Did you know that our Everett Police Department’s K-9 Officers don’t have bulletproof vests?! They only have a fabric police harness and a leash. They are in grave danger from armed criminals! They risk their lives every day for citizens of Snohomish County.
This Fall, I met an Everett Police Officer and his K-9 partner, Duke. The human officer told me that Duke and his 3 fellow K-9 Officers get shot at and some bad guys also try to stab them! This happens all the time and even though the K-9 Officers are in danger, they risk their lives to keep us safe anyway.
I feel so strongly about trying to do something to help protect our K-9 Officers that I am making this my Bar Mitzvah project. I can’t do this on my own and I need your help!
My goal is to raise enough money for at least 2 bulletproof vests for these real-life K-9 superheroes by my Bar Mitzvah on August 13, 2022. These bulletproof or ballistic canine vests can stop a severe or even fatal knife or bullet injury from occurring. I hope that after the fundraising is over all 4 K-9 Officers are safe from knives and bullets fired by the criminals they’re trying to catch.
Everett PD and I have partnered with Brady’s K9 Fund. The link that goes directly to my Mitzvah Project is: https://givebutter.com/Samsfundraiser You can call, text or email my Ima (Sue Halle) if you have questions or need help.
I really love my Temple Beth Or community and appreciate your support for my Bar Mitzvah project. Our 2-legged and 4-legged police do a lot to keep our Jewish community safe. I hope together we can achieve this goal. What a mitzvah it will be!
Thank you so much, everyone! With lots of love, Sam Halle
It’s that time of year — Religious School registration is now open. The form is online again this year for ease of use. The deadline for school registration and scholarships is August 1. Early August we will be very busy time for the office with High Holy Days preparations, so if it is possible for you to get your registration in early it is much appreciated.
The results are in: 95% of voters supported moving forward with the capital campaign! Now that we have affirmed congregational support, we are ready to move on to the next steps. The capital campaign will launch this Fall, with a kickoff event on September 10. At the same time, we will be working with the architect to create construction drawings and will be getting bids from builders. Stay tuned to the Facilities website for more information!
We often turn to our Shema prayer for comfort and grounding. As we process the school shooting this week in Uvalde, Texas, I want to share a kavanah (intention) written by our Reform Movement’s teenagers after the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida:
When we watch the news after each senseless act of violence, we feel pain as though we ourselves were the victims. Every time someone is murdered, we ourselves are offended; God is offended, for we are all inextricably linked. We are one. We are called upon to raise our voice and turn our actions to collectively affirm this oneness.
While our TBO community is on break this weekend, know that if you need support, I am here as your rabbi if you need to connect. School districts have shared resources with families and I want to emphasize that our children need special care right now. The American Psychological Association suggests: make space for kids to talk, take “news breaks,” monitor adult conversation, check in often, and be sure to care for ourselves too. (Helping Your Child Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting)
Our ancient Sages teach: “One who takes a life, it is though they have destroyed the universe. And one who saves a life, it is as though they have saved the universe” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5). As we reflect on the immense loss of life from gun violence in our country, our tradition asks us to grieve and, at the same time, invites us to action.
The Combined COVID-19 Task Force (TF) has updated the TBO COVID-19 protocols and the Governing Board (GB) has voted to approve these recommendations. The revised recommendations outline how our congregation can safely gather now that statewide mask mandates have been lifted and health official guidelines have reduced restrictions as a result of decreased case numbers, rates of hospitalization, and deaths. Required precautions will be tied to Snohomish County case rate figures (new cases per day per 100,000 population). If this value is at or below 25, these updated protocols will be in effect. If the value exceeds 25 new cases per day per 100,000 population or other considerations warrant it, more protective measures may be necessary.
Based on the information on the Snohomish County Health Department website on Monday, April 18, the services this Saturday, April 23 will fall under the new protocol, described below. In short, this means that we will be having mask-optional services, that members do not need to pre-register, and that we will be having a Passover friendly oneg, following our services.
More complete information is summarized below and the full recommendations can be found at templebethor.org/covid.
Protocols will be re-assessed and reviewed frequently and may change as warranted as conditions change.
Anyone not feeling well or experiencing symptoms should not attend in-person services, activities, or events.
TBO will continue to encourage and support vaccination and booster shots for all who are eligible.
