Below is a letter sent to the congregation on August 18, 2021.
As we have responded to the pandemic over the past eighteen months, we have changed the way we use our building, how we connect, and how staff work. Some of the changes born of necessity have turned out to be value added. Preparing to return more fully to working and gathering in person, we reflected on what we have learned. Below are some updates about what you can expect in the coming months. Our goal is to be responsive to your needs while also respecting the needs of our staff and finding ways to maximize efficiency and productivity. As always, we are open to feedback as we experiment with the following:
- Building Hours: For years, some synagogues have closed their buildings one workday each week to save resources. With the ability to work remotely, we will have a hybrid approach. Beginning next week, on Mondays:
- The building will be closed until 5 pm after which meetings and programs may take place in the building. Our maintenance staff will be onsite during the day and evening for deliveries and other needs.
- Staff and clergy will work remotely on Mondays. Occasionally they may need to work partial days in the building.
For the rest of the week, our office will be open as it has been in the past: 8:30-5:00 Tuesday-Thursday; 8:30-4:30 Friday, and 9:00-12:15 on Sundays when Religious School is in session.
- Phones: More and more when congregants reach out with questions it is via email and most questions are answered in our weekly e-newsletters and on the website. During the pandemic, all phone calls went directly to the individual voicemails, which also were forwarded automatically to our emails. This enabled all of us to respond in a timely manner, and for the office staff to focus on other aspects of their work. We will continue to have all phone calls go directly to the voicemail of the clergy or staff person desired, except during Religious School, when calls will be answered. We will be adding the direct extensions of all staff to our email signatures and on the website.
- Staff and Clergy Hours: We have learned that we can work effectively as a team while being remote. We have thus created a schedule that balances work at the synagogue with work from home. On Wednesdays, we will have full staffing in the building. Other weekdays except Mondays, there will be at least two office staff and one maintenance team member in the building. Clergy and the rest of the team will be in the building as normal.
We trust that these changes will serve our congregation well and we will reevaluate as needed. If you have any questions, please let us know.
Larry Solomon, Executive Director
Michael Wall, President
Adam Stock Spilker, Rabbi