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Bayit Coronavirus Email #2

03/06/2020 08:56:04 AM


Dear Bayit family,

As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, and as more community members are impacted by SAR and Westchester Torah Academy’s closures and self-quarantine guidelines, we are focused on staying up-to-date, mapping out best practices and responses for our community and supporting each other.  We know this can be a trying and stressful time for all of us; our clergy are here to listen and support however we can. Thank you to the many who have reached out in different ways.

After discussion with various medical experts, the email below contains a variety of guidelines and updates for our Bayit to protect at-risk populations, minimize potential spread, and maintain continued communal life where possible; please read through and follow them.

With loving care,


Rav Steven, Senior Rabbi
Richard Langer, Executive Director
Daniel Feit, President


I. Current Best Health Practices, At-Risk Populations and Building Cleanliness

II. Interpersonal Contact

III. Shabbat Zachor

IV. Purim


I. Current Best Health Practices, At-Risk Populations and Building Cleanliness

1. Health Practices: We continue to be advised to follow these basic health precautions.  A special note regarding coughing: we still see many people coughing directly into their hand.  Please try to be attuned to this and shift to the recommended practices:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Get your flu shot – it’s never too late
  • Stay home if you’re feeling at all sick. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms and travel history.

2. At-Risk Populations: We have particular concern about the at-risk populations who have been shown to be most susceptible to the virus: the elderly, those with underlying respiratory conditions, and our general concern for the immunocompromised.  If you fall into one of these populations, please consult your doctor before coming to shul.  Your safety is our paramount concern.  If you need any services or support, please contact our clergy team.

3. Building Cleanliness: We continue to be regularly cleaning the Bayit and disinfecting and more frequently cleaning the regularly-touched surfaces around the building.  We are very grateful to Bryan and our building team for their hard work.

II. Interpersonal Contact, Torah and Mezuzah Contact

  1. Interpersonal Contact: In exercising precautions around interpersonal contact, our clergy will be shifting to elbow bumps and hand-over-heart gestures in lieu of handshakes and hugs.  We encourage each of you to adopt this approach, inside the Bayit and out.

  2. Torah and Mezuzah Contact: In accordance with other rabbinic rulings, we feel strongly that in this time of health risk, one should not practice the customs of kissing a mezuzah and kissing a Torah.

III. Shabbat Zachor

  1. The Bayit is currently planning to have tefillot on Shabbat.  Quarantined and at-risk populations and anyone else at home will have subsequent opportunities to hear Parashat Zachor read, either on Purim or at a later point when returning to shul is safe and advisable.  We will keep you apprised of those opportunities.
  2. Please continue to check your email for any further updates about Shabbat services and youth programming.

IV. Purim 

  1. Megillah Readings: The Bayit will have Megillah readings throughout Purim.  We plan to offer Zoom access (listening to the Megillah live through your home computer/device) for our Monday 7:20pm and 9:30pm and Tuesday 8:30am (approx.) and 11:00am readings for those who cannot make it to shul because of self-quarantine or medical risk.
  2. Mishloach Manot for Homebound: Recognizing that this program would bring community members into the homes of many in the greatest at-risk populations, we are shifting this program to Purim phone calls instead of Mishloach Manot visits.  Please click here to sign up.

Mon, November 23 2020 7 Kislev 5781