The metric that we will be using to determine the mode of operation is the Snohomish County Health Department new cases per day per 100,000 population. If this value is at or below 25, these updated protocols will be in effect. If the value exceeds 25 new cases per day per 100,000 population or other considerations warrant it, more protective measures may be necessary. this case information is available at http://www.snohd.org/546/Local-Case-Counts.
Religious School (RS) will continue to follow the protocols that have been in place (including masking, symptom checks, and distancing) through the end of the school year. Others at the Temple during RS will also follow the RS protocols, including refraining from eating and drinking at the Temple.
In addition to in-person services, we will continue to offer services and congregational meetings virtually whenever possible.
Masking will be optional during non-RS hours. Making this choice will be an individual decision and those choosing to continue wearing masks will be respected.
Sign in and out will be required for safety and security reasons, as well as contact tracing.
Appointments are not required for using the building. During office hours, advanced notification of building access is requested for safety and security reasons.
Social distancing will not be enforced, limits on numbers of attendees at services will not be restricted due to COVID-19. (Fire code restrictions and other appropriate number limits will still apply.)
Kiddush and oneg will be allowed at services.
Pre-registration will not be required to attend services.
All attendees will need to be fully vaccinated and boosted OR fully vaccinated and have a negative COVID-19 test. (See full recommendation for specifics.)
Pre-registration will still be required.
Proof of vaccination and booster will be required in advance.
Protocols will be set by the event coordinator.
Protocols will be clearly communicated to participants so they can make informed decisions about attending.
If you have any questions about these protocols, contact Melanie Field or Wanda Bresnick.
Temple Beth Or joined over 375 Jewish and other faith-based groups and organizations from around the U.S. cosigning a letter urging President Biden to take immediate steps to welcome refugees from Ukraine and reunite families. The effort was coordinated by the Jewish Federations of North America.
“The Jewish community and our faith partners across the United States urge you take immediate steps to help Ukrainian civilians, including by expediting the resettlement of Ukrainians who are already in process to come to the United States thanks to their close family ties here,” the letter states.
Read an article about this effort at FedBeat (Jewish Federations of North America) and the full text of the letter here.
In light of the changing COVID-19 situation, the Combined COVID-19 Task Force (TF) held a meeting on February 28 to reevaluate the TBO COVID-19 safety protocols. Per the Governor’s statement, as an individual organization we are empowered to make our own decisions with regards to COVID-19 protocols. We used our value-based decision-making and focused on pikuach nefesh (sanctity of life) and connecting the community. We also used health metrics to guide our decision.
The TF recommends that we maintain our current protocols until mid-April, in order to observe the results of the post mask mandate situation. If cases remain below 25 per 100,000 population in Snohomish County (the original COVID-19 health metric for removing mitigating protocol) masking for in person activities at TBO will become optional. This applies to Religious School and teen programming as well. The TF will meet again in early April to assess the post mask mandate COVID-19 situation.
We will continue to live stream in person services for the foreseeable future to ensure that everyone has access to our prayer community.
Further, for TBO events not held at the Temple building, such as book club and Next Chapter, the group should clearly communicate what protocols will be followed at each event so that people can make an informed decision about participating. The event coordinator will determine the protocols to be followed and share them. A virtual option should be provided, if feasible.
As we continue to navigate the pandemic, our Combined COVID-19 Task Force is diligently following the new scientific information and frequently reassessing our protocols, procedures, and precautions. We want to make sure that everyone in the community is aware of the protocols currently in place. The key elements are:
Everyone who is eligible to do so must be fully vaccinated and boosted to participate in in-person TBO activities.
We continue to require proper masking. Appropriate masks include one of the following: KN-95, KF-94, N-95, double surgical masks, or surgical masks doubled with a cloth mask.
Anyone who has attended a TBO service/event/activity, visited the building, or had a pastoral visit, and tests positive for COVID-19 within 5 days of that interaction should notify the President, Rabbi, or Office Administrator immediately, by text or phone. The identity of the person who has tested positive will be kept confidential, unless they have given permission otherwise.
The full text of our protocols (and other helpful information!) can be found on our new COVID-19 page on the website (http://templebethor.org/covid). Additional questions can be directed to Melanie Field.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we do our best to meet this challenge and stay safe and connected.
