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We're Here for You

04/26/2020 10:34:36 AM

Apr26

Lynn Redd

At the beginning of this month I made a commitment that Temple Sinai would be here for you, helping you weather the challenges presented by our COVID-19 pandemic.  The focus of our clergy, professional staff, and lay leadership for the past six weeks has been on offering support and helping make connections so that we can all emerge from this dark period with deeper, more meaningful relationships than before.

I want to highlight a few areas –

We value each of our congregants and are available to address special needs that have arisen from the pandemic. We understand that some in our community are dealing with financial hardship and others with health issues. A number have suffered losses and have had to accept new restrictions associated with burial and mourning. Still others have had to postpone important lifecycle events – Bar and Bat Mitzvah services, weddings, and other family milestones. Our clergy and professional staff have been available to support you, regardless of your personal circumstances. Each of you is a valued member of our community and we are here for you now and for the long-run.

Our emphasis has been on establishing connections between our staff and our congregants and also among our members. Staying at home and social distancing can be isolating and lonely. Temple Sinai has offered countless virtual worship services and rituals, educational activities, and programming for all ages. Rather than focusing on all that has been lost, our clergy and professional staff have been nimble in adapting our age-old traditions through the use of technology. It was comforting to see well over a hundred congregant “mini-Seders” with singles, couples, and families joined together as a community for our second night Zoom Seder.

We have partnered with community providers to strengthen our ability to support our congregation. If you are struggling with more serious emotional or mental health challenges, please contact our clergy and they will provide an appropriate referral for professional support. On Wednesday, April 29 at 10:00 am, join us for a presentation from Psychologist Dr. Betsy Gard. She will share with us knowledge she has gained from previous disasters and different ways to practice self-care that can help us navigate these challenging times. We are also offering a Zoom Support Group led by Dan Arnold, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services at JF&CS, on Thursday, May 7 at 1:00 pm. Entitled Top 10 Ways to Care for Your Mental Health during COVID-19, the session will address caring for your mental and physical health while social distancing. There are a number of online resources available to provide additional support during the pandemic, including the following Jewish Family & Career Services support groups, offered at no charge to our congregants:

  • Student Transitions – for college students, Tuesdays, 3:00 pm-4:00 pm

  • High School Senior Missed Moments – Thursdays, 3:30 pm-4:30 pm

  • Teen Girls Group Chat – Thursdays, 4:00 pm-5:00 pm

  • Parenting in a Pandemic – addressing issues such as stress management, sibling relationships, setting goals, self-care, etc., Fridays, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm (for parents of kids 3 to11 years old) and Tuesdays, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm (for parents of “tweens” and teens)

  • Family Caregiver Support During the Pandemic – Fridays, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm

  • Significant Others of Those Struggling with Addiction – Thursdays, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm

  • Shalom Bayit Women’s Support Group – for those experiencing or have experienced relationship abuse (private time)

  • Pride Group for 18+ adults who are members of the LGBTQ+ community – Mondays, 2:30 pm–4:00 pm

For more information on registering, please contact Rabbi Sam Trief here or visit our website here.

If you are able, practice kindness and generosity during a time when many are struggling. Support financial needs close to home with a donation to Temple Sinai’s Congregant Relief Fund . Alternatively, you may wish to support the needs of the broader Jewish community through Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund . 100% of the funds raised will be distributed to support social service needs in our metro Jewish community (food pantry, protective gear for healthcare providers, health insurance for laid off workers, mental health treatment, career counseling, etc.). Consider giving to a local or national food relief organization; e.g., Sandy Springs’ Community Assistance Center, Second Helpings, MAZON, Feeding America, No Kid Hungry, etc. For more ways you can help others, please check out the page on our Temple Sinai website entitled Caring for Our Community .

Our senior staff and lay leadership have strategized for ways to ensure our short-term security and long-term sustainability. We have been working diligently on reforecasting our finances for the next 15 months and exploring areas for cost reductions. We will continue to manage Temple Sinai’s funds prudently to ensure our long-term viability. In order to have the most up-to-date assumptions and data for our 2020-2021 budget, we are planning to defer our Annual Meeting, currently scheduled for May 28, until June 21 – 30. Stay tuned for a specific date and time.

Together, we will forge a “new normal”. We all look forward to a day when gatherings and services that have been shut down for the last six weeks will resume. Please understand that Temple Sinai may never operate in quite the way you were accustomed, certainly not in the near-term future. The health and safety of our congregants and professional staff will be our highest priority and will guide our decisions relative to when we open and what services we can offer.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at lredd@bellsouth.net or 404-401-7890 to share your feedback, concerns, or encouragement. We will get through this together! Stay safe and stay connected.

Warm regards,



Lynn S. Redd
President, Board of Trustees

Mon, August 3 2020 13 Av 5780