Synagogues Mark Covid Milestone with Bicoastal Rituals

Friday, March 12, 2021, at 7:30 pm EST/4:30 pm Pacific
REGISTER HERE for Kerem Shalom’s Shabbat service

Saturday, March 13, 2021, at 10:15 pm EST//7:15 pm Pacific
CLICK TO JOIN THE ZOOM for Congregation Beth David’s Havdalah service
To connect by phone, call 669-900-6833 
Meeting ID: 956 388 121 Password: 767809

Kerem Shalom and Congregation Beth David, of Saratoga, CA, are pleased to invite the community to share in a special weekend of online Shabbat rituals on March 12 through March 13, 2021, as we mark the one-year anniversary of widespread COVID infections and deaths. Rabbis from the two synagogues will mark this monumental milestone with bicoastal services, starting with a Shabbat service on Friday night at Kerem Shalom in Concord and concluding on Saturday night with a Havdalah service at Beth David in California.

Service rituals, to mark the one year yahrzeit of the pandemic (or one year anniversary of loss), will include: lighting of a yahrzeit candle to memorialize and mark the loss of the 400,000+ who have died in the United States, as well as loved ones who have died in the past year; reciting of the Mourner’s Kaddish prayer, traditionally recited in honor of the deceased; a prayer for healing for those who are ill and struggling; ritual hand-washing; and sounding of the Shofar, which is typically blown at Rosh Hashanah, to welcome in the new year; and the lighting of the Shabbat candles and/or Havdalah candle in hope of a brighter future ahead.

While Kerem Shalom is a liberal non-affiliated Reconstructionist synagogue led by Rabbi Darby Leigh, Beth David, led by Rabbi Jaymee Alpert, is a Conservative synagogue. The two rabbis originally met while graduate students at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary and are both members of Rabbis without Borders, an initiative formed to create a think tank for rabbis to collaborate across denominational borders and to  make Jewish wisdom accessible to the general public. 

Rabbis Leigh and Alpert hope that the interdenominational collaboration between them will inspire other faith-based communities to come together to mark this anniversary of monumental loss with solemnity and reverence, and to remain hopeful about our collective ability to continue to build a brighter future for all. 

All are welcome to join Kerem Shalom online! Both services will both be closed captioned.

Read the Forward’s We Asked 13 Rabbis: How Should We Process 500,000 American COVID Deaths?” for an interview with Rabbi Darby Leigh and Rabbi Jaymee Alpert on how they plan to mark the milestone. (Scroll down to the 3rd blurb,)

Congregation Beth David, of Saratoga, CA’s Rabbi Jaymee Alpert
Kerem Shalom’s Rabbi Darby Leigh