Dear Beth Shalom members,
The situation both worldwide and at the synagogue continues to constantly evolve, though we do seem to be hitting somewhat of an operational COVID-19 steady-state at Beth Shalom.
The Beth Shalom leadership has been working tirelessly on plans to keep staff employed, provide services to our community, and support our Early Learning Center. We’d like to bring everyone up to date on recent developments.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by Congress and the President two and a half weeks ago, contains a provision called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides forgivable loans funded under the Small Business Administration (SBA). The PPP provides reimbursement for forgivable loans to cover expenses for salaries, mortgage interest, and certain utilities expenses. Congregation Beth Shalom has applied for a PPP loan, and we are currently waiting to hear the status of our loan request.
The Beth Shalom Board of Trustees met yesterday evening, and voted to support our employees by continuing to pay all salaries and wages through at least the end of May. If our PPP loan comes through, then the Board will reevaluate a minimum date for which payments can be guaranteed.
The Board of Trustees further decided to keep the building closed for all general functions indefinitely, contingent upon public health officials’ guidance and local and Commonwealth directives. This includes closing the facility for Early Learning Center (ELC) activities through at least the end of the current school year (June 11). At this time, ELC administrators will prepare for summer camp to begin as scheduled on June 16. However, this is contingent on public health officials’ recommendations and the safety of staff, campers, and families.
ELC classes and activity continue to function online, through Zoom, to the best of our ability, given the respective ages for each classroom.
We are also continuing to provide Derekh programming and daily, holiday, and Shabbat services using Zoom.
And we are now beginning planning to have an online video and audio Annual Spring meeting, on the originally scheduled date of May 26. More information on this will be forthcoming.
We will continue to provide updates on our decision making as the situation with the COVID-19 virus progresses.
We thank you for your understanding.
Debby Firestone, President
Ken Turkewitz, Interim Executive Director