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Bayit Coronavirus Email #15: Passover and Non-Passover Food Distributions, Wed Class and Support Space, Parsha Thought and More

03/18/2020 02:02:17 AM


Dear Bayit Family,

I continue to be amazed by the tireless chesed and wisdom across our community.  Everyone has a role to play, giving, receiving, connecting, and collaborating.  We continue to pray for the health of those who have been infected with the Covid-19 virus and the recovery of those who are ill as a result of their infection.  This email contains various updates and resources for our community - please read it thoroughly and carefully and utilize it as appropriate.

1) Local Outbreak Information - Reflection on Developing Guidelines
2) Daily Tefillah Zoom Room
3) Office Staff New Contact Information
4) Wednesday Class (11:30am) Zoom Link
5) Bayit-led Online Support Space at 8:45pm Tonight with Dr. Alan Weiner
6) Moss Cafe Food Distribution - Today Only!
7) Passover Food Pantry Food Distributions
8) Covid-19 Community Impact Survey - please fill out and make a difference
9) Addressing Financial/Resource Needs
10) Mikvah Guidelines Reminder
11) Community Support: Errand Volunteer System, Phone Check-in Squad, and Chizzuk Households WhatsApp group
12) Pesach Preparations
13) Parsha Thought by Rabbanit Bracha

1) Local Outbreak Information - Reflection on Developing Guidelines:  We continue to monitor and be in touch with public health officials and our partner institutions around Riverdale.  We are united in our desire to strengthen our practice of all best hygiene and social distancing practices.  The guidelines we see of increased staying at home for all of us in different ways, with an emphasis on those 60 and older, are enormously challenging.  I take solace in seeing them as our prescription to each do our part to literally save lives.  We have the resources (see #11 below) to shop for and check in on anyone who should be entirely at home - let's lean on each other.

2) Daily Tefillah Zoom Room: At our daily tefillah times (today: 6:45am and 7:50am Shacharit, 6:50pm Mincha/Maariv), there is a Zoom room we can join to pray in our homes alongside each other.  Please click here to join - this is the permanent link and is also on top of the Bayit's homepage.  At the end of each tefillah slot, a clergy member will teach a Mishnah from Tractate Pesachim to honor the memories of those for whom community members have been saying Kaddish at this time.  For the additional tefillah we are adding in every Shemoneh Esrei from the High Holidays supplication for deliverance from a plague outbreak, please click here

3) Office Staff New Contact InformationThe office staff is working remotely. To facilitate communications please use the following direct phone numbers instead of the main switchboard: Richard Langer: 732-626-5902,; Shuli Boxer Rieser: 929-269-2892,; Yael Manor-Oshinsky: 201-503-5562,

4) Wednesday Class (11:30am) Zoom Link: Talmudic Tales with Rabbanit Bracha at 11:30am: Click here for Zoom or dial-in audio at +1 646 558 8656; Meeting ID: 470 341 910.  This link works for all Monday-Thursday weekday morning classes.  Give it a try!

5) Bayit-led Online Support Space at 8:45pm Tonight with Dr. Alan Weiner: We will have online Zoom support space for those wishing to connect and process this experience together.  Tonight's group will be facilitated by Bayit member, psychologist and psychotherapist Dr. Alan Weiner.  The group meets from 8:45pm-9:30pm (click here for Zoom or dial-in audio at +1 646 558 8656; Meeting ID: 373 071 966).  The online support space continues nightly at 8:45pm.  Schedule is as follows: Thu 3/19: Aviva Braun, LCSW, Sat night 3/21: Dr. Seth Aronson, Sun 3/22: Dr. Michelle Jasper-Brody.  The link for each session is the same - here.

6) Moss Cafe Food Distribution - Today Only!: Moss Cafe (3260 Johnson Ave.) will be closed for the time being effective tomorrow, March 19th.  Today, from 9am-6pm, Moss will be giving away all of their food supplies: local produce, dairy, eggs and bread, as well as some pre-prepared foods, to families who are struggling right now and members of the community for whom this could make a difference. Pastries and coffee still for sale tomorrow only, everything else free for the taking.  Please come to pick up what you can benefit from, and please spread the word.

7) Passover Food Pantry Food DistributionsThe Kingsbridge Center of Israel (KCI) Kosher Food Pantry is offering FREE Kosher for Passover food to those in need. The food has been made available to the Pantry at no cost by Met Council and is available for anyone who thinks that a little extra help will benefit you and/or your family. Food available includes Matzah, Grape Juice, Chicken, Eggs and other non-perishables. Pre-packaged boxes can be picked up or delivered to your home. Please contact or (646) 647-1380. All contact remains confidential to a small group of local individuals. 

8) Covid-19 Community Impact Survey - please fill out and make a difference: Please fill out this brief survey to help us better understand and address the community’s immediate needs. his study is completely anonymous and an opportunity to share your experience and suggestions. Feel free to share this with others who may be impacted. The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Columbia University. For any questions, feedback or suggestion, please feel free to contact Dr. Sarah Weinberger-Litman, or 917-836-4257.

9) Addressing Financial//Resource Needs: As a Bayit, we are here to help each other.  We recognize that the financial and resource tolls of this crisis will only grow.  We are preparing to support our community on many levels - institution-specific and communitywide.  If you are in current need or expect to be in need, please contact any clergy team member so we can begin to assess need, prepare and provide immediate support.  If you'd like to offer support, please donate here.

10) Mikvah Guidelines Reminder: Please see the most recent mikvah information here.  In particular, please remember that appointments must be made in advance here and all prep must be done at home.

11) Community Support: Errand Volunteer System, Phone Check-in Squad, and Chizzuk Households WhatsApp Group

  • Submit your errand requests here and someone will respond within a couple of hours.  Please share this resource - our community is here to help!
  • If you'd like to receive a call to connect with another member of the Bayit community, or if you'd like to make calls, please contact Shira Gordon at
  • To join a WhatsApp group for sharing support and strength and best resources for managing quarantine and social distancing and their effects, please click here.

12) Pesach Preparations: The thought of Pesach preparations and of seders without some or all of the usual family and guests can feel particularly daunting this year.  The Bayit is here to support you in making and leading a seder, preparing your home, and anything you are thinking about as Pesach approaches with an FAQ, guidelines and classes to follow.  Please don't hesitate to be in touch with any of our clergy.  Initial information is at

13) Please enjoy a Parsha Thought by Rabbanit Bracha.

Reminder to all to take good care of ourselves and each other.  Try to do something specific today that strengthens you, and something else that strengthens someone else.

May it be a healthy day,

Rav Steven, Rav Ezra, Rabbanit Bracha, Rabba Sara and Rav Avi
Richard Langer, Executive Director
Daniel Feit, President

All the emails that we are sending about Covid-19 are posted to our website at

Sun, March 29 2020 4 Nisan 5780