ, we are increasing our stringent hygiene practices that are already a constant routine, including more frequent cleaning of surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, table tops and office equipment with disinfecting cleansers. You will see more hand sanitizing stations around the building. While at this time we have no specific concerns about this virus at CEEBJ, we have already begun to prepare for the possibility that a spread of the virus in the U.S. may require us to temporarily close the building or limit events. Staff and clergy are developing contingency plans in the event that this becomes necessary. We will continue to follow the guidelines of state and local health agencies. 
The safety and well-being of our community is a priority. Please review what each of us can do to help our community remain healthy. We are all in this together.
Keep yourself healthy 
- Wash your hands frequently and vigorously with soap, especially after touching public surfaces. Read more about good handwashing practices. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Get a flu shot. Currently, influenza has a much more significant rate of infection than Covid-19. Getting a seasonal flu vaccination helps prevent you from getting sick, and protects those around you. 
Keep others healthy - During this tentative time, let's make safety and reducing contagion the highest priority. If you, or your child, have flu-like symptoms (fever and cough or shortness of breath), please do not enter CEEBJ until a full 24 hours after the temperature has returned to normal without the use of fever-reducing medications. Exercise an over-abundance of caution. We are asking the same of our staff. Finally, it is good practice to cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, using a tissue or sleeve, and throwing tissues in a bin immediately after use.
Remember, you can stay connected to CEEBJ from home via our live streaming at All Friday evening and Saturday morning Shabbat services are streamed live.
Thanks for joining us and doing your part to help prevent the spread of infection at Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun. We look forward to welcoming you to CEEBJ -  our worship services, school and programs remain open and thriving. We will continue to carefully monitor and plan for changing conditions, and will share our response with you. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me or Susan Cosden (for the religious school). Rabbi Berkson and Cantor Barash are also here for you to support you and your family. Please reach out if you are in need.
Most importantly, it is at times of stress and uncertainty, personal or communal, that our CEEBJ community is a beacon of support and solace. Our tradition teaches us to care for one another at times of need, and to reach out to one another to anticipate need. This is an opportune time to check in on an elderly neighbor who lives alone or on a friend who might need a hand with groceries. 
As a CEEBJ family, we find strength in our bonds to help us through trying times, as always.

Andrew Appel
Executive Director

Wed, April 1 2020 7 Nisan 5780