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A message from the KI President: It is all about Saving a Life

Dear KI Congregants,

Rabbi Sussman recently shared, on his Facebook page, the message from Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, regarding the Reform Movement’s feelings about reopening our houses of worship during this pandemic. I hope you have had time to read his words and I would encourage you to focus on the words “pikuach nefesh,” saving a life. Simply stated, Rabbi Jacobs said we will reopen our synagogues when reopening can be done safely. At KI, I want to assure you that we will reopen when Covid-19 is no longer an eminent threat. We will reopen in collaboration with guidelines set by the state of Pennsylvania, the CDC, our Senior Staff and Clergy, our Board of Directors & Trustees, and with the advice of medical professionals.

I have been trying to keep you up to date as to how we seamlessly transitioned our students to Zoom rooms and on-line learning, how our Clergy prepared weekly Shabbat services with messages of hope, how we planned programming designed with our unique congregation in mind. Our sacred community never stopped moving forward. For the time being, we will continue to study and worship from the comfort of our own homes.

We closed our building on March 13, 2020 but we never really closed. Reopening simply refers to unlocking the doors to our physical building and our ability to gather in person. Right now, that just cannot happen safely.

Our Rabbi and Cantor are open to hearing from you, our Executive Director never stopped working, our office staff is working from home and are in and out of our building when the need arises. Our maintenance staff has been cleaning and painting and rearranging, and projects regarding security are ongoing. While the halls of the Evie Liebowitz Education Center are quiet, and our preschool playground is empty for now, preparations for our next school year are underway.

We are a congregation with a long history of survival. And I have no doubt that we will survive this pandemic. Our building may be closed for now, but our hearts and our spirits are always open.


Janice Schwartz-Donahue


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