Thursday 14 May

Dear friends

Time for another message to you as I know you will be wondering when, and indeed how, the synagogue can re-open, and we can all meet up with each other again. The admin team and council are looking at this in the light of the new government guidelines, but I’m afraid that it maybe that we cannot meet up in person until well into the Summer, and even then, only in small numbers with a care to social distancing. I know everybody is fed up being at home, but safety is my main priority and I believe we have to be cautious to prevent any more risk to our community than is absolutely necessary. Never fear, 118 will be ready to receive you again, but I can’t give you a definite time just yet!

In the meantime, there are so many good things on offer virtually to keep you challenged and entertained. Please see the recent LeDor VaDor for all that is going on, including our talks from different communities, Talmud classes, the variety of services, both formal or informal to suit everybody, and the activities for children of all ages. My personal favourite is Kuddle up Shabbat on a Friday afternoon which is proving to be the highlight of my week!

I also want to thank our Community Circles for the work they are doing, keeping in touch with our members. We now have 100 circles, which means we are in contact with 1000 households, which is fantastic – keep up the good work.

But I also know that this is a time of extreme uncertainty. Many people will be wondering whether their jobs or indeed, their businesses, will still be viable when the lockdown finally ends. Please know that the synagogue is here to support you and help if we can. Some members are thinking of leaving the shul because they are unable to pay membership – please, if that’s you, talk to us first to see how we can help. Some of you have not made any payments of fees since the virus began – it may be that you feel money is tight in these uncertain times, or maybe it’s just slipped your mind with so much else going on – if either of these apply to you, please, don’t ignore the current circumstances – please call and we will help you to sort out the situation. We know that the current situation is unprecedented, and we will find a way to help all of our community.

I know that everyone is beginning to feel disconnected from the outside world, and nobody knows what the new normal will be. But I am certain that EHRS will grow stronger. From where I see this community at this precise moment in time, I am so proud of the way people are pulling together and supporting each other. I hope that in the not too distant future, I’ll be able to meet with you all to tell you that personally.

Until then keep safe