Tuesday 24 March
So it has happened – we are effectively in lock down, and I know that for many of you even just the words are enough to produce anxiety. The world changed as of Monday night and we must all now pull together. The staff and Rabbi’s at the shul took last week to try and put measures in place for us all to be able to keep in touch and although the building is closed, the community very definitely is not.
Please continue to read.
During the last few days our Orot classes went on-line and other learning sessions will follow. ‘Our Week Ahead’ will be published more than weekly from now on, so that you can all see what we have on offer. We had our first streamed Bat Mitzvah last Shabbat, which over 140 friends and members watched. Since the new clamp down, unfortunately we cannot have any further call ups in the synagogue, but we are working on ways for our youngsters to join in the service from home and still be able to leyn their portion for their community. We hope this will be up and running for our Bat Mitzvah this weekend.
Funerals and other Life Cycle Events at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue
We are all living in a very difficult time and need to respond to the rapidly evolving government guidelines. The Government statement on public gatherings (23rd March 2020) says the following: To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government is stopping all public gatherings of more than two people. … the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family. Click here for more information on new government rules on staying at home and away from each other.
EHRS currently has only two Rabbis who are able to officiate at funerals, our other Rabbi is in the vulnerable category and cannot do so. We have to protect our two Rabbis’ health and ability to function on behalf of the community.
If either of our Rabbis had to self-isolate due to contact with a person who turned out to be a virus carrier, we would be unable to provide Rabbis from our community for the number of funerals which take place. Therefore, we ask immediate family members, even in the distressing situation of bereavement, not to attend funerals.
Your officiating Rabbi will use the video facility Zoom to enable you to feel present at the funeral from the safety of your own home. Please do not try to put pressure on our Rabbis to breach this request. They are fully aware of the distress that bereavement causes and only wish it could be different, but must not continue to put themselves at daily risk where it is avoidable.
For now, we have to support each other, keep a look out for each other and in the future, we will be able to come together as community once more.
With best wishes
Janet Brand, Chairman