Sign In Forgot Password

Update from the Rafi Schwartz Religious School

We have been hearing from many of you that your students are appreciating the chance to connect with their Religious School friends that our Zoom classes are providing. We also know that regular schedules can promote a sense of normalcy. We want to make sure that we provide all the curriculum that you signed on for, and that we provide a space for your students to connect with each other.

For these reasons, the school year will continue through to the end of May. Enrolled students will receive updated calendars and Zoom links by email.

Please email Cantor Wendy Bat-Sarah, Religious School Director, with questions or comments.

Are You Having Financial Hardships as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rabbi Samuel L. Spector, Danny Burman, Jim Isaacson, or Teresa Bruce. We will do our very best to help you address those needs. Your community is here for you. We stand together during these difficult times, and Kol Ami will do what we can to help you through these challenges.

Kol Ami Cemetery Association COVID-19 Procedures

The Kol Ami Cemetery Association has some new, temporary, procedures in regards to the current pandemic:

Wasatch Lawn will be the only approved mortuary for all burials handled by the Kol Ami Cemetery Association.

For at-need purchase of a grave-site, the family will select the specific cemetery and may express preferences by telephone, but a Cemetery Association Trustee will select a location without meeting family representatives on-site.

Officiating at a burial may be done only by local clergy and with approval from Kol Ami’s senior rabbi.

The officiating clergy will set limits on the number of persons who may attend a burial, in conformance with state and local directives and/or orders.

Kol Ami Members Only: Members may reserve and purchase pre-need gravesites via telephone/email; the location may be changed without additional fees until November 1, 2020.

Volunteers who serve on the Chevra Kadisha, if willing, shall perform tahara in a way that will not endanger themselves; whatever procedure is approved by Kol Ami’s clergy will be accepted by the Cemetery Association for burial in Montefiore and Shaare Tzedek.

Learn more here.

In order to keep the Congregation Kol Ami community safe during the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the office is closed and all programming is currently canceled.

Friday evening and Saturday morning Shabbat services will continue to be live-streamed here. We will be updating the website periodically, so please check for current synagogue related closure information.

Staff and clergy will be answering questions regarding office, religious school, and preschool related matters via email. We will respond to you as soon as possible. Contacts can be found below:
Staff Email Addresses | General Questions | Rabbi Samuel L. Spector

If you have urgent matter and you need to speak to someone in the office please call Tracy Plotkin, Administrative Assistant, at 773-474-2672. If prompted to leave a message, please include the spelling of your name and the best phone number to reach you.

If you have an emergency such as an unexpected hospitalization or loss of a loved one, please call our emergency line at 801-742-1501.

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. We wish you and your family health and peace. We look forward to once again coming together as a congregation as soon as possible. Shalom and take good care.

Livestreaming Shabbat Services and Programming Updates

Dear members of our Kol Ami family,

After much talk with health and state officials and discussions between our staff and lay leadership, we have made the following decisions regarding our community and the COVID-19 virus spread.

Throughout the remainder of the month of March, beginning with tonight’s Shabbat service, we will suspend in-person Shabbat services and hold services via livestream. You can access the livestream here.. Tomorrow’s Bat Mitzvah will continue as scheduled; however, we are asking that attendees be limited to family, friends, and classmates of the Selzman family. Other upcoming events have sadly been cancelled including the Passover Wine Tasting and Joel Rosenberg’s Concert.

Morning minyan will take place over Zoom conference meeting through the remainder of the month, please email Cantor Bat-Sarah for access information.

Our Friday night siddur can be virtually accessed here and our Saturday morning, Conservative siddur, can be purchased here.

Further, the Rafi Schwartz Religious School will be closed this week as we conduct training for the teachers to have remote class instruction if necessary. The following week of classes we are closed for our previously scheduled Spring Break.

We ask that you follow the governor’s recommendations; please avoid crowds of 100 people or more, with people over the age of 60 avoiding gatherings of larger than 20 people. Please also practice handwashing regularly and stay home or seek medical attention if you are experiencing any symptoms of illness.

