With regret, Congregation Emanu-El will not hold a communal seder this year. We cannot hold such an event and sustain the recommended distance between people, nor can we manage with our space constraints to serve food for so many except as a buffet, which again is unsafe in these circumstances.
The Board, Rabbinic and Administrative staff are making this decision now, rather than waiting to see if things improve, for several reasons:
- We want to ensure the health of our members. A communal seder presents numerous risks better avoided.
- Cancelling early gives people time to make alternative plans with family and friends.
- There are costs involved that we can avoid by deciding now, before they are incurred.
We know that this will be a disappointment to many, particularly to those for whom the community seder provides their main opportunity to observe this mitzvah. We will endeavor as a community to find ways to connect meaningfully and safely during this holiday.