Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

UT Covid-19 Information: Synagogue Closure & Livestreaming

Given the rapidly changing facts on the ground and guidance we have received from public health officials, we have made the difficult decision to close the Union Temple building for all synagogue programming, including Religious School, Preschool, and Shabbat Services. We will be reassessing this decision as new information and guidance becomes available and determining whether we can re-open at that time.

Our staff will work remotely, however the process for contacting us should not be disrupted. You will be able to contact the synagogue by calling 718- 638-7600 between the hours of 8:30AM and 4:30PM. You will be prompted to select your department and you may Press 1 for Harriet in the Admin office if you are seeking the office or the Rabbi. In the event your call is not directly answered upon your selection, please leave your message. Calls will be returned as quickly as possible. You will also be prompted on how to contact the Rabbi in the event of a death or other life cycle emergency. Calls received after hours will be returned the next morning.

As we practice “physical distancing” in order to protect one another, we are deeply committed to “spiritually connecting.” We all need it now more than ever. Below, you will find some changes to our schedule and some ways to connect. Note: These are changes from even this week’s recent letter.

Changes to our Programming:

  • Friday night Shabbat services will be conducted virtually, using Zoom. Click the service  link on the homepage and register to participate and use this virtual prayer book, Mishkan Tefilah, to follow along.
  • Saturday morning Shabbat services will be postponed until we re-open except for Bar/Bat Mitzvah services.
  • Our Religious School is open. Click here for more information
  • Saturdays enjoy Shabbat and Shmooze. 1:30PM on our Zoom Channel. Bring your lunch and interact with one another. Talk, eat, and learn with members of our UT community.

Spiritual Connecting:

  • We will be using the virtual platform of Zoom for our Shabbat services. We can connect you to a helpful volunteer who will assist you in using Zoom and can show you how to find us! Let us know you need help by emailing: UTFuture@uniontemple.org. We can even help you get online by tonight!
  • If you are over 65 or are particularly at risk in this moment, we want to check in with you! You can expect to hear from a Union Temple member to see how you are doing and how we can support you. If you can make a call to one of our Union Temple family members, please let Rabbi Kolin know at rabbi.kolin@uniontemple.org.
  • These are difficult times. The Institute for Jewish Spirituality has made some beautiful meditative tools free and available to everyone who is seeking a sense of peace, wholeness, and connectedness.
  • Keep an eye on our website and your inbox for opportunities for distance learning and connecting in the weeks ahead.

We know this decision is hard on each of us in different ways and we hold you in our hearts through all of it. By proceeding in this way right now, you are participating in one of the greatest mitzvot in Jewish tradition – the commandment of pikuach nefesh, which guides us to protect life, above all else. Because we value one another and each human being so very much, we are enacting our social and ethical responsibility to keep each other healthy and to help “flatten the curve,” in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19, so that our healthcare system can effectively provide the care that each sick person will need.

With love and prayers for health,

Rabbi Stephanie Kolin

Union Temple Board of Trustees