The results are in! With strong participation, our direction has been made clear. 60% of Temple Beth Or voters support remaining on Lombard Avenue.
Now that this decision has been made, it’s time to take the next steps. We will hire an outside consultant to conduct a financial feasibility study. This study will begin in January and will take 3-5 months. The results will enable us to match the size and scope of the project to our fundraising potential. With that information, we will refine and finalize architectural plans and embark on a fundraising campaign.
We will continue to post updates on the Facilities Planning page on our website, and will keep the congregation informed of the next steps as they develop. Members will be asked to approve a construction contract sometime in 2022.
Thank you to all of the members who engaged so thoughtfully with this critical decision. Out of 199 eligible voters, we had turnout of 76% – an excellent demonstration of our shared commitment to the Temple Beth Or community.
As we have all experienced over the last year and half, the COVID-19 virus is challenging us in a myriad of ways. Our COVID-19 Task Force, our Re-gathering Task Force and our Governing Board have been working hard to stay on top of new scientific and medical information about this virus and to identify ways that we could safely be together as a community. We have improved our technological capabilities and are offering virtual access to all of our services. We are pivoting to a multi-access approach to meeting the needs of our membership.
Most recently, the surge of the Delta variant, that can be spread from asymptomatic vaccinated people and can cause vaccinated and unvaccinated people to become sick, has warranted a re-evaluation our current precautions. Previously the TBO Governing Board approved protocols that, among other measures, included masking and social distancing for indoor in person gatherings, regardless of vaccination status. The protocol also included the directive to monitor the situation and update our strategy as necessary. This new information has prompted a reassessment of those precautions and the Board has approved a new set of protocols. Our new Combined COVID-19 Task Force, consisting of both the previously existing COVID-19 related task forces, met and developed updated recommendations. The Board reviewed those recommendations and approved new protocols consistent with those recommendations.
The approved updated protocols are as follows:
We continue to encourage all who are eligible to be vaccinated to do so.
We encourage everyone who is already vaccinated to follow recommendations from their healthcare provider and/or pharmacist regarding getting their booster shot.
Everyone who is eligible for vaccination must be fully vaccinated to attend in person events, both indoors and outdoors. Those who are not yet eligible for vaccination (at this time, children under 12), are also welcome to attend in person. Those who are choosing not to be vaccinated and those who are not feeling well are welcome to participate virtually.
All attending in-person services and activities will be required to properly wear an appropriate mask.
All attending indoor in-person services and activities will be required to observe social distancing.
Singing is allowed while masked.
Eating together will only be allowed under very specific circumstances – outdoors with ample spacing to keep family pods adequately distanced (i.e. at Camp Kalsman).
Our procedures include requiring advanced reservations to attend services and other in person events.
At this time, we are limiting attendance in the sanctuary to 55 people to ensure that we can achieve social distancing.
We will continue to use contact tracing protocols and have hand sanitizer readily available.
We will continue to ask health-related self-attestation questions upon entry.
Proof of vaccination will not be required at this time for members. However, all who are eligible for vaccination will be required to self identify as vaccinated, using the honor system.
Non-members will need to submit documentation proving that they are vaccinated, well in advance of the in-person activity.
In-person services will be live streamed.
We will continue to update our protocols based on recommendations and guidelines from federal, state, and local authorities.
In order to implement these new recommendations in time for High Holy Days we are asking that all who have not yet completed the self reporting vaccine status survey please do so. If you cannot use the survey link, contact the office to report your status. If you are eligible for vaccination and you do not self identify as vaccinated in advance, you will not be able to attend in-person services or activities.
Those who are pre-registered for in person activities who have chosen not to be vaccinated are asked to please join us online instead.
While nothing is 100%, we are striving to keep our community as safe as possible. We will be sure to clearly communicate the parameters of each activity and each individual or family can decide for themselves, based on their own situation and comfort levels, what services and events to join in-person. Given the new multi-access approach to our programming, all will be able to join us virtually, if in-person is not a good fit.
We appreciate the efforts of all those who are working hard to protect the community and to create opportunities to be together safely. We also greatly value the patience and cooperation of the congregation as we navigate this extremely trying situation.
If you have any questions about these protocols or their implementation, please contact Melanie Field or Rabbi Kort.