PSC’s Response to COVID-19 and Reentry


Message from Reentry Team

PSC’s clergy and leadership continue to be committed to the spiritual, emotional and physical well being of our community during these unprecedented times. Recognizing the sincere yearning for in-person gatherings, we have created a Reentry Team tasked with planning and preparing our shul and members for how we meet in person for services and programs. Members of PSC’s COVID-19 Medical Task Force, Security Committee, Building and Grounds Committee, Ritual Practices Committee, Kesher and the Education Committee, Hesed v’Tzedek Committee and several individuals from our community with relevant areas of expertise all contribute to the Reentry Team. Acknowledging the continued health risks posed by COVID-19, the Reentry Team is, first and foremost, guided by the principled advice of our COVID-19 Medical Task Force and public authorities

We will always prioritize pikuach nefesh, the Jewish value and law to care for the preservation of human life above all else. Most importantly, we strongly encourage you to practice self-care – get vaccinated, maintain social distance and wear a mask whenever required or appropriate, wash your hands, and pay attention to your mental and physical health. As required by all California businesses, the Reentry Team has developed our COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan which describes PSC’s phased reentry approach and promotes the health and safety of our employees and congregants. If you need support of any kind (a phone call, groceries, a meal, etc.), please reach out to [email protected] and we will make sure that you get the help that you need. See section on “Hesed” below for more details. Our community is present for each other at this evolving unprecedented time and always.

In friendship and health,
Your PSC Reentry Team

COVID-19 Medical Task Force

In order to continually assess our communal response to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, we created the COVID-19 Medical Task Force made up of Cantor Shapira, Cat Bernard (office manager), Ornit Rose (PSC President), David Ries (Reentry Team Chair), and Irene Moff, M.D. and Linda Oberstein, M.D. (two medical professionals in our community). The task force is charged with applying the most up-to-date medical knowledge and county and state guidelines and regulations to make decisions for the safety and health of our community. Most importantly, the task force strives to help us live up to the teachings in our tradition, “V’nishmartem me’od l’nafshoteichem–you should watch yourselves very well” (Deuteronomy 4:15).

In-Person and Virtual Services

We are excited to have resumed in-person services and look forward to continuing and expanding our reentry. As with all of our in-person programming, we ask that persons attending services be vaccinated (if eligible), pre-register when required, observe all social distancing and face mask requirements, and regularly use provided hand-sanitizer.

Even with this positive step toward our reentry, we recognize that not all can or want to meet in person for services. PSC continues to offer virtual services during Shabbat morning via Livestream at 9:30a.

Spending Shabbat at home and unplugged? Consider these ways to connect

  • Go all out and set a beautiful table, and then recite the blessings over the candles, wine and challah. Check out this link for a “how-to” guide.
  • Consider singing a joyful Shabbat song or niggun.
  • Read a good book, take a walk or sit outside.
  • Play a board game with your immediate family or take a Shabbat nap.
  • Join us for an in-person or virtual service or consider praying on your own at home.
  • If you’d like to say kaddish for a loved one and prefer to do so on your own, consider using Rav Amram Gaon’s (9th century Babylonia) Kaddish for an individual or this alternative Kaddish prayer.

Virtual Programming

In order to prioritize the health and safety of our community, all of our adult-learning opportunities and other programming continue to be offered virtually via Zoom.  This includes:

Kesher and Youth Programming

  • We are planning for Kesher, Kabbalat Torah, and other youth programming to be taught in person during the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Visit our Education pages for all you need to know about Kesher, Kabbalat Torah, and other youth programming, and please stay tuned for more detailed information in the coming months.

Important Health and Safety Reminders

  • Vaccines protect you and the community around you. Get your COVID-19 vaccine. If you need help finding an appointment or getting to your appointment please contact the office.
  • If you have a fever or any other COVID-19 symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea), please take care of yourself at home and contact your physician as needed.
  • Unvaccinated adults and children over the age of two should wear clean and dry face coverings that properly cover the mouth and nose at all PSC gatherings.
  • Vaccinated adults and children should follow the guidelines as stipulated for each event.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently – before eating, preparing, or serving food, after sneezing or blowing your nose, or when entering your house, the synagogue or any new location. Use hand sanitizer before and after handling common objects including any ritual objects.
  • Use respiratory etiquette – cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or tissue, throw the tissue into the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wave to your friends or give a friendly elbow bump rather than shaking hands, kissing or hugging.

 

Further Information

San Mateo County Health Department: https://www.smchealth.org/coronavirus
County of San Mateo: https://www.smcgov.org/
CDC: https://www.cdc.gov
CDC COVID-19 Update: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/t0309-covid-19-update.html
Kaiser Permanente: https://kpdoc.org/COVID19
Jewish Family and Children Services: https://www.jfcs.org/services-during-COVID-19 / Resource Guide

Physical Distancing and Social Connecting

As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, moments of anxiety and isolation, we’re reminded of the need to extend our circle of obligation to include those within and beyond our community. We’re deeply proud of the ways that members of PSC have stepped up and reached out to one another. It has been such a ray of light seeing people come together for prayer, study, and action, for Torah, Avodah and Gemilut Hasadim. We’re grateful to the countless volunteers, our shul leadership and professional staff who have risen to the occasion to help keep people spiritually connected in moments of physical distance. What a beautiful example of the Jewish principle of Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh LaZeh–a shared sense of accountability to one another. As we move through this time, here are some ways that we can continue to support our community at home and beyond, to show up and see each other in moments where it is most needed.

Hesed

Our community’s connection is strong, even if it is not as physical as we would like. We can talk to each other, we can study together, we can pray together, and we can support each other. Our wonderful Hesed team is pivotal in helping during these challenging times and throughout Jewish holidays with keeping us connected to each other and to our community.

There are several ways to offer and get help during this time. If you are interested in helping or connecting with community members through calls, writing notes to seniors, online games, technology help, and more, or if you need these things, please email [email protected]. We may not put you to work immediately, but are collecting all the information about who can help and how, and will make connections as our community’s needs evolve.

Circles of obligation

As we support each other, let’s continue to think about all of the vulnerable in our broader community. If you are able to help, please consider a donation to the below organizations who are all working hard to support our communities during these challenging times.

Help vulnerable families during the COVID-19 crisis. The following are organizations you can help by making a donation during this ongoing pandemic:

Volunteer your time to: