David J Israel
Hi, everybody, my name is David Israel. I'm chair here at Sinai synagogue very proudly.

And the rabbi and I are wanting to try to do some regular videos to keep you updated with what is happening here at Sinai. This is obviously in addition to the information that's always on our website, on our Facebook page to and through our weekly e-newsletter. The rabbi in a few moments will be speaking about high holy days. I'm going to say a few words towards the end about news that we've recently shared with you. But for now, Rabbi, let me hand over to you and can you tell us a little bit about what our plans are beginning to look like for the high holy days?

Rabbi Paul M Strasko
Thank you, David. Well, of course, what I want to announce in this space is that we are opening up our doors for the High Holidays and I can't do that our most important principles. In Judaism, as I've been saying for months now is called nefesh, the safeguarding of human life. And until we can promise that that's the case, we are going to take a very conservative view on opening the physical synagogue. But in case you haven't realised we have some technical geniuses in our community, and we do have something extraordinary planned for the holidays that will involve a lot of people, a lot of guest appearances and a lot of collaboration to make the holidays what they should be special, a moment of time where time stops, and we focus inwardly and on community. And that's exactly what we're going to do. So more details coming out over the next few weeks. What we will ultimately have is a menu that shows all the options in the times of everything that we're doing, because there are going to be a lot of alternative things happening. And quite frankly, we also want to let you know what our sister and brothers synagogues are doing around the country because if you're tired of what we're doing, then check out what someone else is doing for an hour or two. We really are a global an a national community. And what we've been seeing over the last four months has proven that we can do extraordinary things under extraordinary circumstances. I believe these High Holidays are going to be something that will remember forever. And so I invite you to stay tuned for more details of what's happening, but we will have extraordinary High Holidays.

David J Israel
Thank you very much for that update rabbi. And one of the other things that has been a challenge for us during these few months of lockdown have been funerals and the arrangements around those now, as things change slightly. We want to bring you up to date a little bit about how that is going to work moving forward. So again, Rabbi, could you say a few words about how we are arranging funerals now and how we would like people to be very clear and observant about how we ask them to participate in funerals and in shivas moving forward.

Rabbi Paul M Strasko
Once again, thank you, David. So the most important thing if you have not read the new guidances is to go onto Sinai leads.uk and read the new funeral guidances here's what's kind of underneath that information, we will be allowing once again mourners at graveside. But there are a lot of safety precautions we need to take. It is much harder to catch COVID-19 outside than it is inside, but it's not impossible. And one of the things that we as a movement are very proud of with how strict that we have been is none of our Revenant have caught COVID-19 due to funeral work that has not been the case in other religions around this country and around the world. So we are going to maintain care and health but what the real concern is, is in London especially but also in other places we have had where there have been limitations on the amount of people allowed to shop at a funeral. We've had 90 and 100 people push their way past rabbis to get into funerals and expect much better behaviour from our community. But it is a difficult time and when we're in mourning, we are not thinking in terms of safeguarding each other, it's just not possible. So please read the guidelines, we ask you to respect them. If you do choose to mourn in person, then we will have limited amount of people. And if you wish to zoom that, then you'll be responsible for that yourself. And we will have a safeguarding monitor there from the Board of Trustees, or from the wardens to make sure that we are protecting each other's personal space and that we are observing clock nephesh that we save each other's lives. But that being said, we also will still offer If you would prefer or if you have health considerations, the zoom funerals that we've been doing, which, quite frankly can never live up to what we need to have happen. But we've had some profound moments in our community as we've done them. The one last thing I want to say on this one is this will be over at some point in the future and one of the things on hold has been the unveiling of monuments. And one of the things that I want to suggest for all of us who have entered into mourning over this period of time, is when we have the ability to gather together when we start erecting stones together, that we use that time when we're able to gather together and have those moments of people travelling together to experience our morning rituals as a physical community. So please read the guidelines. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to write David Israel. We are more than happy to set up a zoom meeting and talk to you we understand how difficult it is to have limitations on what happens at funerals. At the end of the day, we are protecting each other. That is such a critical value.

David J Israel
Thank you very much for that update, Rabbi. So there we go. We've come to the end of this first video session. I hope you've enjoyed it. I hope you found some of the information useful too. Please let us know in the comment section below if you're watching on Facebook, or feel free to send me an email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you can give the office a call and leave a message there 0113 2665256. Let us know what you think. positive comments are always welcome of course, as is also constructive suggestions as to what we can do better and how we can improve on this. And we will try and keep these updates as regular as possible without them being too often or too unnecessary. And I look forward to speaking to you all again soon. Thank you very much.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai