A Shabbat Update for Our Community

These are unprecedented times for our Jewish community.

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 drain on our public health resources. Therefore, we are once again reminding our fellow Jewish community members to work together to mitigate the spread of this illness by practicing social distancing and health awareness.

On that note, we’d like to share some recent information from some of our Partner Agencies that may be of use to you:

    • BBYO
      BBYO is postponing our YLC Convention and Annual Honoree Event, and all programming and meetings will be held virtually at this time. The BBYO office in the JCC is now temporarily closed, and staff will be working remotely.
    • Jewish Day Schools
      Our Jewish Day Schools are in contact with the appropriate public health authorities, as needed, and following directives from the Governor regarding closures.
    • Hillel of Metropolitan Detroit
      We are now transitioning to online virtual programming while continuing to support our students during this challenging time.
    • MSU Hillel and the Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan
      We have shifted to virtual programming including virtual coffee dates, weekly Jewish learning, Israeli Cooking demonstrations, pre-Shabbat mindful meditation, leadership seminars as well as virtual Tuesday Schmoozeday sessions. We will be hosting a virtual Seder and offering Shabbat and Seder meals to go. Details about these and other programs are available on www.msuhillel.org.
    • Hillel at University of Michigan
      University of Michigan Hillel will be suspending all in-person group programs, services, and classes and shifting to a virtual model. Shabbat in the Home is continuing for tonight and will be revisited each week. For more information and updates, visit https://michiganhillel.org/a-message-from-hillel-on-the-universitys-announcement/
    • Jewish Community Center
      In light of recent global developments and growing concerns around the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the JCC and Jfamily have made the decision to cancel our Matzah Factory series and postpone all Jfamily programs through the end of Passover (April 19th).
    • Arts & Culture
      Due to complications for traveling speakers, and for the safety of our JCC community, the following events have been postponed:
      • March 15: Janice Charach Gallery Opening of STEEP
      • March 17: Justin Cammy
      • March 25: Eve Jochnowitz
      • March 29: Yiddish Glory

New dates will be announced as soon as possible. Current ticket-holders will be refunded. Call 248.432.5459 for more information.

  • JCRC / AJC
    We have reached out to our Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters to check on how they are doing and what they are doing as far as religious services – we have been inspired by how so many communal and religious leaders are focusing on keeping people as healthy as possible and stemming the spread of this virus even if that means canceling services and programs. The JCRC/AJC urges the Jewish community to redouble our efforts to show leadership in mitigating the spread of this virus. We have canceled all of our public programs; all of our meetings will be held virtually; and we are urging our staff to work from home.
  • JFS
    JFS will continue to offer essential and vital service provisions but will be doing this remotely to protect the health of both clients and staff. JFS will continue to remain a central source of support for Jews in need.
  • Jewish Senior Life
    Due to the vulnerable nature of the population served by Jewish Senior Life, we are asking that no one visit our residences at this time (Fleischman Residence, Meer and Hechtman Apartments in West Bloomfield and Prentis, Teitel and Coville Apartments in Oak Park).  If you provide essential caregiving services to a resident, you will be screened and permitted to enter for the limited purpose of providing such services, if you meet screening criteria. As the situation evolves, you may see updated information on our website: jslmi.org. Please call us if you have questions at 248-661-2999. We thank you for your cooperation as we make every effort to keep all of our older adults and staff well.
  • Tamarack Camps
    Our Ortonville Campus is closed through April 15; Bloomfield Hills office employees will be working remotely until further notice.

Please know also that your Jewish community is here 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 JHELP team member. They will do their very best to connect you with the services and resources you may 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.

May you all have a safe, healthy and peaceful Shabbat.

Beverly B. Liss
Jewish Federation of Detroit

Alan Jay Kaufman
United Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit