Home Synagogues Beth-El Beth-El: Keeping it Communal in COVID Times

Beth-El: Keeping it Communal in COVID Times


By Tess Goldblatt,
Executive Director

Pandemic adaptations continue to be a significant mission for all of us trying to find ways to maintain our communal bonds in a virtual world.

As Purim approaches, one emblazoned image keeps coming to mind: While getting to know my new synagogue workplace over the summer, I gasped when I saw greggars and water bottles still on the reader’s table and lecterns in the sanctuary. It was as if the world stood still, frozen in time. A year later we are planning a virtual Purim celebration and thinking of ways to connect in other virtual ways since giving mishloach manot gift baskets congregation-wide won’t happen as we had hoped.

Temple Beth-El Cantor Dara Rosenblatt’s light bulb idea: What if we sent gift cards for food and drink to all our members’ homes? As we write, we are preparing an Adar FUNdraiser around this idea and the other mitzvot of Purim.  In keeping with another mitzvah of Purim, we’re collecting online donations for our Social Action/Tikkun Olam committee to distribute to those in need. We’re serving curbside Purim Feasts to-go and, of course, virtually reading the “Whole Megillah” on Feb. 25 beginning with a ceremonial observation of the pandemic’s “yahrzeit” at 6:30 p.m.

Some are dedicating their Fast of Esther in memory of those who lost their lives to COVID.  Our Purim “MASK-erade with Mask Pageant & Contest” will be judged by none other than King Ahashveros himself!

We’ll read the Megillah again on Feb. 26 at 8 a.m. and broadcast it on our Facebook page later that day.

Non-members who wish to join us should reach me by email for links/password at T.goldblatt@bethelrichmond.org or (804) 355-3564, ext. 104.


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