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North Shore Temple Emanuel

a Progressive Jewish Congregation

COVID-19 Updates

Current COVID-19 Communication 

Communication sent to all NSTE members - Wednesday 18 March, 2020

As the COVID-19 advice and guidance of Australian and international health organisations evolves on a daily basis, we are making decisions that we feel are the best ones for our congregation at this time. We ask that we all be gentle with one another whatever decisions we each choose for ourselves, our community and our families. 
 
We are suspending all our face to face activities and events for the present time, and as much as possible will move to various electronic means to continue our activities and events. Other local synagogues are taking similar action.
 
All our prayer services at the shul are suspended until further notice in support of the national effort to “flatten the curve,” and in order not to put any of our members or visitors at risk. This is effective immediately. We are working on online alternatives to allow our members to join together in “community” with an opportunity for those in a period of mourning or observing a yahrzeit to say kaddish. Should this hiatus extend through Pesach, we will provide remote means of celebrating the festival and praying Yizkor
 
The rabbis remain available to conduct life cycle events that cannot be postponed, such as a brit milah, funeral, or shiva minyan, however safety measures must be taken in accordance with government and Jewish communal guidelines. At present, numbers that may attend such rituals are limited, ideally to a minyan (10 members of the immediate family), with live stream to additional guests where possible, or postponement of larger gatherings until circumstances change. Please contact Rabbi Nicole, at any time, if you have concerns. 
 
All our adult education programs including Torah study and Hashkafah, will not take place in person. Wherever possible we will have online opportunities to “gather” and learn. 
 
Meah Hebrew & Religion School classes and B’nei Mitzvah tutoring will be moved to an electronic platform. Rabbi Misha and Rabbi Nicole are working on some wonderful ways for us to remain in touch and continue learning together with our children through technology. They will be in contact with all students. 
 
Our staff will mostly be working from home but the work of the synagogue will continue and we will be able to engage with you by telephone and email. Please do not drop in to the office without prior arrangement. 
 
These have been difficult decisions for us to make as we know the importance of communal connection and gathering, especially at these times. We are doing all we can to continue to feel the presence and support of community, even though we are not meeting in person. In the coming days and weeks, we will be reaching out by phone especially to vulnerable groups within our NSTE family, to check in, to maintain connection, and to see if we can assist with any needs. This will be a joint and coordinated effort by the rabbis, board, staff, Care Team and other volunteers. If there are ways that you would be comfortable assisting others -- whether through phone calls, shopping for essentials, or collection of prescriptions for those in self-isolation -- please email our office at info@nste.org.au. Likewise, please contact us if you are in need of practical or spiritual support.

As soon as conditions are deemed safe again to gather, rest assured we will return to our in-person ways. We remain a congregation, and our ideal is to congregate! Thank you for your understanding, during this extraordinary period. Wishing every soul in our community good health, safety, and peace, as we face the days ahead.
 
Gwen Harrison 
President
 
Rabbi Nicole Roberts 
Senior Rabbi
 
Rabbi Misha Clebaner


Previous COVID-19 Communications

General Update, Monday 16 March, 2020

We at North Shore Temple Emanuel, are committed to providing a safe and sacred community to the best of our ability and have implemented changes to reduce person-to-person contact and do our part to slow the virus, while still being here for our community. 

Current Community Updates:

  • Cancellation of Shabbat Dinner - Friday 20 March (Shabbat evening service will be held in the Sanctuary at 6.30 pm as usual)
  • Cancellation of Hands Free T'filah - Friday 27 March (Shabbat evening service will be held in the Sanctuary at 6.30 pm as usual)

We ask that you please do not come to NSTE if: 

  • you are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as a fever, cough or sore throat.  Please ensure you seek medical attention and do not visit NSTE until symptoms are resolved
  • you have travelled internationally in the last 14 days
  • you have had close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

If you are in need of support or feel concerned, please do not hesitate to contact our Rabbis or office staff on 9419 7011.


e-Hatikvah 13 March 2019

We continue to be committed to providing a safe and sacred space at NSTE to the best of our ability and are grateful to how the congregation has responded to the changes we have made to minimise risk of exposure to the virus, COVID-19.

 We have installed hand sanitiser dispensers in our buildings and encourage you to use them or wash your hands on entering and especially, as usual, if you are involved with preparing or serving food. We are providing tongs for use with food, including for serving challah.

We ask that you please do not come to NSTE if: 

  • you are feeling unwell, especially with cold or flu-like symptoms or a temperature.
  • you have  travelled internationally recently, especially to ‘at risk’ countries. See a constantly updated list HERE.
  • you have had close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

 We ask that you consider adopting alternative greetings like a touch on the back, or placing one or both hands over your heart, rather than shaking hands, kissing and hugging when greeting each other.  We have asked our rabbis to do the same, as they are in frequent contact with vulnerable individuals who must be kept safe.
 
For further resources regarding COVID-19 please refer to:  https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx 
 
If you are in need of support or feel concerned, please do not hesitate to contact our Rabbis or office staff. We also have meals on hand which can be delivered to those who are unwell.


e-Hatikvah 6 March 2019 

As news of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world develops, I want to reassure you that we at NSTE, are committed to providing a safe and sacred community to the best of our ability. Although our campus would not be considered a high risk, the Department of Health recommends some precautionary measures. With these in mind, we ask for your cooperation in the following to help us safeguard the wellbeing of all who visit our campus.  

  • If you have travelled through mainland China or Iran, or been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus within the previous 14 days please isolate yourself at home in accordance with the guidelines of the Australian Government Department of Health.
  • If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as a fever, cough or sore throat, please ensure you seek medical attention (although people displaying these symptoms may be simply suffering from a cold or other respiratory illness) and do not visit NSTE while symptoms persist.
  • Please avoid shaking hands, kissing and hugging when greeting each other. Consider adopting alternative greetings like a touch on the back, or placing one or both hands over your heart. We have asked our rabbis to do the same, as they are in frequent contact with vulnerable individuals who must be kept safe.
  • As the torah is paraded through the congregation for the Hakafah, those who wish to reach out to it are encouraged to use the fringes of your tallit rather than the siddur, as kissing the siddur then placing it back on the shelf after the service may put others at risk.
  • When challah or other food is served please use the utensils provided (and supervise your children to do the same)  to protect the community from the spread of germs, as some in our community are vulnerable. 
  • Please also keep in mind common sense measures like avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your cough and sneeze: disposing of used tissues in a rubbish bin; and washing your hands frequently. Handwashing facilities are present in each bathroom. Hand sanitizer will also be available at several entrances, although hand washing is preferable.

For further resources regarding COVID-19 please refer to: www.health.gov.au.
If you are in need of support or feel concerned, please do not hesitate to contact our Rabbis or office staff. We also have meals on hand which can be delivered to those who are unwell.
 
 We thank you for your cooperation.

Fri, 10 April 2020 16 Nisan 5780