Please know that none of these decisions were taken lightly, but rather through hours of study and conversation. Ultimately, our most important Jewish value is keeping our community safe while still trying to provide for their spiritual needs. Although these steps are requiring us to take unconventional matters, let us be reminded of the Talmudic teachings that “we shall live by (the commandments), and not die by them” (B. Talmud Yoma 85b) and “[The rules against] endangering oneself are more stringent than [those against breaking a] commandment” (BT Hullin 10a). We thank you for your understanding and for doing your part to ensure our community's safety.

L’briyut ul’hayim, to health and to life,

Rabbi Samuel L. Spector
Teresa Bruce, Co-President
Jim Isaacson, Co-President

Religious School and Prevention of COVID-19

Dear Parents of Religious School Students,

As I’m sure you are aware by now, Governor Herbert has ordered cancellation of gatherings of over 100 people. His order takes effect on Monday, March 16. However, Kol Ami and the Religious School see no reason to wait until Monday to take precautions.

There will be NO onsite classes this weekend. No 7th grade class on Saturday, March 12 and NO Religious School attendance on Sunday, March 13.

We are looking into how quickly and smoothly we can move to an online platform for all our classes during the time that is required to slow the spread of this illness.

We hold two things very dear at the Religious School. One is your child’s Jewish education, and the other is providing your children a space of Jewish community.

Learning specific lessons in Hebrew or Jewish studies will be relatively easy to provide online after we select a platform and train the teachers. Providing community will be more challenging.

There are NO scheduled Religious School classes for Sunday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 25. This was a planned spring break, and will give all of us a chance to get up to speed on teaching through an online platform.

Finally, what I told your 3rd through 6th graders yesterday goes for all of us: we are a family. We take care of each other. We are here for you and for your children. Please feel free to call or text if you need a specific resource, or if you or your children want to hear a friendly voice.

B’ahava,

Cantor Wendy Elizabeth Bat-Sarah
Director, Rafi Schwartz Religious School
Congregation Kol Ami
801-484-1501 x28

A Message Regarding the Coronavirus

At Congregation Kol Ami, the health and safety of our congregants is our utmost concern. Our leadership has been closely monitoring the situation of the COVID-19 outbreak and has been in touch with medical professionals who are connected to the Center for Disease Control, the Utah Department of Health, and other state officials. At this time, we have not been advised to cancel services or synagogue gatherings.The same holds true for the Rafi Schwartz Religious School as well as the Playful Learning Preschool. If you have any scheduled meetings or plan on attending any gatherings at the synagogue, we suggest that you check the website for status updates prior to the event.

For many of us, catching this virus can be manageable, however we are most concerned about older congregants and those who are high-risk, such as people with a chronic medical condition or a pre-existing heart or lung condition. Kol Ami is considering options for streaming services for those who are compromised or need to stay home.

The virus is spread by airborne droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. In order to protect yourself and others, we ask congregants to not take part in certain practices that could lead to the spread of germs, such as connecting to the challah, drinking from the same kiddush cup, or kissing mezuzot, prayer books, and Torah scrolls. Here are some other ways you can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19:

  • Refrain from shaking hands during services.
  • Wash your hands often; for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use the hand sanitizer provided around the building.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash or cough into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

While catching the virus may not be overly concerning for many of us, the transmission of the virus to those more vulnerable is of utmost concern. This very well publicized concern stems from the awareness that one may be infected with and thus able to transmit the virus for up to two weeks before realizing they have the symptoms. We must all stay vigilant and cautious. Please, if you or your child are displaying flu-like symptoms, we ask that you stay at home until you are assured that you are not potentially contagious.

We have also placed information regarding the virus and prevention around the synagogue and will provide updates on our website.

For more information, call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 or visit the following websites coronavirus.utah.gov and cdc.gov/coronavirus.

We will continue to monitor this situation and ensure that we are putting safety first. Thank you for your cooperation.

Tue, August 4 2020 14 Av 5780