This Shabbat we will be celebrating our first Bar Mitzvah online since the Corona virus lockdown. Mazal tov! to Matthew Wolff and his family - both on your Simcha this Shabbat, and also for your adaptability, flexibility and willingness to embrace the situation as it is.
‘Turning Crisis into Opportunity’ was the theme of last Sunday’s Reform Judaism Yom Chagigah, and is a good hashtag for our approach to the upcoming High Holy Days just over a couple of months away. In line with other Reform and Liberal communities, SWESRS has decided to stay online for the Yamim Noraim, especially in view of the recently released data from the Office of National Statistics, showing that the Jewish death rate for British Jewish men from Covid-19 is twice that of British Christian men; the death rate amongst British Jewish women is also above the national average. There are undoubtedly a variety of causes for this troubling statistic, which the experts are still trying to get to the bottom of. But for sure this data is a reminder that we are still very much living with Covid-19, and need to do our utmost to protect our members from the risk of infection, especially at a time of year when we traditionally gather in large numbers.
The creativity and imagination that has been shown so far in moving services, educational and social activities online will stand us in good stead as we plan for the upcoming yomtavim too.
We look forward to celebrating with Matthew and his family on Shabbat morning, showing that we can gather together joyfully in community online as in person . And Yashar koach on your pioneering spirit, Matthew!
Shabbat Shalom, Stay Safe and Be Well,