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May 14, 2020:  Covid-19 Update from Rabbi Mike, David Leers (President), and CBE Covid-19 Task Force

We know how challenging the last few weeks have been for our community. At the same time, the response from our community has been remarkable. This crisis continues to prove that the strength of CBE is its people. As you may have heard, at the end of April, the Governor extended the essential services emergency order until May 18th. At that point the Governor also announced the appointment of the Reopening Advisory Board, which has the objective to produce a plan to the Governor by May 18th. It is expected that this plan will provide the details with respect to the announced 'Four-Phase Approach to Reopening Massachusetts.'

At this moment we would like to provide you with an update on COVID-19 and CBE, and how we plan to evaluate any changes to the current situation. The decision making with respect to the opening of CBE (inclusive of the ELC) will be guided by:

  • Guidelines issued by State government, including the Department of Early Education and Care;
  • Discussion with local government, such as Acton Public Health Department;
  • Jewish values, which include:
    • Pikuah Nefesh - "Safeguarding Life"
    • Preventing Sakanat Nefeshot - "Endangerment of Life
    • Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh - "We Are Responsible for One Another"

At this moment we do not know how the possible governmental relaxations, if any, will impact CBE. However, given the guiding areas mentioned above, there is no reason for CBE to be among the leading edge to re-open. While we understand that among many there is a great yearning for social interaction with physical proximity and the need to be relieved of the isolation and loneliness of the past months, we expect our current mode of virtual (Zoom) operations to generally continue at least through the end of June. During the coming months the Task Force will continue to monitor all developments and continue its work on detailed plans supporting an eventual re-opening.

It is clear that the coronavirus will be a part of our lives for a long time to come. More likely than not, this will also impact the upcoming High Holidays. Rabbi Mike, Cantor Sarra and Elaine Braun-Keller (Ritual Chair) plan to host a Zoom "town hall meeting" to get feedback from congregants on what is important to them during these Holidays, to guide their thinking as they consider potential alternatives. It will take place on Sunday May 24 at 5 PM.

Finally, within the next weeks we will also communicate details to you regarding the Annual Meeting, which will be held remotely as well. Please stay tuned.

Stay healthy, stay safe and stay six-feet apart.

David Leers, President

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

COVID-19 Task Force

Sun, July 5 2020 13 Tammuz 5780