I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for your continued support over this difficult period through COVID. I know it has not been easy to stay connected to our community, friends and family. But through it, and hopefully there is light at the end of this tunnel, we, as a community, really have done alright.
We have learned that we can connect in many different ways, like zoom, and telephone calls, and Facebook, and we have upgraded our technical equipment to be able to improve our delivery on these platforms.
We have developed programming to assist and encourage people to be connected and to feel a little less alone in these isolating times.
Sincere gratitude to all of you who have participated in the development of programs or who have simply ‘attended’ and participated in them!
Slowly and cautiously, we are beginning to emerge and are starting to gather for worship and events. It feels good to be among our friends in the community, but also a bit strange and we are still exercising caution and keeping distance, which is normal and good, I think.
After Passover, we gathered for Yizkor and there were over 40 people together, it seems so long since we had so many people in the Temple sanctuary, and it was so beautiful, musically and spiritually – thank you to all those who participated!
For Yom Ha Shoah the broader Ottawa Jewish community come together to remember. We were relatively small in numbers, but indicative of a growing willingness to assemble as a community.
Virtual programing is here to stay though I think. It will be our challenge to find the balance so that being inclusive can also mean that those participating at home still can still participate virtually as an option and still feel a part of our Temple family.
In the article in Tablet Magazine on the Rise of the Online Synagogue, Rabbi Elaine Zecher at Temple Israel, a large Reform congregation in Boston says, ‘People are not “virtual,” they are real. We call our approach: “mixed-presence, whether onsite or online.” So true! And something for us to keep in mind when developing and executing programs for our Temple community.
Next week is Yom Ha’atzmaut and we will celebrate in style here at Temple. You don’t have to have kids at school to join in the fun! Let’s celebrate Israel together. Many activities will be outdoors, so here’s hoping for a beautiful Ottawa spring day!
Finally, if you’re looking to lend a hand with our auction, please contact Patsy – contact info below, and mark your calendar for this event on May 26. We need people to help out before, during and after. Please be sure to come out to this event and tell all your friends too!
And if you have ideas for programs, on line or in person, or ‘mixed-presence’, please reach out to me or the office with your ideas or simply to share your thoughts. We are always happy to hear from you!
Wishing you all a happy spring!
Miriam Burke, President