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As the leadership of Temple Beth Israel, we have wrestled each and every day with COVID and the changes that are required to help keep our community safe. At no point has any decision been easy, but it has been with clear heads that we remember our Jewish values of pikuach nefesh (sanctity of human life) and use that as a guiding star. While far from ideal and no replacement for gathering to worship, we have also learned how to use technology and continue to stay connected when needed. 

With the rising Delta variant numbers increasing rapidly throughout the country and the Chicago area and the growing health concerns surrounding gathering in-person in an indoor setting, our Re-Opening Committee, after consultation from medical professionals in our community, has made the hard decision to once again pivot and revise how we gather for the High Holidays and the coming weeks. What does this mean?

The High Holy Days 5782 schedule will go to a primarily streaming format with limited outdoor in-person services. We will not be gathering in the auditorium at Evanston Township High School (ETHS). However, there will be outdoor family and adult alternative services scheduled. All services will be live streamed. The revised schedule of Services is provided below. For those of you who have been asked to participate, further direction will also be provided as soon as possible.

We would like to acknowledge that perhaps you, like us, are feeling disappointment that we are approaching the second High Holy Days season and still need to alter the way we gather due to the on-going COVID concerns. 

We encourage you to participate in our High Holy Day offerings in whatever way(s) feel both safe and meaningful for you. Whether we are physically in the same room or together through the wonders of streaming technology, we will welcome this New Year with a strong sense of community. 

Please also join us in a deep amount of gratitude to the team of volunteers and professionals who have been working tirelessly pouring over the details, and envisioning experiences that will be safe, also meaningful, and with visions of hope.

We also want to thank our membership for your continued support and together we once again will make this a Shana Tovah, B’riah, U’metukah, a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year to you and yours!


Rabbi Rachel Kaplan Marks

Neal Gussis, TBI President

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Wed, November 29 2023 16 Kislev 5784