Congregation B'nai Israel

2710 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 | (203) 336-1858 | info@cbibpt.org |

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Important Coronavirus Update

March 12, 2020

Dear B’nai Israel community-
 
Our clergy, staff and lay leadership met this morning to discuss plans for the synagogue in light of new information regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our synagogue community, the health and safety of all our congregants and members is our most important and sacred duty at this time. Please read through this entire email as it has important information about all synagogue events and functions over the next two weeks. We thank you for bearing with us at this time, as we are doing our best to stay on top of all new information regarding this virus. We will continue to communicate new information via email, our website, and Facebook page in the coming weeks. 
 
Updated B’nai Israel COVID-19 (coronavirus) plan (as of 3/12/20):
All in-person group functions and gatherings, as well as all non-essential meetings scheduled to take place in the building are CANCELED or POSTPONED through March, 26, 2020. 

  • Shabbat services will be live streamed through our website, http://www.cbibpt.org, as well as on our Facebook page. These online services will take place at their normal times, at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. If you would like to share the name of a loved one for the Kaddish or Mi Sheberach for healing prayer to be read at services, please email Rabbi Schultz.
  • Torah study with Rabbi Schultz will take place via Zoom meeting. You can join by clicking https://zoom.us/j/323505305 or calling 646-558-8656 and entering the meeting ID 323 505 305
  • Shabbat morning Havurah, Brotherhood breakfast, BIFTY teen events, and yoga classes are canceled until further notice.  Additionally, the following events will be postponed or canceled: A Magical Evening, ReConnect Shabbat dinner, documentary film: Fiddler, A Miracle of Miracles, security training drill, Women’s Passover seder, and Mitzvah Morning.
  • Until further notice, life cycle events (B’nai Mitzvah, funerals, baby namings) will take place but we will request that they be limited to immediate family ONLY. We will provide live streaming services at no additional charge during this time. 
  • All in-person Religious School will be canceled through March 26, 2020. Classes will be held online – Religious School families will ​receive additional information from Ira Wise and the Religious School staff about how to logon to classes.
  • At this time our Bonim Preschool WILL remain open. Alexa Cohen is in conversation with other area preschools as well as the City of Bridgeport and we have deemed it safe to keep our preschool open at this time.

Our clergy and staff will continue to work in the building during this time. We ask that if you would like to schedule a meeting with any of our clergy or staff, please call ahead, 203-336-1858, to let us know that you’ll be coming into the building. Cantor Blum and Claire Baker will continue their 1:1 lessons with the B’nai Mitzvah students at this time and the building will be open to them.
 
During this two week period our building and maintenance staff will conduct a deep clean of every part of the building so we are prepared when we re-open. Just as a reminder we ask that if you are entering the building, you wash your hands right away.
 
We know many wish to help others during this time. Here are a few ways that you can help:

  • Operation Hope is in need of cleaning products to offer at their food pantry. Specifically they need:  Lysol cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, dish detergent, laundry detergent, hand soap, Comet/Ajax, scrubbies and sponges. You can donate those directly to Operation Hope, 636 Old Post Road in Fairfield.
  • In the coming weeks there may be congregants who need help with deliveries or picking up prescriptions. If you are able to help, please email Rabbi Schultz.

Additionally, if you are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus, please reach out to our clergy – eschultz@cbibpt.org or smarion@cbibpt.org. We have a small fund for congregants under financial duress as well as some Stop & Shop gift cards to help you out at this time. Our clergy is here for any pastoral support or needs as well. We always encourage you to reach out to us.
 
Please take all precautions to stay safe and healthy at this time. A reminder to remain calm and listen to the latest updates from the CDC and government experts. We will get through this together, as a community, and support those in need.

With love and support,
 
Shari Nerreau, President
Rabbi Evan Schultz