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Goodbye, summer! 

08/24/2022 03:27:06 PM

Aug24

Rabbi Kelly Levy

Annnnddd, we’re back!

To school, that is. So many of our students have returned to their classrooms, ready and engaged for a new year of learning. With the new year comes excitement, energy, anxiety, and exhaustion. And, this year, there is a sincere hope that we can return to some semblance of “normalcy.”

With the current case numbers of COVID-19 at the lowest range it’s been in weeks, we are seeing a lot of smiling, maskless faces. In many ways, it feels like we are truly emerging from our protective bubbles and back to living our lives. However, we know that COVID-19 is still very much a part of our world and will be for years to come.

That being said, it was quite encouraging to see Travis County move back to the low level this past weekend. Our community has been diligent in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. We have worked with the value of p’kuach nefesh (preserving a life) at the forefront of all we do. We have adapted, pivoted, changed course again and again, become more flexible than we ever thought possible, all to assure the safety and health of our community.

We’re not done. COVID is still very much a part of our lives. And because of that, we will continue to assess and reassess all that we do in our space to make it safe for each person who enters our building. In this recent article on E Jewish Philanthropy, Rabbi Carrie Vogel outlines the challenges we have faced and continue to face when it comes to creating meaningful Jewish experiences for the entire community during the pandemic.

She also stresses the importance of finding patience and kindness for those doing this impossibly hard work, for the educators and synagogue staff who are attempting to make every program exciting, fun, and educational. Rabbi Vogel also encourages everyone to remember that we will get through this together, and that everyone needs some support, even (and especially) those in charge of creating programming for the community.

As the new school year gets under way, as we prepare for the High Holy Days, and as we begin a new year, I want to thank all of you who have reached out with words of support, encouragement, and help. The staff at CBI know that we are stronger and more resilient because of the YOU, the amazing people who make our community whole. Thank you for your patience and generosity in making our community a safe, inspiring, and healthy space for all! And, thank you for showing up online, in person, on the phone, via email, on social media and more; it means the world to us knowing that we’re all in this together.

Tue, December 6 2022 12 Kislev 5783