PARKLAND, FL- 

March 13, 2020

To our Dear Community,

As concern over COVID-19 grows, we at Chabad of Parkland have been diligently discussing and implementing precautionary measures to protect the health and well-being of our community and families. As this is an evolving situation with new information emerging each day, we will keep you updated should any changes become necessary. We are closely monitoring the situation and following the guidelines of the CDC and Health Department.

As The Rebbe said, "...in medicine, the best policy is not to wait until something has happened, and then correct it, but to prevent it from the beginning."

With this in mind and with the recommendations of the CDC, at this point in time we will practicing social distancing measures. Please read the following recommendations and be sensitive to the needs of the members of our community. [These recommendations apply to both the Chabad of Parkland Center for Jewish Life Campus and Chabad of West Parkland currently conducting Shabbat services at Park Trails Elementary School]

  • Upon entering the shul, please stop at the sink to wash hands with soap and water before coming in contact with anyone or anything.
  • Please use the provided clorox wipes to wipe down your seating area and books.
  • Please avoid handshaking, hugging or kiss greetings.
  • Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are not recommended to attend Synagogue services at this time.
  • No one who recently traveled by plane from a high risk country or state or went on a cruise should enter the Synagogue for at least two weeks from the last date of travel.
  • No one who is sick with a cold, respiratory concerns, cough, fatigue or anything of the like should enter the Synagogue. Having one or multiple of the above symptoms does not mean you have the virus. But, we must take precautions and we must ensure the safety and well-being of the entire community.
  • Any person who was told to self-quarantine MUST NOT attend the Synagogue.

We will return to our usual "unconditional welcome" and "open doors and arms" policy once advised by the CDC that it is safe to do so. We will evaluate the situation on a weekly basis, based on guidelines from the health professionals in our community.

Obviously, should you or anyone you know be in need of assistance during this anxiety-ridden time, please feel free to reach out to one of the Rabbis at the numbers below.

Hebrew school will be held this Sunday March 15th and will be open for as long as Broward schools remain open or we are advised otherwise. (Although we will be implementing more thorough practices of hand washing and sanitizing.)

 

Now to focus on the positive...

While we struggle to cope with this new reality, this is a powerful teachable moment for our children as they observe how we react. They can see our resilience and how we are making the best of the situation. They can see that despite our fears, we are strengthening our trust and faith in G-d that He will protect us and our families. They can see us remaining positive and optimistic in the face of difficulty and challenge.

The following are a number of suggestions of things that can be done to strengthen one's 'spiritual' immunity:

1) The affixing of Kosher Mezuzot in your home

2) For men to wrap Teffilin (and if they do that regularly then have them checked by a scribe)

3) Woman and girls, be sure to light Shabbat candles on Friday at sunset, before Shabbat begins.

4) Give extra charity on a daily basis. Have a dedicated Tzedakah box in your home. Women have a custom of giving charity before candle lighting on Friday.

5) Recite chapters of Psalms daily: Suggested chapters 20, 22, 69, 150.

6) Strengthen oneself and others in the faith that: "if one thinks positively, it will be positive."

7) And make a concerted effort...

That for every hand we don't shake, must become a phone call we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. For the feet of distance we physically separate from one another must become a thought as to how we might be able to help the other should the need arise.

 

Reducing the likelihood of spreading the virus is a community effort, and we ask that you do your part to help protect your fellow community members.

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Wishing everyone good health, and may we have only good news to share,

Rabbi Yosef Biston 954-931-9992

Rabbi Mendy Gutnick 954-600-6991

Rabbi Shuey Biston 954-445-8936

 

For further recommendations from the CDC, please click on link below:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/protect/index.html