Coronavirus Precautions for Families: March 6

In light of the evolving situation with the coronavirus, solid planning and protocols are important in keeping our community healthy and safe. Judaism views the human body as a precious gift from God. Moses Reminds the people of Israel to “guard yourself, and your soul diligently” (Deuteronomy 4:9). Guarding your body (shmirat haguf) is not only a Jewish value (middah), but a way to protect yourself and those who are most vulnerable in our community.

With this in mind and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Purim Carnival. This year, the proceeds of the Purim Carnival were to be split between the BJ Teen Scholarship Fund and Everytown for Gun Safety.

The BJ Teen Scholarship Fund makes it possible for teens in our program to participate in our immersive domestic and international service and learning trips, that they do not have the funds to participate in. The decision to raise money for Everytown for Gun Safety is part of a year of learning and advocacy related to gun violence and gun control, an issue-focus chosen by the BJ teens themselves.

We hope that you will consider donating the cost of your admission to the BJ Teen Scholarship Fund and the fundraiser for Everytown for Gun Safety. Those who have purchased tickets will be contacted directly. 

The decision to cancel the carnival was based on the unique activities which require a high-level of touching shared objects and surfaces. Currently, our plan is for all other programs, services, and classes to take place as usual. This includes Hitoreri, Tot Shabbat, Family Shabbat Services, 4th Grade Unrolling, Young Families Purim Celebration, Kadima@BJ, and our Purim Spiel performances. Should that change, we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible if the decision to cancel has been made. 

Please notify us immediately if your child’s secular school is closed, or they are otherwise subject to any type of isolation or quarantine. If your child is feeling sick, please keep them home. Any child who is showing signs, symptoms, or complaints of feeling ill will be sent home.

Our senior leadership team has developed a plan in the instance a suspension of programming is necessary. As a community of learners, we believe that, even in times of fear and uncertainty, we can create meaningful opportunities for our children to continue to grow and connect with Jewish values. We need to be reminded how resilient our children are and that every life experience is a moment to grow. We hope that you use this opportunity to learn with your family about ways to honor the Jewish value of guarding your body.

  • When entering the building, please wash your hands and remind your children to wash their hands for 20 seconds, or as long as it takes to sing “Yom Huledet Sameah” or “Happy Birthday” twice, or the “Alef Bet” or “ ABCs”.
  • If your child is feeling sick, running a fever, or has any cold or flu symptoms, please keep them home. This includes services, Kadima@BJ, family programs, and advising for families.
  • Please ask your children not to share their snacks or food with other children. This a good reminder, given that many of our students have allergies.
  • Please remind your children not to share their cell phones with others.
  • Please remind your children to keep their socks and shoes on.
  • Instead of high fives, we “high elbows” or “high feet.”
  • For all programs, please enter the building and wash your hands. We also will provide disinfectant hand sanitizer for people entering any programmatic space.
  • During all upcoming FLAL programming, food will be served instead of allowing children to serve themselves. We ask parents to wash their hands before bringing food to their children. 
  • Please refrain from playing with or using the water fountains. Water stations are set up all around the Community House and in the Sanctuary, so please use disposable cups instead.
  • Our staff will continue to disinfect any shared toys on a regular basis.

We know that for many this is a stressful time, but we should also remember that, at each moment in our children’s lives, they are looking to us as models. May we have the strength to be patient, show compassion, and love to each other, our community, and our children.

Commmunity Update

Read the latest coronavirus update from Rabbi Roly Matalon, Rabbi Felicia Sol, and Executive Director Colin Weil.