This page provides the latest information on how COVID-19 is impacting life at PTS. Spoiler alert! It has not stopped PTS from coming together for worship, learning, and community.

A message from Jon Herstein, President

These past many months, I have enjoyed hearing your stories and seeing you on Zoom for our many PTS programs and Shabbat experiences. Although I would prefer to be together in person with you, I am proud of our community for remaining connected and am optimistic about our ability to support one another no matter the state of the world.

During our extended Shelter in Place, some members of the greater community are choosing to opt out of congregational life. Instead, I invite you, our PTS community, to opt in. Let your voice be heard, your soul be nourished, and your support strengthen our Jewish community. I encourage you to use this time to try new PTS programs and experiences and to reach out to your fellow congregants to say hello or send a warm wish. If you would like to get involved, but are not sure how, please contact Ayelet Shapiro, Director of Community Engagement.

PTS COVID-19 related updates

March 17, 2021 communication
November 25, 2020 communication
October 14, 2020 communication
July 7, 2020 communication
March 26, 2020 communication
March 16, 2020 communication

Status of onsite PTS activities

Updated: April 8, 2021

PTS is committed to keeping our staff and congregants safe while maintaining the important activities and events that hold us together in sacred community. While most programming is currently virtual, we hope that you will use this time to deepen your relationships and connection to Jewish life. Please click each item below to see more details. Also, see the PTS COVID-19 related updates using the links above.

What is being done to make the campus Covid safe?

The ventilation system throughout the facility was upgraded last spring and we have been using enhanced cleaning protocols since that time. Touchless hand sanitizers and disposable masks have been placed at entrances and other key locations. Water fountains are closed and plexiglass or other barriers are being erected in appropriate locations. We will continue to make enhancements over time.

What is being done for enhanced security when we return to the campus?

While Covid is top of mind, we want to remind you that the security of our campus from unwanted visitors also remains a high priority. During the past year, we made a number of improvements to our site, some of which you will see and others that are invisible. Visible improvements include new fencing, lighting, and cameras. We ask that you remain observant when you are on campus, and that if you see something, say something.

 

Shabbat and Festival Worship

During Shelter in Place, PTS continues to offer vibrant worship experiences. Kabbalat Shabbat occurs every Friday evening via Zoom, and is followed by a “virtual oneg” so you can connect with your clergy and fellow worshipers. Festival worship is also taking place online.

For security, we do not post links on this web page. Instead, members, please log in to the PTS Zoom links page to view the Zoom links and/or find the links in your weekly Schmooze. If you are a guest, you are more than welcome to join us! Please contact office@sholom.org for Zoom link

When will we be able to attend Shabbat services and other activities outdoors?

We are delighted to share that our current plan is to hold an outdoor Shabbat service on Friday, June 11th and several more throughout the summer. Protocols will be in place to ensure your safety, including limited attendance by pre-registration, masking requirements, and physical distancing. At this time, we don’t know whether congregant singing will be allowed. These onsite Shabbat services will be streamed so that folks who prefer can participate from home. The rollout of additional worship services and other outdoor activities will take place carefully as we monitor our ability to create safe communal environments.

When will we be able to hold services indoors?

Other than b’nai mitzvah services, we are not planning indoor worship at this time. Indeed, we are fortunate that we typically observe summer Shabbat in the Wornick Family Courtyard. We are hopeful that the environment will improve by early fall such that our service leaders will be able to sing indoors without masks.

What will happen to Zoom services once we are holding onsite worship?

Because we know that many of you prefer to attend remotely, all onsite services will also be streamed to Facebook and/or YouTube Live. In addition, we plan to offer periodic Zoom-only Shabbat services for the foreseeable future. While the exact Shabbat schedule is not yet determined, we imagine that we will gradually shift the balance from Zoom-only to onsite-plus-stream over time.

Lifecycle Events

PTS clergy continue to perform lifecycle events, including weddings, funerals, baby namings, and b’nai mitzvah. Most of these events are being held virtually and our clergy are finding ways to build meaning that is unique to an online environment. Virtual b’nai mitzvah began at PTS in late August, with families selecting from using their homes or the PTS sanctuary as their Zoom location. If you are a b’nai mitzvah family, you can learn more here. If you would like to discuss an upcoming lifecycle event with one of our clergy, please contact Lindley Rubero for assistance.

How will my family celebrate B’nai Mitzvah?

Families will continue to have the option to celebrate b’nai mitzvah by Zoom from home or from the sanctuary with clergy participating from another part of the campus.Given recent lifting of restrictions, families are welcome to increase their number of attendees to 20. Visit B’nai Mitzvah FAQs During Covid for more information.

When will the synagogue campus open?

In keeping with state guidelines, we continue to encourage remote meetings by phone or video platforms. Our goal is to open the campus for some in-person outside meetings, lessons, and synagogue business this spring or summer. To ensure your safety and that of our staff, appointments, masks and physical distancing will be required.

Pastoral Care

Our clergy is available to assist with care for your family. Please leave a message at the Temple office (650-697-2266) and someone will get back to you soon.

Preschool

We have been fortunate to be able to open our preschool, under very strict guidelines and with a smaller number of students. Kudos to all of our preschool staff for managing our word-class preschool in this unusual environment. For more information about the PTS preschool, visit ptspreschool.org.

Youth Education

We are actively monitoring state and local guidelines to determine when it may be appropriate to offer in-person Youth Education. At this time we feel we can offer safer, more inclusive, and more meaningful programming online rather than onsite. We look forward to the situation improving so that we can move our program to PTS once again. When the staff and COVID-19 Task Force decide that it is safe to do so, we will endeavor to give you two months notice so that you can make appropriate plans

When will the Youth Education program begin to meet in person?

Our plan is to offer in-person Youth Education at the start of the school year in September, with the program being outdoors as much as possible. More information will be sent directly to Youth Education families in the coming months.

 

How can you support PTS?

Although we lost most of our in-person contact for much of this year, the Temple clergy, staff and volunteers continued on as before. Working to provide all of the services we’ve come to expect, often in completely new and highly engaging ways. Believe it or not, this crisis has also been an opportunity to rethink how we worship, pastor, act and engage. I know our clergy and staff will continue to make the most of it. I can assure you: operating the synagogue virtually requires as much care, thought and expense as running it the “old-fashioned way.”

Please consider donating to the COVID-19 Recovery Fund to show your commitment to the ongoing vibrancy of our community, and enable us to not just survive, although that is critical, but to thrive.

Do you need assistance?

PTS cares deeply about you and your well-being during this COVID-19 time. If you need help or are looking to connect, please reach out to Rabbi Feder or Karen Wisialowski, Chief Community Officer {link}. Our clergy, staff, and fellow congregants are here for you.

COVID-19 resources

Jewish Resources