PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – May 2022
There are several pieces to rebuilding community. Among them are communication, compassion, and outreach. As we cautiously step out into a new endemic future, I hope everyone will courageously try to practice all three of these.
As I continue to communicate with Touro and Cal Maritime, I am also reaching out to other Jewish organizations in the Bay Area. This will be even more important as we build our membership and grow our community involvement. I am trying to improve at communicating, and I want members to hold me accountable. Equally, I will ask that members be accountable for communicating their needs and questions with myself and our board. We need to know when you have questions and problems so we can help! I will ask that board members be accountable for attending meetings, and explaining absences, as well, because we need everyone’s input to make the best decisions for our future.
We want to address all questions and requests for help with compassion. A lot of our members are facing tough issues, and Covid has created new and more complicated problems for many people. We need to show compassion to our members and community, and try to offer solutions that enable people to be included in our community with sensible risks, and good safety measures.
Martin and I both tested positive for Covid-19 after our return from Canada, despite our care in wearing masks in crowds and on our plane flights. We both had our vaccine shots and a booster, too. But we knew that Paxlovid, the antiviral pills made by Pfizer, could help. The 5-day treatment reduces the risk of death in people at highest risk by 90%, but it also reduces the symptoms and shortens the illness, because it stops the replication of the virus in the body. It is a protease inhibitor that prevents production of new viral particles. Early this year, the pills were so new and scarce that only the very highest-risk people could get them. But now there is enough supply that providers can offer it to those at moderately high risk. With many being vaccinated and boosted, and many with some natural immunity, the antiviral pills may allow more to take reasonable risks, aware that if you do get sick, there is effective treatment.
All members should feel responsibility for outreach! Our membership committee is doing their best, led by Micki Baker, but the board and all our members need to be talking about events at the synagogue in their own communities. We will be having monthly game nights, and we are planning our first summer Sha’BarBQ for June 10th in our Courtyard. Those summer picnics & outdoor service will be on the second Fridays of the month. Would you like some more outdoor events? Music under the redwoods? Picnics? Let us know, and then spread the word. Please join us and bring a friend.
Amendment to current vaccine and masking police, approved by the board 5/16/22 (Masking is still required inside the synagogue.):
- Congregation B’nai Israel requires vaccines and booster for those who can get them, with a second booster encouraged as your doctor advises. (Please advise CBI if you have gotten a booster.)
- If there are medical reasons you cannot be vaccinated or tolerate boosters, then high-quality masks (KN-95, N-95, or Sonovia) are required, along with the recommended social distancing for indoor CBI events.
- A home Covid test is encouraged before any events where they will be lowering a mask to eat.