To our Jewish Community—
These are unprecedented times.
The emergence and spread of COVID-19 has introduced a public health crisis that is new to all of us. And while we recognize the need to remain thoughtful and calm, we must also understand that the actions we take now to slow the transmission of this virus will directly impact our collective well-being in the future.
Local and international public health professionals have stressed that proactive measures will truly save lives—and avert a potentially devastating situation in our region. The recent experiences in other nations have proven that “flattening the Coronavirus curve” by slowing transmission can avoid a drain on public health resources from a sudden spike in cases. This can help us ensure that our most vulnerable individuals receive treatment should it become necessary.
Therefore, we are asking our fellow Jewish community members to work together to mitigate the spread of this illness by practicing social distancing and health awareness.
With that in mind, the constituent congregations of the Michigan Board of Rabbis have suspended many of their services, minyanim, classes and other activities for the time being. For specific information and to find out what may be available online, visit your congregation’s website.
We share this news with a heavy heart, understanding that the daily rhythms of our vibrant community have been greatly affected. The unique nature of this threat, however—and the ability we have to alter the course of events through our proactive action—dictate that we must do all we can.
Please know also that your Jewish community is there to support you, especially in times of need. If you or someone you know needs help, please visit JHELP at jhelpdetroit.org to browse services or schedule a call with a team member in the Jewish Family Service Resource Center. As always, we will do our very best to connect you with the services and resources you need.
We will continue to stay in contact with our community as the situation unfolds and recommendations change. While no one knows how long this will last, we look forward to the resolution of the illness and the return of normalcy.
In the meantime, we pray for the wellness of each and every member of our community and offer our deepest gratitude to you, our Jewish community, for helping us through this difficult time.
*Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (the author of the Religion Clause Blog) for letting us know this note.