Local rabbis, cantors release statement on COVID-19, vaccinations and community


Top row, from left: Rabbi Brigitte Rosenberg, Cantor Seth Warner, Cantor Sharon Nathanson, Cantor/Rabbi Ron Eichaker, Rabbi Lane Steinger, Rabbi Adam Bellows, Rabbi Amy Feder, Rabbi Andrea Goldstein and Rabbi Susan Talve. Second row: Rabbi Janine Schloss, Rabbi Howard Kaplansky, Rabbi Garth Silberstein, Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh, Rabbi Lori Levine, Rabbi Daniel Bogard, Rabbi Dale Schreiber and Rabbi Carnie Rose and Rabbi Brad Horwitz. Third row: Rabbi James Bennett, Rabbi Karen Bogard, Rabbi Michael Alper, Rabbi Rachel Bearman, Rabbi Randy Fleisher, Rabbi Scott Shafrin, Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman, Rabbi Josef Davidson and Rabbi Noah Arnow. Fourth row: Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham, Rabbi Mark Shook, Rabbi Jessica Shafrin, Rabbi Shulamit Cenker, Rabbi Scott Slarskey, Rabbi Jordan Gerson, Rabbi Tracy Nathan, Rabbi James Stone Goodman and Rabbi Neal Rose. 

Jewish tradition teaches“Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh,” meaning that we are all responsible for each other (B.Talmud Shevuot 39a).  Our collective experience for the past year has taught us just how important this lesson is.

As all of our synagogues and Jewish community institutions begin to navigate the dual boundaries of continuing to protect our shared public health and welfare while beginning to safely re-open and return to a new normalcy, we the undersigned agree on the following basic principles:

1. We affirm and support each other. While we may make different decisions, we recognize that we do so with mutual respect and dignity, and we discourage members of our communities from criticizing each other for the well-intentioned institutional choices we are making.

2. We encourage all those who are eligible to seek and receive a Covid vaccination as soon as possible. We affirm the safety and efficacy of vaccinations for all and encourage the equitable distribution of vaccines as rapidly as possible.

3. We encourage everyone to continue to behave responsibly and respectfully, by wearing masks in public, maintaining safe distances from others when appropriate, and following all public health guidelines as dictated by the CDC and other medical and public health authorities.

Signed with hopes for the well-being of all,

Rabbi James Bennett, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Rabbi Lori Levine, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Rabbi Rachel Bearman, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Cantor Seth Warner, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Rabbi Amy Feder, Congregation Temple Israel

Rabbi Michael Alper, Congregation Temple Israel

Rabbi Mark Shook, Congregation Temple Israel

Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh, Temple Emanuel

Rabbi Brigitte Rosenberg, United Hebrew Congregation

Rabbi Adam Bellows, United Hebrew Congregation

Cantor/Rabbi Ron Eichaker, United Hebrew Congregation

Rabbi Howard Kaplansky, United Hebrew Congregation

Rabbi Susan Talve, Central Reform Congregation

Rabbi Randy Fleisher, Central Reform Congregation

Rabbi James Stone Goodman, Central Reform Congregation

Rabbi Daniel Bogard, Central Reform Congregation

Rabbi Karen Bogard, Central Reform Congregation

Rabbi Carnie Rose, Congregation B’nai Amoona

Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham, Congregation B’nai Amoona

Rabbi Neal Rose, Congregation B’nai Amoona

Rabbi Josef Davidson, Congregation B’nai Amoona

Cantor Sharon Nathanson, B’nai Amoona

Rabbi Noah Arnow, Kol Rinah

Rabbi Scott Shafrin, Kol Rinah

Rabbi Janine Schloss, Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community

Rabbi Lane Steinger, Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community

Rabbi Garth Silberstein, Bais Abraham

Rabbi Scott Slarskey, Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School

Rabbi Tracy Nathan, Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School

Rabbi Brad Horwitz, JCC

Rabbi Jordan Gerson, Hillel at Washington University St. Louis

Rabbi Dale Schreiber, Pathways Hospice and Palliative Care

Rabbi Jessica Shafrin

Rabbi Shulamit Cenker

Rabbi Barbara Block, Temple Israel, Springfield