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March 20th, 2020

Bring your wine for Kiddush, bring your candles and get ready to enjoy a different kind of Shabbat!

Zoom Sessions and Times for March 20, 2020 Friday Night Services:

For anyone new to Zoom, or just wanting to check that it is working - Practice Logging In 

March 20th, 2020

Shabbat Service - 7:00 pm practice and 7:30 pm service

Join Our Shabbat Service  - and if you have any trouble, contact any of the following folks - the KI Zoom Team - for assistance:

Harvey Hakim         610 417-1772
Marty Katz               484 809-2432 
Michele Salomon    347 276-5828 
Max Hakim              484 707-2085
Tom Freedman        610 751-2456 
Marc Rosenberg      610-737-8721
Ben Hakim               610 730-8497
Sandy Newman        610 217-6677


Meeting ID: 460 198 962
Password: 555383

One tap mobile
+19292056099,,460198962# US (New York)

For audio only:        

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 460 198 962

Congregation Keneseth Israel - 610 435-9074

March 17th, 2020

Letter from Melissa Hakim

Dear KI Family,

Your health and well-being are our top priority.  I am writing to you during this unusual and difficult time when the news related to COVID-19 is changing hourly. Given the current situation, we will need to take actions that were unthinkable just a couple of days ago. KI will follow all current CDC guidelines restricting gatherings of 10 or more people for the next eight weeks. It is with a very heavy heart that as of today we are cancelling all in-person gatherings through mid-May.  We are looking to move some of these events to an online platform and will send you details as they become available.

We have been working diligently to maintain our sense of community:

1. Religious School, under the competent leadership of Rabbi Shoshana, moved to an online platform last Sunday. We will continue the online programming until the end of the Religious School calendar.

2. Services will be moved to an online platform. Stay tuned to your email later this week for details on how you can join in. The themed portions of all Shabbats (i.e. HIAS and Women’s Creative Shabbat) have been postponed to a future date.

3. All Adult Education programming such as “Dinner and a Movie” and our “Scholar in Residence” has been postponed. If you already signed up, you can wait for the new date to be announced or you can receive a refund now.

4. The Super Shabbat Seder will not be held this year. Rabbi Seth is working on a way we can connect as a community online to celebrate and take meaning from the Passover Holiday. Refunds are being processed.

5. Rabbi Seth’s weekly Torah study is cancelled this week. We are working on starting an online platform next week.

6. All meetings will take place virtually.

7. Our office will be closed but our phones and other means of communication will be open. Please do not come to the building; we are following guidelines that ask we keep the facility closed.

8. Online resources will continue to be added as they are available.

We also take the role of being a caring community very seriously. We have vulnerable members of our congregation who might be shut in or quarantined over the next eight weeks. I am calling on all of our KI members under the age of 65 and in good health to volunteer to bring groceries, medications, make phone calls, etc to our members who may be shut in. There might be non-physical activities for those 65 and older too, e.g. making phone call and giving guidance for using online resources.  If interested, please reach out us.

We are interested in other ways you think that we (KI and congregants) could use or give support.  Please contact us with your ideas.

Please check our website for the latest updates. And though our office is closed, our phones are open and we will be here for you. We encourage all of us to follow CDC guidelines, and protect our health, and the health of others.

Please stay tuned for details as we get KI up and running online and I look forward to seeing you online.

Remember - "Even when physical gatherings are not possible, the reasons we gather can still be fulfilled!"



P.S. And do not hesitate to call the office if you want to talk to Rabbi Seth. He is available for conversation and counsel.

March 16th, 2020

Office is now closed....

The office is now physically closed but we are available to answer your calls. Please do not stop in - just call and we will see how we can help you. Thank you for your understanding.

March 13th, 2020

Update on Friday Night Services

To Our KI Family,

To help keep our congregants as safe as possible, KI will not hold physical services on Friday March 13th or March 20th - and will decide on future services as our understanding of the corona virus spread develops.

Even when physical gatherings for services are not possible, the reasons we gather for Shabbat can still be fulfilled! 

For March 13th, please consider joining Noah Aronson's onliine service at 7pm:  He is calling it a "Quarantine Shabbat" and it should be a really joyful and uplifting alternative.

For March 20th, we are trying to offer our own services online. We will send an update next week. 

KI wants to support our congregants in observing Shabbat.  We will read March 13th yahrtzeits at the next communal service.  We will continue to turn on yahrtzeit memorial lights for those with plaques.  If you would like support for how to celebrate Shabbat or observe yahrzeits at home - or to share ideas for how KI can best serve congregants while not meeting physically, please call the office.  The office has yahrtzeit candles and copies of prayers available. At this point, we are planning on regular office hours, but please call before you come in just to be sure (610 435-9074).

Thank you for your understanding, patience and ideas as we try to balance spiritual and communal needs, along with the need to keep us all safe.

March 12th, 2020

Letter from Melissa Hakim

To Our KI Family,

Your Board of Trustees, Rabbi and Staff have been monitoring the situation with the Coronavirus constantly, and as a result, we have come up with the following guidelines. We ask you to be understanding and patient as we figure out how to balance safety with all that we do here. But – first and foremost, we have to make sure that all our congregants are protected.

1. Religious School will be cancelled for the next three weeks (Mar 15, 22, 29). Plans are underway to provide for online learning; Rabbi Shoshana has already notified Religious School parents and more information will be forthcoming.

2. We are not allowing gatherings larger than 10 people for the next few weeks. As such, Brunch and Lecture on Mar 15 as well as Dinner and a Movie on Mar 21 are both postponed. We will get back to you with new dates. If you have paid and want to leave your money here in the hopes you can participate when it is rescheduled, that is great. If you would prefer a refund, please email the office and we will process it as quickly as we can.

Cancelled: Parents Night Out on Mar 14 and Shabbat Out of the Box Poetry on Mar 14.

3. Services will take place as planned, but we will not be having an Ooneg Shabbat afterwards. We ask people to leave some room between each other and to use hand sanitizer as they walk into the Sanctuary. Please note that while we will have services, we will be postponing the HIAS presentation planned for Mar 20.

4. We will evaluate all of this on a daily basis and make decisions about future activities as soon as we can. No decision has been made about the Creative Shabbat Service on Mar 27, Word Mavens or the Seder. We are really hoping that these can take place, but will evaluate the situation and make these decisions in the next week or so.

Also – many of our community partners are cancelling events as well. Please be sure to check their websites or call before you go to an event

***If you are feeling sick, please stay at home****

Again, thank you for your understanding as we navigate these difficult times.

On behalf of your synagogue clergy and leadership,

Melissa Hakim

Online Resources

Here are a few links for additional  information:
For specific questions, see the CDC's FAQ section:
For information about COVID-19 in your state, search your state's health department, which works with the CDC to monitor and implement all recommendations:
For up-to-date developments, research, and guidance from government health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO), go to:

Lehigh Valley Health Network Updates:

Sat, March 28 2020 3 Nisan 5780