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March 17, 2020 Update

03/17/2020 09:15:18 AM


Shalom members of our beloved community,

I hope that you are well. It has been a difficult week, with all sorts of closings and changes.

A bit of good news: the interfaith food drive that we organized with our friends at St. James, St. Marks, and South Church has been successful. We have gathered 250 bags of dry goods, 30 bags of produce, 500 sack lunches, $800 in cash donations, the use of a truck several days this week (thank you Arnold Berman), and cooperation from over 30 volunteers (including Arnold and Elizabeth Berman, Jen Malz, Alex Collins, Sam Collins, Ben Greene, Carolyn Greene, Nik Herlands, and Richard Renert – let me know if I forgot anyone!).

Yesterday we were able to distribute a week’s worth of groceries (plus bagged lunches from Jersey Mikes) to 30 families in Welles Village. Everyone seemed really grateful. Today (Tuesday) we’ll distribute again, this time at CKH from 9-12. Wednesday the distribution will take place at South Church, again from 9-12. Volunteers are always welcome.

We even received some news coverage while collecting donations (by a reporter who mistakenly thought we were at the synagogue, but hey) – here’s the link:

Four Glastonbury clergy made this happen: Larissa Forsythe (who’s the pastor at South Church and who also appears in the video), Cheryl Hoffman (who is the pastor at the church where we gathered the food) and Denise Cabana (who is the pastor at the church that runs Carol’s Closet), and I all worked together to lead this project. It has been a source of inspiration to us all, to see how our faith communities actually enact what we preach.

I also wanted to follow up my earlier message regarding livestreaming the Friday night services. I’ll send a detailed how-to message in the next day or so. I just wanted to let you know that we are working on making the service feel like you’re really right there. We’ve got a good camera and microphone set-up; it should feel like I’m standing in your living room.

Starting this Saturday morning, I am also going to be offering on-line Torah study by Zoom every Saturday morning. No experience or prior knowledge necessary: we’ll discuss the weekly Torah portion together.

In the week to come, I’ll start adding to the schedule: definitely a series of meditation sessions, prayers for healing, and maybe another class.

What about the office? Our staff is mostly working from home right now, and the preschool is no longer meeting, which is why the building is mostly empty. For me, that’s the hardest part, since the building is so often the hub of so much activity. But we will find new ways to connect. So you know: if you call my office number, it rings to my home, so you can reach me as needed. Otherwise, it makes sense to send an email if you need to reach any of us.

Last thing: if you would like some rabbinic time and attention, that can be arranged. Email, text, or call me and we’ll find a way to make a connection. I’m here for you. And if you need to have something delivered to you, we have members of the community who have already volunteered to help. That’s what it means to be a community.

All the best,


Tue, September 21 2021 15 Tishrei 5782