©2019 Shir Hadash

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200 W. Dundee Road

Wheeling, IL 60090

Phone: (847) 498-8218

Email: office@shir-hadash.org

Coronavirus Update, March 12, 2020

Dear Shir Hadash Family,

By now you have received considerable news regarding about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The leadership of Shir Hadash has formed a panel of our staff and lay leaders and I would like to share with you our decisions regarding our commitment to the health and safety of our membership, staff, guests and community.We have been monitoring the news which changes by the hour. We have made changes to our activity schedule as part of our effort to keep everyone healthy and safe.These decisions include the cancellation of some programs and the implementation of changes in some of our religious practices. These actions are taken out of an abundance of caution. I ask for your patience and understanding as we try to ensure the safety and well-being of our members.

We also want to let you know that we do NOT know of any member of our community that has been exposed to or been infected by the Coronavirus. We are taking these and other steps to ensure as best as we can that remains the case.

Effective immediately:

  • We are postponing religious school until April 19, 2020. A separate communication is being sent to our school community with the details of this closure.

  • We will continue Religious Services, but with the following adjustments.

    • All services will be streamed via the Facebook site. Look for “Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue - Current Members’ in Facebook Groups.

    • We strongly recommend this method of attendance for members, especially who are either in “high risk” categories for this disease or in close contact with these individuals.

    • There will be no food or Oneg served in the building until further notice.

  • Please check our Calendar (Web Site or App) for the latest information.

  • Our office remains open and staffed by our employees and volunteers. We request that only essential visits to the building take place until further notice. Where possible, please conduct business via telephone, email or mail.

  • Stay home when you are sick, especially if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or fever. Contact a healthcare professional for guidance before resuming participation in our activities.

  • We have added antiviral hand sanitizer dispensers in offices, classrooms and public areas. We will be reviewing our housekeeping processes to ensure we are following best practice cleaning protocols.

  • Please refrain from hugging, kissing and even handshaking during this season. Instead, we hope that you will consider using words to express that you are glad to see each other or try other gestures such as an elbow tap and we also are encouraging “Social Distancing” when seated.

  • If you are seeking basic information about Coronavirus, we recommend you visit the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease main page. Also, CDC's guidance on preparing your home for the possibility of COVID-19 may be a good resource for your family.

  • Our non-religious activities that can be converted to “virtual” meetings (teleconference, videoconference or streaming) will continue at the discretion of the host or presenter. Board and committee meetings will continue in this manner. Information on other activities follow in our next communication.

  • Non-religious activities that cannot be converted to “virtual” meetings will be canceled or postponed until further notice. This list currently includes:

  • Lahaka rehearsals have been canceled until further notice.

  • The Gala (May 2) will be postponed until the fall.

  • The Shir Hadash Community Seder (April 9) and Maimoona (April 17 end of Passover celebration) have been canceled

  • The Coffeehouse (May 18) is postponed

  • Israeli Movie Night (April 25) is postponed

  • We will contact the groups or agencies that make use of our space and work with them to determine any appropriate changes.


Our executive board will meet on a regular basis, assisted by the Rabbi, Education Director and Executive Director to monitor the situation. We are receiving regular updates from governmental, healthcare and Jewish organizations. We will use these and other resources to review and adjust our response to this evolving challenge.

Please know that our first priority is the health and safety of our community. We will be communicating with all of you regularly by email, and we will be posting important updates on the Shir-Hadash web site and app. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us through email or the synagogue phone number, 847-498-8218.

We thank you in advance for your patience and your understanding.


Marc Fargotstein M.EdT
Shir Hadash Board President