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Dear Friends,

Two phrases that have entered our lexicon in recent weeks are “social distancing” and “an abundance of caution.”  As Shir Ami is now operating from our homes scattered around Bucks and Montgomery Counties, we want you to know that even though we are physically distant, we remain socially close. 

A primary Jewish value that supersedes just about everything else is known as pikuach nefesh—saving a life.  Every other mitzvah can be broken in order to save a life.  In these times, however, we create new ways of fulfilling mitzvot while also saving lives.  While we remain physically apart for Shabbat worship (which at this point is helping to save lives), we also find new ways to fulfill the mitzvah of coming together to form a minyan, a quorum of ten for public worship.  We employ Zoom Conference Room technology to help us gather.

Another core Jewish value is “kol Yisrael arevim zeh bah zeh—all of Israel/humankind is responsible for one another.” In this period of physical distance, we endeavor to remain socially close and take responsibility for the well-being of one another.  You will find different ways for us to gather virtually through our website.  We are offering classes for children and adults, parents and empty nesters, and the elderly to come together online; we’ll have regular coffee check ins, a couple of nightcaps, morning meditation and of course Shabbat services — from the comfort of your home. Instructions for using Zoom technology is available through our website.

If you're unfamiliar, there are many excellent instructional links on the web to teach you how to use Zoom.  Here's one to help get you started:

If you know someone who is not computer savvy, please let us know so that we can be sure to reach out voice to voice.  Connecting with people who are confined to their homes at this time, especially, can provide a vital lifeline.

As we mark these days, I encourage you to continue to create routine for you and your family: be patient with your loved ones;  do some fun family projects; take walks, listen to podcasts, play outside; eat leisurely family dinners, and try to find moments of blessing and hope each day.

We look forward to resuming full operations in person at Shir Ami.  Until then, know that we will remain socially close despite our physical distancing.


Rabbi Chuck Briskin

Sun, June 7 2020 15 Sivan 5780