Important Message from Kehillah Synagogue about COVID-19

March 13, 2020

Dear Friends,

We want to let you know how the Kehillah is responding to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus.

Our tradition teaches that you must care and protect yourself and also extend that same care and protection to others. In that spirit, the Kehillah is taking the following “social distancing” measures to help slow the transmission of the Coronavirus.  We do so to protect both those within our own community as well as our neighbors, especially all those who may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Based on the advice of healthcare professionals and the input of our Kehillah leadership, we are implementing the following plans.  At this time, we are only planning a few weeks ahead and will reassess all plans as conditions change.

  • Shabbat Services: Until April 6, we will be suspending communal gathering for Friday night and Saturday morning services, with an understanding that the period may be extended. Streaming will be available (starting next Shabbat March 21).
  • B’nei Mitzvah: Upcoming b’nei mitzvah celebrations will be conducted via online streaming, details to follow. Families impacted in the short term will be contacted directly.
  • Religious School: We will be closing the religious school starting now until April 6. We will be exploring on-line lessons/resources for all classes.
  • Events and Activities: We will be cancelling all Kehillah gatherings until April 6 (Refugee Shabbat and the final session of the Jewish Views of the Afterlife class). We are also cancelling the community Passover Seder in April.
  • Kehillah Jewish Preschool (KJP): We will be closing KJP March 18 through April 6. A separate email will be sent to the preschool community with details and logistics. Click here for the full KJP announcement. 

Although there are no reported diagnoses or exposures to COVID-19 at the Kehillah or KJP, we take these measures to protect both those within our own community and the broader public.

If you have any specific questions about the above plans, please email Mary Lawrence  at

We have also sent a companion e-mail from Rabbi Jen regarding ways we will continue to reach out and support one another and the broader community during this challenging time.


Miriam Braunstein, Co-President, Board of Directors

Mary Lawrence, CEO

Rabbi Jen


Dear Friends,

As the Kehillah takes important measures to help slow the transmission of the Coronavirus, we pray for r’fuah shleymah (a full healing) for all those who have fallen ill. Our gratitude goes to the many health professionals who are working tirelessly during this pandemic to protect public health and save lives.

Please know that we are a community, even if we cannot physically gather together at 1200 Mason Farm Road.   Here are ways you can be involved in connecting with each other, supporting one another, and reaching out to those in need:

  • We are pulling together a team to make check-in calls to Kehillah members who may become quarantined, or be more isolated due to vulnerability to the virus. If you’d like to be part of this phone outreach team, please e-mail me.
  • We’ll be moving to on-line services and new on-line learning opportunities in the coming days. For some, using these platforms might be challenging. If you are able to coach people by phone on how to use on-line tools such as VIMEO and ZOOM, please let me know.
  • This virus may create economic hardship for people in our community. If you are facing hardship, please reach out to me as I have discretionary funds for helping families in need. I am also happy to receive donations to strengthen the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund.
  • The CHCCS is exploring ways to partner with local non-profits and faith communities to help feed students and their families during school closures. Please watch your e-mails in the coming days to learn about opportunities to participate in these efforts to provide food to the hungry.

This is a challenging time, but I know of the resilience, wisdom and strength of our community. Together we will get through this.

Adonai Oz L’Amo Yiteyn, Adonai Yivarech et Amo B’shalom.

God let us draw from your strength, and bless us with the blessings of Shalom — peace, healing, and wholeness.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Jen