Koli Kulanu: President’s Reflections

Marc Lieber Koli Kulanu

March 26, 2020

Community

I last wrote about how much I love Purim, and indeed we had a wonderful Purim, with beautiful readings from Megillat Ester, wonderful costumes, a fun children’s’ parade, and of course, another terrific Purimshpiel!

When we gathered on March 9th, world virus developments were happening fast. In fact, only two days later, the World Health Organization declared this a pandemic. We knew that precautions would have to be taken, and we did: no pouring of schnapps/etrogcello, and people greeted each other with an ‘elbump’ rather than hugs or shaking hands.

What an innocent time in comparison to today, just two weeks later.

Under the leadership of Rabbi Steinlauf and Deb, Kol Shalom is responding beautifully to this coronavirus situation. We had our first Shabbat service online on Shabbat March 14, using Facebook Live streaming, with a minyan of Torah/Haftarah readers and shlihei tzibur (service leaders), using a laptop computer perched on a cart.

The services got more professionalized the following Shabbat March 20-21, with no congregants on-site in the sanctuary, using Zoom. Rabbi Steinlauf (from the sanctuary) and Sally Heckelman (from her home) led beautiful Erev Shabbat and Shabbat morning services. The Zoom sessions continued with meditation, the rabbi’s class, and many more activities over the weekend and throughout the week.

I keep referring to Kol Shalom as a Kehilla k’dosha, a sacred community. We are acting responsibly as a community by staying at home. And we are acting as a Kehilla k’dosha by continuing to gather, pray, learn, and celebrate as a community.

How wonderful it is to look at a screen and see so many faces of people we love, of our Kehilla k’dosha! So meaningful, so beautiful, so comforting. We may be physically isolated, but we are anything but isolated socially and spiritually.

This may be a long haul. Passover (and Easter!) may pass with us remaining in our homes. I am so thankful and joyous that we have this Kehilla k’dosha as a source of support and spiritual meaning in these challenging times.

I want to be in dialogue with you. You can click here to send me a message, or you can email me at mplieber@ymail.com. I am thrilled to hear from you, to get to know you better and to hear your suggestions on continuing Kol Shalom’s growth and value to you.

Thank you for your help and for your part in our kehillah k’doshah, our sacred community!

Marc Lieber, President