To Zoom or not to Zoom – Just Be Connected!

Over the past year, due to the COVID virus and the desire to keep our members safe and healthy, all of TBO’s services, meetings, programming, etc. have been conducted virtually. And it has been a long year. At this time, we are still operating in this mode with a busy Re-Opening Task Force, spearheaded by Wanda Bresnick, helping us to prepare for the happy day when we can safely return to in-person activities.

There have been some unanticipated benefits to this Zoom scenario in that we have seen more of members who previously had not been making it to the building regularly. There are a variety of reasons that had limited their in-person participation such as transportation, mobility, scheduling, health, or childcare challenges. We are so happy to see all these folks on the Zoom screen and are committed to finding ways to continue to engage them going forward into the post-COVID era that lies ahead.

On the flip side, there are some members who have practically disappeared. We have missed them and look forward to seeing them in person in the not-too-distant future. Some of these folks are simply Zoomed-out, experiencing Zoom fatigue from work and/or schooling Zoom demands. Perhaps some are not comfortable with or don’t have access to the equipment/networks needed for successful Zooming. Others maybe just don’t like Zoom. Whatever the reason, we are hoping that in-person times are not too far off and that we will fully reconnect with these members soon.

In the meantime, I would like to encourage the non-Zoomers (as well as the Zoomers) to start re-engaging with the community. A great first step would be to check out our new improved website. JonaRose Feinberg took on the unbelievably daunting task of overhauling the TBO website (thanks Jona!) and it looks great. Another way to be involved that does not involve Zoom is to read all about our activities and programs on any number of platforms including this great publication, the ORacle, or electronically through ORbits or Facebook. If you have any questions about any of the TBO communication tools, you can reach out to our Communications team at or contact Sarah Davis in the office.

Further, if you are up for it, join the Mitzvah Corps in supporting our members in need. This does not involve Zoom at all! The Committee Spot Light section of the May ORacle issue includes more information about the good work that this team does. For more details, contact Carolyn Wexler. Another non-Zoom option would be to join a small group that meets outdoors. For information about this, reach out to Rebecca Hicks, our small groups coordinator, to learn all about our small groups program.

Lastly, I would suggest to all members that a great way to connect is a good old-fashioned telephone call. If there is someone in the congregation you have been thinking of and missing, pick up the phone, give them a call and let them know they were on your mind. Heard a name on the Mi Shebeirach list? Consider giving the person a call or email to let them know you care. It could be the highlight of their day, and yours too!

Wishing you all happy connections in the days ahead.

Melanie Field