Coronavirus: Memphis Jewish Community Resource Page

A Joint Letter from Memphis Community Rabbis

Recognizing the central role of Memphis congregations in our community, Memphis Jewish Federation is proud to bring our synagogues together to discuss community challenges and opportunities and to facilitate meaningful dialogue on strengthening collaboration. During these challenging times, our congregations have really stepped up to ensure that their members are cared for in every possible way, from Zoom services, classes and programs to check-in calls, food access, and pastoral care.

As Memphis begins a phased reopening, we are pleased to share this unity letter signed by all seven of our congregations.

Important Message from Memphis Area Jewish Doctors

 

Dozens of medical professionals from Jewish Memphis have co-signed a letter urging our community to follow strict distancing guidelines, particularly as Passover approaches. 

 

"While we recognize the severity of these directives, and understand the extreme disruption they may cause, we cannot stress enough the severity of this illness, and the degree of risk posed to both you and to the community at large by sharing Seder with any people who have not been living with you in your home. While we do not claim to be rabbinic authorities, our directives are completely aligned with halakhic directives issues by most rabbinic authorities in this regard."

 

Medical Professionals: Would you like to add your name to the letter? Send us an email

NOTE: Information about coronavirus and COVID-19 is moving fast and constantly changing. We will keep this page up to date with frequent updates. 

 

We are all dealing with a dynamic and challenging situation as the Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide. 

 

We are actively monitoring the evolving situation in real time, both in terms of its national and global implications, as well as its impact on Memphis and the Mid-South. Given that this is a public health crisis, our most important sources of national and global information are the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Locally, we're in regular communication with our agency partners about their evolving policies and plans. 

 

The information on this page will help you stay informed about our community. 

 

Most events and services are being cancelled or postponed. Check with hosting organizations about the status of programming you plan to attend.  

 

Remember to order from our local Jewish food providers and those from the broader community who have been so generous to the Jewish community. They are all hurting right now!

Support our Community through Federation's Annual Community Campaign

Memphis & the Mid-South

 

City of Memphis - Practice Social Distancing by Staying Home As Much As Possible.

     Learn more on the City of Memphis website. 

Local Information

Jewish Community Partners/Jewish Foundation of Memphis/Memphis Jewish Federation 

 

Teen Israel Experience Teen/Parent Orientations - March 22 and 31 POSTPONED

Lion of Judah Mimi Grossman Celebration Event - March 26 POSTPONED

Maimonides Reception - March 31 CANCELED

Lion of Judah Spring Recognition Program - April 30 CANCELED (Volunteer program will take its place. Watch email for details)

Taste of Israel - May 13 POSTPONED

 

Hillels of Memphis- We have watched and planned during recent days as more and more schools around the country reduced operations and moved to online learning. Both Rhodes College and the University of Memphis are extending their Spring Breaks by a week and moving classes online starting March 23 through the end of the semester. Read the full message here.

 

PJ Library of Memphis- Everyday at 5:00 P.M., PJ Library will share a special piece of content on the JCP Facebook page, designed to comfort and unite the youngest in our community and their families. Follow them here

 

Synagogues

 

Beth Sholom Synagogue - We have made the difficult decision not to meet in shul together at Beth Sholom. Given that coming together on Shabbat is the cornerstone of who we are as a community, this decision is a painful one, even if right. Because as a community, we must take care of each other; we must actively protect those in our community who are most vulnerable. Ceasing to meet in person, reducing our in-person interactions, will hopefully slow the spread of the coronavirus and keep people in our community and the broader Memphis community safe.

 

For those that are able to hop online and help make a virtual minyan, it would be a great help. Monday through Thursday evenings at 6:00 P.M., Wendesday and Thursday monring at 7:00 A.M. Connect to us at: bsholom.org/onlineminyan.

 

The synagogue will convene a few online meetings for community check-ins. We will hold the space, albeit virtually, for people to share what they are feeling right now, for us to see one another, and hopefully offer some support to each other. We will continue to be in touch about future community check-ins through email and Facebook.

