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June 4, 2020 Shtiebel Update #2
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Dear Shtiebel Community,

We hope this email finds you healthy and safe. As Philadelphia plans to enter the Yellow Phase tomorrow, we are writing to share our plans with you for how and when we can begin gathering in person. We know how difficult these last few months have been, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this uncertain time. We have been so grateful to connect in various ways over the last few months, and we are looking forward to entering this next phase of being in person together again.

All of our decisions are guided by values core to our community: protecting human life (pikuach nefesh), kindness (chesed), and our dedication to communal life and prayer. We will hold fast to these values as we move forward. We have reviewed federal, state, and local guidelines; the OU guidelines; Rabbanit Fruchter’s halachic guidance; recommendations from Shtiebel doctors, and the experiences of other Orthodox shuls ahead of us in the process, to be sure that our decisions are informed by experts and varied perspectives.

We have decided that we will resume in-person activities no earlier than June 26, which is 3 weeks after Philadelphia’s Yellow Phase. This will afford us ample time to ensure it will indeed be safe to gather. Provided case levels go down, we will plan to gather then.

While we are in discussion about what our first gathering will be, for now we can share that it will be outdoors and limited to 25 participants. It will also aim to address our communal needs for connection, learning, and spirituality. This is the safest and most inclusive way for faith communities to gather right now. While so many people yearn to come together in person, we also recognize that others desire to remain at home.  We will continue to use all of the tools we have to make a wide range of classes, tefillah, and activities available for those who prefer not to gather in person.

Please note: Our plans are subject to change based on updated information from the health department and current events so keep reading your emails and announcements.  We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to make plans in these uncertain times. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rena Pressman, who can pass it on the team.

We are looking forward to beginning this process together,

Regathering Committee