To Our PSC Community:
It has been an emotional, whirlwind of a week. The anxiety and fear of the unknown are real, not to mention the growing tension between wanting to be a connected, sacred community and practicing mindful social distancing. To make the safety and well being of our community the top priority, we are writing to share with you some important updates about the weeks ahead.
In order to assess our communal response to the ever-changing situation, we have set up a Medical Task Force made up of Rabbi Helfand, Cantor Shapira, Cat Bernard, our President, Adrienne Abrams, and two medical professionals, Irene Moff, M.D. and Linda Oberstein, M.D. The task force has come to some decisions that we know will be difficult but necessary to try to keep our community healthy. Most importantly, we believe that these guidelines will help us live up to the teachings in our tradition, “V’nishmartem Me’od L’nafshoteichem–you should watch yourselves very well” (Deuteronomy 4:15).
As we become more and more aware of the importance of social distancing for everyone, not just those who are more vulnerable, we have made the heart-wrenching decision to close the PSC building and cancel all in-person services, classes, meetings and programs through the end of March. While we do not know of anyone in our immediate community who has tested positive for COVID-19 at this time, we want to prioritize pikuach nefesh, the Jewish value and law to care for the preservation of human life above all else. We will be sending out information about all sorts of virtual opportunities to connect and learn in the coming days.
At the same time, we also recognize that now more than ever there is the need for spiritual and sacred connecting. In an effort to celebrate Shabbat and come together for minyan, PSC will be going virtual. If you feel comfortable doing so, please consider joining us virtually over Shabbat and during the week for minyan, to say Kaddish, or to see and smile at a familiar face. All virtual minyanim will be held over Zoom and Facebook Live. If you’ve never used Zoom, click here for a quick tutorial.
As our community deals with the COVID-19 public health crisis, neighbors experiencing or on the brink of poverty are disproportionately impacted. Working families who rely on hourly wages are scared as shifts and pay are being cut.
Second Harvest of Silicon Valley remains committed to providing nutritious food to anyone who needs it. Help us reach our goal to help Second Harvest respond to the increased need and continue providing food all throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties!
During these uncertain times, your gift will help our community feel secure and stay healthy.
You can make a donation to PSC’s Virtual Food Drive at http://fundraise.shfb.org/goto/PSC.
In order to prioritize the health and safety of our community, we are cancelling all in-person adult-learning opportunities effective immediately. This includes:
Spending Shabbat at home and unplugged? Consider these ways to connect:
Most importantly, we strongly encourage you to practice self-care – wash your hands and pay attention to your mental and physical health. We will be checking phone messages several times per day, so feel free to leave a message at 650-349-2816 or email [email protected] if you need anything or have questions. You can also reach Rabbi Helfand at 650-701-7720 or Cantor Doron at 650-235-5022. And if you need support of any kind (a phone call, groceries, a meal…), please reach out to [email protected] and we will make sure that you get the help that you need. If you are interested in being a part of this hesed team, please email the same address to let us know. Our community is present for each other at this unprecedented time and always.
In friendship and health,
Your PSC Team and Medical Task Force
San Mateo County Health Department: https://www.smchealth.org/
CDC Covid 19 Update: https://www.cdc.gov/media/
Kaiser Permanente: https://kpdoc.org/COVID19