During these challenging times, congregants have been increasingly turning to Temple for religious, educational and spiritual guidance. At this time of isolation and anxiety, people are “leaning into their Judaism.” Under the steady leadership of our Clergy Team, Holy Blossom’s response has been nothing short of remarkable. The dedication and imagination of our Board and Staff have allowed us to rise to the occasion, fearlessly meet the needs of the moment, and lead the way for other congregations to follow.
We’ve launched many new initiatives, including:
- A volunteer-driven calling campaign ensured every Temple member received a caring phone call. Beginning with our elders, nearly two thousand calls were made.
- A congregational survey was crafted to inquire about congregants’ immediate and anticipated needs while living in isolation.
- A Hardship Fund was established as well as a new partnership with the Jewish Free Loan Society.
- Our live-streamed Shabbat and Yom Tov Services have reached over 30,000 people, including some from as far away as Israel, the UK, and Hong Kong.
- Our teachers discovered new tools for on-line Jewish learning for our children.
- Our twice-daily minyan on Zoom provides regular support for recent mourners, spiritual uplift, and meaningful connection for dozens of congregants.
- We welcomed more than 800 congregants and guests to our “Virtual Pesach Seder” in a joyful community setting. Mayor Tory was our special guest.
- Our moving Yom Hashoah Service reached more than 700 participants.
- The range of adult educational opportunities is as wide and enriching as ever.
- Rabbi Splansky hosted an early gathering for health care professionals to express their fears and frustrations in a safe and trustworthy environment.
- Our Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut services were enhanced by reflections from our Shinshiniyot, live from Israel.
- The nature of life cycle events has had to change significantly, but our Rabbis and Cantors continue to provide meaningful ritual to mark the milestones of life – from births to B’nei Mitzvah to weddings to funerals.
- Mitzvah Week mobilized congregants at all stages of life to feed the hungry, protect the vulnerable, care for the environment, advocate for justice, and express gratitude, etc. – all from the safety of our homes.
- We designed a series of mental health initiatives, including a daily support group for reducing anxiety, a panel of experts to shine a bright light on the increase in domestic violence against women, and a light-hearted evening of “Folks telling Jokes” to lift our spirits and fight back boredom.
- Creative and purposeful gatherings continue for our teens and adults in their 20s and 30s.