During the last few months that have kept us separated physically from synagogue life the members of Midbar Kodesh Temple have found ways to connect. Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel said that what has helped so many of the congregants during these difficult times is the strength of our community and the gift of togetherness, even if that togetherness is over Zoom and Facebook Live. He said that “it has been heartening to see the ways the community has remained connected and supportive. We have been able to continue to worship, study, and even socialize together. We have celebrated simchas and have joined virtual hands in moments of sadness, as Midbar congregants joined in a bar mitzvah, shiva minyans and even funerals by Zoom. We come together as a community even when we are apart.”
Just as the first shelter-in-place orders came down Rabbi Tecktiel wrote to the congregation and said, that though he had just returned to social media, a little reluctantly, he noticed that over “the past week and a half, I have come to realize just how important social media can be in a time like this. To be honest, I cannot imagine what life would be like for me and my family without the ability to reach out and connect the way we are doing on social media. Seeing peoples’ postings of their pictures, videos, memes, comments and observations help assure me that we are not spiritually alone even if we are physically alone.” With that in mind Midbar Kodesh Temple began a series of on-line morning greetings, educational programs, religious services and weekly social gatherings that have taken the congregation through these months.
Midbar has hosted Zoom Trivia nights, on-line Escape Room adventures, virtual books clubs, a children’s scavenger hunt, weekly Havdalah with USY, and of course, Shabbat and holiday services and morning minyan. With social distancing and masks USY pulled off a tailgate Havdalah and there was the very successful drive-in pre order Chinese Take Out accompanied by the online Nefesh Mountain Blue Grass Concert. Included in that evening was a stop by of the Kona Ice Truck. Orders were given to masked runners, who delivered the free and refreshing treats to each car. Midbar’s Camp Shemesh opened under guidelines that went above the CDC requirements that were developed for Midbar Kodesh Temple by a group of doctors, lawyers and educators. This enables Kindergarten to begin classes on August 24 and Preschool at the Early Childhood Center at Midbar Kodesh Temple to open on August 14.
August and September events will be hosted both in person and virtually. Hadassah and Religious School will host an in person and virtual Friday night service. There will be an in person Tot Shabbat followed by a Shabbbat Tailgate Dinner in September. Virtual open houses for Kindergarten, ECC and Religious School are on the calendar. A Selichot community event is scheduled on September 12. High Holiday services are being planned as a combination of in person and on-line experiences. A social distancing/mask only Tashlich service and picnic at a nearby park is slated for September 22. The Sukkah will also be built in person at the end of September following the CDC and Midbar Kodesh Temple guidelines.
For more information on any of the in person and virtual services and events happening at Midbar Kodesh Temple in the months ahead please contact the synagogue at 702.454.4848. Please note that all events are subject to change and will always be held in the best interests of the membership and community.