Dear BJ Members and Friends,

We have learned this evening that a member of the BJ community has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This person attended the Bat Mitzvah service and celebration in the BJ Sanctuary and Frankel Hall on Shabbat morning, March 7. They became symptomatic on Wednesday of this past week, and the positive test result was reported to us today. Please refer to our COVID-19 resource page for resources that might be useful at this time.

The BJ campus is now closed and we have scheduled a deep cleaning and disinfection of the Sanctuary building and Community House beginning tomorrow, Sunday, March 15. We will let the community know when the campus will re-open.

All in-person prayer services have been canceled until further notice. We are establishing Zoom meetings for morning and evening minyanim for anyone who would like the opportunity to pray together. Click here for the Sunday morning minyan. For future services, links will be provided in a subsequent message.

As Felicia shared this morning in her drash, there is a strong connection between the story of the red heifer in this past week’s Torah reading, and the deep disruption in our lives created by the coronavirus. The call to deny ourselves the physical proximity that defines so many aspects of our lives is unprecedented. As Felicia said, “This moment has deeply shaken many of us. While the virus causes shortness of breath, we too feel a shortness of breath spiritually.”

As we receive more information, we will continue to update the community. Even if we are not physically together, we will share with you, our beloved community, many opportunities to stay connected and virtually proximate. And remember we are here for you, email rabbis@bj.org if you need support.

We wish a refuah shleimah, a complete healing, to the BJ member who is ill, and we pray for our community to stay strong, connected and compassionate in the face of the virus, in this unprecedented time in our lives.

J. Rolando Matalon

Written By J. Rolando Matalon

José Rolando Matalon, B’nai Jeshurun’s senior rabbi, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was educated in Buenos Aires, Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York City. After his ordination at the Jewis...

Felicia L. Sol

Written By Felicia L. Sol

Rabbi Sol has served as a rabbi at BJ since 2001, becoming the first woman to serve as a rabbi to the community in the congregation’s almost 200-year history. Rabbi Sol began her initial involve...

Alan Mantel

Written By Alan Mantel

Alan and his family have been members of BJ since 2001. Since its inception, Alan has been a Partner of Snow Phipps Group, a private equity firm. Previously he was a Managing Director at Credit Sui...

suzanne schechter

Written By Suzanne Schecter

Suzanne and her husband Todd Ruback have been members of BJ since 2007. Suzanne started volunteering at BJ upon joining; cooking for the shelter, serving weekly guests at the lunch program and she ...