 

 

Chabad of Memphis - Despite the fact that we are temporarily not holding events and services at the Chabad Center, our virtual and spiritual home is never closed. Now, with the precaution of physical social distancing, we are finding alternative ways to stay connected and keep each other's spirits up.

 

Below, please find an array of resources and practical guidance, as well as your ‘quarantine distance learning center’ where you can select from a variety of online courses and classes to advance your Jewish knowledge. We also assembled select prayers as well as other resources, including a free quarantine Kaddish service, for those that cannot make it to synagogue. Please visit our ever expanding coronavirus section on our website.

 

As many Kids are home from School with extra time on their hands, visit our special Kids MiniSite with Jewish Videos, activities, Passover Fun Stuff and much more

 

As always - and especially now - I am available for you and your family in whatever way you need. Please don't hesitate to reach out via phone or by email! I’ve also set up an online booking form where anyone can book a short and sweet 15 minute Facetime or telephone session with me. We can study something together, have an impromptu Q&A, or bring up anything you ever wanted a chance to discuss with a rabbi.

 

Or Chadash- After careful consultation with physicians, Rabbis, and other communal leaders (both locally and around the US) we feel it is our responsibility to curtail Or Chadash’s communal activities, including all religious services. We are working on strategies that will enable us to retain our connections through the miracle of the internet, and a memo will be sent to all our members shortly to set in place a regular cyber meeting.

 

Temple Israel- As the continuing COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, we want to make sure you know about all of the ways we are ensuring continuity of community, faith, and care for our congregation. Physical distance need never impede spiritual or community closeness. While we are experiencing an unprecedented event, we want you to know we will maintain our mission of being a sanctuary for prayer and inspiration, a vibrant center for Jewish learning, and a congregational home for living Torah. 


Because the health and well-being of our synagogue family is our utmost concern, we are extending our proactive measures through the end of April and will not hold any in-person, communal programming at our main campus or TI-Crosstown. Please join us virtually whenever possible for the many programs our clergy and staff are creating for you.

Learn more here. Questions? Call Temple Israel at 901.761.3130.

 

Joint message from ASBEE, Baron Hirsch Congregation, and Young Israel - We are fully cognizant of the fact that any measures short of shutting down all activities are inherently inconsistent, and that every institution will adopt guidelines and practices suitable to their specific communities. If you and your family have further concerns, in consultation with your physicians, please take whatever precautions you conclude are most appropriate. Read the full letter here

 

Baron Hirsch Office & Remote Learning- At this time, the Baron Hirsch office will remain open for all of our regular functions with slightly limited hours. While we do want to limit the number of people in the building, you may visit the office for your needs. However, if you are able to conduct your business over the phone, please try to call us instead at 901-683-7485. Our hours for the coming weeks will be Mon – Fri, 9AM – 4PM. 

From Sunday through Thursday, we will be hosting a daily Zoom call 20 minutes after the scheduled time for Mincha (this week at 7:15 pm) to study Mishna in memory of the loved ones for whom Kaddish is being said. (Zoom is a video/phone conference platform).

 

ASBEE Office- The ASBEE office is still operating on a limited basis. Until further notice, the shul office is open Tuesday - Thursday, 9AM - 4PM, and Friday from 9AM - 2PM. If there is something you can take care of by telephone, email or mail, that would be preferable at this time as we are doing our best to limit personal contact. The office phone number is 901-682-1611.

 

Jewish Agencies

 

BBYO- All in person Memphis BBYO programming/events/chapter meetings/etc. have been suspended during this time until further notice. Programming and meetings can continue via zoom/skype or any other online service. We will provide our teens with alternative and creative ways to host meetings and events during this time. Learn more on the website or contact Regional Director Zoe Goldberg for more information- 407-435-1184.

