Keeping our community healthy, calm & connected (virtually)

Dear Friend,
We are working to keep up with the rapidly changing reality we’re living in. We are centering our commitment to take care of ourselves and each other, and are working hard to meet the diverse needs of our community, from preschoolers to octogenarians. We have formed an ad-hoc team of doctors and Public Health professionals to help us make real-time decisions about all of our programs. 
I sent an email yesterday saying we were planning to go forward with our upcoming programs. A few hours later, Governor Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts, and today our plans have shifted. Because things are changing so quickly, we have decided for the moment to make decisions one week at a time. is advising that all large non-essential gatherings be cancelled. In light of this, we have made the following changes to the events in the next week:
  • Acting for Racial & Economic Justice meeting tonight - still happening
  • Jewish Muslim Shabes Dinner Friday 3/13 - postponed
  • Yiddish Reading Group Friday 3/13 - still happening
  • Somerville Vinkl Thursday 2/12 still happening
  • Shule Family Purim Carnival Sunday 3/15 - cancelled
  • Understanding Islam Course Wednesday 3/18 - will meet virtually or be postponed 
  • Cafe Yiddishkayt Thursday 3/19 - postponed 
Everyone who has RSVP'd to one of the events above that has been changed will get a separate email with next steps for that program. 
At the current time, small committee meetings and classes (15-20 people) may continue at the discretion of the teacher/committee chair/group leader, please look out for an email about your specific program.
If your program is happening, we ask you to follow these health precautions:
  • If you are sick or have a compromised immune system, please stay home. 
  • Please also stay home if you’ve traveled to a place the CDC is designating "Level 3," until you’ve been symptom-free for 14 days upon return. Current Level 3 countries are China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. Please visit the CDC site for the most up to-date information. 
  • Please wash your hands thoroughly (for 20 seconds) when you arrive.
  • We will also provide hand sanitizer. Please do not use hand sanitizer as a substitute for hand washing.
  • Please cough/sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.
  • Please avoid hugs, kisses & handshakes.
  • While you may bring your own personal snacks, please do not bring food to share.
  • We will also be working with teachers & committee chairs to host their classes and meetings virtually, so that people have the option to participate by phone or Zoom (video conference). If you feel hesitant to come in person, ask the group leader how you can participate from home.
  • Finally the BWC building is being disinfected daily, windows are open whenever possible, and extra tables are set up so that we can follow guidelines for “social distancing” with more space than usual in between people.
Friends, let us remember that all of this is temporary. Let’s continue to work together to build our community, and to stay connected to each other in this changing landscape. We are working to set up our Zoom video conference system, and will communicate clearly with program leaders and participants on how to use it. Stay calm, reach out to each other, wash your hands and breathe deeply.
In Community,
Jen Kiok, Executive Director