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HH 2020 letter

Dear Friends,

With Rosh Hashanah upon us in a few weeks we want to update you on the progress of our plans at Ramath Orah.  Based upon your responses to our survey and guidelines from health authorities, we're developing arrangements that will best suit our congregation's needs while insuring the safety and health of all who attend.  As we have learned over the past few months, everything is subject to change dependent on the health status of our city and state and new regulations instituted at any time.  We ask for your cooperation and understanding; we are working with the best information we have at the moment and are still finalizing the details.

Though we have always welcomed everyone inside our shul in past years, whether or not they had purchased seats, this year unfortunately we must limit services to only those who have registered in advance.  Due to social distancing rules we must severely limit our numbers and will only be able to offer seats to current Ramath Orah 2020 members at this time.  Should space still be available, we'll open the registration to non-members.

For Rosh Hashanah we will hold services in our building with two shifts for the morning davening, an earlier minyan that may start at 7:30 or 8:00am and a later minyan at 9:00 or 9:30am.  We hope to be able to hold an outdoor minyan as well, but do not currently have a location confirmed.  Each minyan will be limited in size to allow appropriate distancing between people.  Tefilot will be shortened and will involve minimal singing.  All attendees will be required to register in advance and follow all of our guidelines including health requirements, the proper wearing of masks, and social distancing.  We also hope to coordinate additional outdoor shofar blowing at various times and locations.

We ask that all members register for seats at this time, indicating your preferences for time and location. We hope to be able to accommodate everyone's first preferences but will fill the seats on a first come first served basis, so please respond promptly.  If you indicate that you only want to attend outdoor services and we aren't able to secure a suitable outdoor location, you may request a refund of your payment. 

Please keep in mind that in a typical year the sale of High Holiday seats and contributions to the Kol Nidre appeal constitute approximately 20% of our operating budget that pays for programming, utilities, salaries and all costs associated with operating our shul.  As this is far from a typical year, we are able to sell approximately one quarter of our usual number of seats and anticipate the possibility of a large deficit in our budget.  We ask that you be as generous as possible and consider giving your usual amount for Kol Nidre, if not more, and help us to virtually fill our shul by "sponsoring" the 5 or 6 empty seats next to you this year (at a reduced amount).  Even if you're unable to attend, we request your support in consideration of those whose financial situation may preclude donating this year.

Though this year the Yamim Noraim will be like no other, we would like to make sure that everyone can celebrate them in the most meaningful way possible.  Please be in touch with us if you are in need of some support or are willing to help others in our community improve their experience of the holidays in these times.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I wish that you and your family may be blessed with a year of health, happiness and safety in 5781.  
With best wishes for a ketivah v'chatimah tovah,
Ann Goldhirsch
President of the Board of Trustees  

Sat, September 26 2020 8 Tishrei 5781