 

Bornblum Jewish Community School- Bornblum has closed its campus to students with the goal of proactively combat the spread of COVID -19 (Coronavirus) by closing our building. We will continue to consult with the Shelby County Department of Health as well as the CDC, in order to make the best decision we can to support our students, staff and families. During this time, our school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

 

Fogelman Jewish Family Service- We continue to serve our community without disruption, and as we face the uncertainty and questions surrounding the Coronavirus, we are here to help in any way possible. We remain an important community resource for anyone in need at any time. Call FJFS at 901-767-8511. Read the full letter here

 

FJFS will be launching a three part series to help all of us cope with this challenging situation during these unprecedented times. All sessions will include a formal presentation by the presenters followed by a Question and Answer Session moderated by MJCC President/CEO, Larry Skolnick. Please tune in live to hear what these experts have to share and to have your questions answered. If you cannot participate live all three sessions will be taped and posted to the MJCC website.

 

Margolin Hebrew Academy/Finestone Yeshiva of the South

As you know, in an effort to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our community, we closed our school building to all but essential personnel and moved all of our educational operations to a remote format. Thanks to the diligent work of our faculty and with the guidance of our Technology Director, Noam Davidovics, our students are continuing to learn and grow. At the request of TN Governor Bill Lee, we will continue to hold classes remotely. We will continue to review our timeline as the situation demands and we will send another update. 

 

While the students have been away, our building - including all surfaces and the carpet - is being deeply cleaned and sanitized. We expect to complete this process today. Thank you for continuing to do your part in supporting our community’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and good hygiene. Please contact Rabbi Owen if you have any questions or concerns.

 

 

Memphis Jewish Community Center - It has been a difficult couple of weeks for all of us, and it was with great sadness that a little more than a week ago, the MJCC made the difficult decision to temporarily close. We did this because we are committed to your health and safety as well as the health of our community. Though we originally hoped that this temporary closure would only last until March 30, we unfortunately will need to extend the closure through April 12, and at this time hope to reopen the facility and resume all ongoing programs and services on Monday, April 13.

 

As the MJCC staff was busy cleaning and shutting down the facility yesterday, we were also quite busy developing a host and array of online and virtual programs for you to enjoy over the next couple of weeks. We have virtual fitness classes, cultural programming, sports programming, programs for youth and children and so much more!
Links and listings of all of our virtual offerings (live and recorded) can be found on our website by CLICKING HERE. These virtual offerings will also be available on our Department Facebook Groups. Our LIVE offerings will also be posted to the website as soon as possible.
 
Join our Facebook Groups:

 

Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab - You can now order from The Nosh with Uber Eats.

We continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) through the Centers for Disease Control and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and are following their guidelines. 

We continue to be closed to all visitors and only those whose purpose is medically necessary are allowed in our building. All staff are having their temperatures taken upon arrival at work in addition to filling out a questionnaire that includes symptom, exposure, social distancing, and travel questions. The outside medical professionals are required to do the same as staff. In addition, they are required to wear a mask. 

All group activities continue to be cancelled. Activities staff are offering one on one visits and social workers and activities are helping our seniors FaceTime with families. (Please contact us to arrange a time.) Rabbi Abe has been able to offer music on each hallway, while keeping our patients and residents at a safe distance from each other. He also continues to visit our patients and residents and provide pastoral care for them and our staff. 

Please contact social services or activities if you would like to FaceTime with your loved one. We have iPads and computers and can easily arrange this. We know this is a difficult time for you and our patients and residents. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we do our best to keep your loved ones and our staff safe.

 

Plough Towers - COVID-19 is an ever- changing battle. In an effort to keep us all safe:

Effective immediately:

· Only essential people will be allowed in the building. This means healthy necessary caregivers; immediate family if necessary.

· We ask that you come down and meet your family downstairs to pick up groceries, etc.

· All delivery people including FedEx, UPS, Amazon, etc. will be instructed to leave packages downstairs and we will call you to come pick them up.

· There will be no vendors such as Comcast, Exfinity allowed in the building. You will need to reschedule service after this is over.

· Only 2 residents at a time are allowed in the convenience store, computer center/ library and laundry room. Please be patient.

Word of the day: Social Distancing

A word from Executive Director Leigh Hendry: "Resident attitudes have been amazing and very heartwarming as I see neighbors looking out for neighbors."