BJBE COVID-19 Response

Please be sure to go onto your ShulCloud account to make sure your contact information is up to date and we have your cell phone number/email. Please be sure your cell phone number is identified as a mobile number so you can receive updates via text. If we need to communicate with you, we need updated information! If you need help accessing your ShulCloud login, please email Anne.


We join you in your concern over the upward trajectory of this virus and, in monitoring state and federal guidance, we want to share with you some updates to our policies and practices here at BJBE.

First and foremost, social distancing and mask-wearing are a critical piece of our mitigation and safety strategy at the synagogue and as we move through the community. To reduce the risks associated with in-person interactions, the building will be closed to the public beginning tomorrow, November 13th. We will have a rotating group of staff in the office from 9am to 3pm, answering the phones and handling the details associated with being a virtual synagogue. Our maintenance team will be on-site as well, to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the building.

We will continue to hold in-person B’nai Mitzvah services for those families who have opted for the Torah Legacy service. We will hold funeral services in the Sanctuary on a case-by-case basis. The number of attendees for these services will be subject to state guidelines and the guidance of our COVID Task Force. Services on Zoom are always available for these sacred moments. Leslie and the clergy are available to answer any lifecycle questions.

All JLC and youth programs will continue to meet over Zoom. We look forward to seeing you in your cars for our drive-up events, including Shabbat dinner pick up at Max and Benny’s on the 3rd Friday of the month and Drive Through and Jew on the 1st Sunday of the month.

Early Childhood Programming at the Chava Center will take an extended winter break beginning November 20th. During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break, Chava Center families will be gathering via Zoom for Havdalah, Shabbat, and a candle-lighting/sing-along each day of Chanukah.

Our rabbis, cantors, educators, and staff are all here to support our community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions about these changes, or if you or someone you know is in need of support. If you call the office outside of our staffed hours, you may leave a message for any one of us and we will return your call as soon as possible.

For after-hour emergencies:

If you are experiencing a pastoral or bereavement emergency and need to reach clergy immediately, please contact Leslie Block, Director of Clergy and Lifecycle Support, lblock@bjbe.org, 847.370.6617. For all other emergency issues, including our building and security, please contact Chime Costello, Director of Operations, ccostello@bjbe.org, 773.573.5102.

We are here for you. BJBE is the place where community matters; whether we are online or in-person, our congregation is committed to the relationships that sustain us through life’s most challenging and important moments.

We offer you our continued gratitude for your understanding, flexibility, and commitment to the enduring health and well-being of our community.

L'shalom,

BJBE COVID-19 Task Force
Brian Tenner, President
Mark Brodson, Executive Vice President
Dr. Gary Schaffel, Past President
Terri Argentar, Past President
Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar
Cantor Jennifer L. Frost
Rabbi Jason E. Fenster 
Chime Costello, Director of Operations
Missy Bell, RJE, Director of Education
Susie Wexler, Director of Early Childhood