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Shir Tikvah Community's Response to Coronavirus


Update Based on Changing Community Needs for the Winter Months
November 17, 2021


The Health and Safety Task Force continues to review our building policies as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic with an eye to the well-being of our congregation.  As winter approaches and eligibility for and accessibility to vaccines is now at its highest level, we have revisited our policy regarding food consumption inside the building.  As of January 1, 2022, we we will enact our severe weather contingency plans for indoor eating during b'nai mitzvah with the following enhancements:


- Masks will continue to be required inside the building and may only be removed during food consumption.  After eating or drinking, one must immediately raise and properly wear their mask while indoors. 

- Those who are fully vaccinated (if eligible) are welcome to join us for meals and onegs.  We ask that participants wear their masks while getting food or drinks, or while walking around.  Children not yet eligible for the vaccine (4 years and under) are included and welcome and must be under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian at all times. In accordance with building policy, they too must wear a mask except while eating.

- Vaccination status is based on the honor system. We will not require vaccinated individuals to show proof of vaccination prior to eating. Signs will be posted outlining our policy and we trust that our community and guests will follow and respect such guidelines. 

- Our “Clear to Go” screening system remains in place for those coming to shul. An additional question will be added outlining our requirements for food consumption and asking attendees to confirm that they understand and will abide by such policies. 


We look forward to increased opportunities to gather safely together in community in the future. In collaboration with the Board of Trustees, our Health and Safety Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and adapt and modify our building policies, as needed, to suit the ever-changing environment. 



When to Return to Shul: Quarantine Guidelines to Follow per the State of Michigan
September 2021

With our Family Ed program back in session and services and events now being held in-person and often indoors, it is natural for questions to arise if a student or adult fails our "Clear to Go" health screener taken prior to coming to shul, particularly if the reason for failure is exposure and not symptoms.  The graphic below will answers those questions based on the circumstances that fit your situation.  If after reviewing this document you are still unsure as to whether or not you or your child may come to shul, please contact 

Please also review these reminders from, that quarantine and isolation are determined by the local health department and are used as important tools to prevent the spread of disease.
You isolate when you are already infected with COVID-19 and have tested positive, even if you do not have symptoms. Isolation is used to separate people who are infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. Please contact your health provider if you are in this situation to determine the length of time for isolation and subsequent testing.
You quarantine when you might have been exposed to COVID-19. This is because you might become infected with COVID-19 and could spread COVID-19 to others. The image below is a helpful tool in understanding quarantine guidance based on exposure type and vaccination status.

Shir Tikvah Plans for the High Holiday Days
August 20, 2021

As we approach this holy time in our Jewish calendar, we want to wish a happy and healthy New Year to you and yours.  We know this is an important time of togetherness for family and friends, and that there are varying levels of comfort on what feels right for each individual this year.  Our priority is to offer a safe, enjoyable, and meaningful High Holiday experience for every member, no matter which way you choose to participate. With this in mind, we will offer two options for High Holiday participation: in-person and virtual. All ticketed services will be available via livestream at (for superior sound quality) - and also accessible directly from our YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.  If you will be attending virtually, please feel free to keep your machzor at home from last year, or contact Lorelei Berg to arrange to pick one up.

For those who choose to attend in-person, please carefully review the following requirements. You are expected to adhere to these protocols while at shul:

  • If you attend services in-person, you will be required to wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth for the duration of the time that you are inside the building.
  • Prior to arriving at shul each day, attendees must complete an online health screener to verify their health status, that no COVID symptoms are present, and there has not been a recent exposure. If you are feeling ill in any way, we ask that you please stay home and enjoy the services through our livestream. The health screening link can be found at or you may scan the QR code found on your ticket.
  • There will be an abundance of seating available in the sanctuary.  Attendees are asked to keep physical distancing in mind when selecting their seats. 
  • As an additional layer of precaution, our morning and evening ticketed services will only be open to members ages 12 and above. We will be offering services for families to attend with their children in the afternoon of each holiday. Our young family (birth - 7 years) service will be held at 4:00 p.m. and our kids' services for ages 8 and above will be offered at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are not required to attend these services. Weather permitting, these services will be held outdoors.  Our Tashlich service on the second day of Rosh Hashanah is an outdoor service and open to all. 
  • While we understand the desire to catch up with friends you may see before or after the service, please be mindful to limit kibbitzing while indoors and move outdoors to chat, where possible.

In addition to the above protocols, it is important that we clarify the Congregation’s ticket policy to avoid any misunderstanding once you arrive at shul:

  • All in-person attendees will be required to have and show their ticket. Please have your ticket ready to show the security guard as you enter the parking lot and again at the front door. 
  • A ticket will be sent the week of August 23 to all households in good standing for each adult member and for kids ages 12 - 24 years old.  We will not be offering babysitting this year.  Kids ages 8 and above are invited to join us at 2:30 p.m. on each holiday for our kids service and children ages birth to 7 please join our young family service which begins at 4:00 p.m. each day.
  • Any young adult who has reached the age of 25 must join the congregation to receive tickets to attend services. A “gift from the heart” pledge of their choosing will begin their membership.   
  • Complimentary tickets can be obtained from the office for any family member who is visiting from out of town (defined as not a reasonable distance to be a member of a Southeast Michigan-area congregation)
  • Non-members and relatives who live in town can join Shir Tikvah with a “gift from the heart” membership pledge of their choosing.  Please contact Lorelei Berg at 248-649-4418 x 1 or by email at for more information and/or to see a recommended pledge guide. 
  • Tickets are non-transferable. Please do not give your ticket to someone else to attend.

High Holy Day Parking

For those families who are being shuttled, please remember:

It may become necessary to use off-site parking at Stone Haven Church on Wattles just east of Congregation Shir Tikvah.  The front half of the CST parking lot will be reserved for on site parking to families with seniors and where physical limitations would make shuttling a hardship.  The parking limitations are most likely to occur on the evening services of September 6 & 15 and the morning services of September 7 & 16. Shuttling will begin one hour before each of these services (with masks required).

  • Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the service. Shuttle service will be minimal after each service begins.
  • You will be able to drop off others in your party at the synagogue door before parking, if you prefer.
  • Try to limit the number of cars your family is bringing to services.  Car-pooling with other families, where feasible and within your comfort level, would be greatly appreciated.  
  • Masks are required for all individuals using our shuttling service.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Shir Tikvah Re-Opening Plan for Shabbat Services and Events
June 1, 2021

Shir Tikvah will begin opening the synagogue for occasional Shabbat services in-person, indoor Shabbat services starting in July.  Attendance will be limited indoors in June to 36 individuals. In July, our sanctuary will open to half capacity with a return to full capacity come August and in time for the High Holidays. Attendees must pre-register online at to attend services and complete a "Clear to Go" health screener the day of the service prior to arriving at shul. Masks are required inside the building for all individuals.  We will continue to outdoor services and events as our calendar allows.


Shir Tikvah Returns to In-Person B'nai Mitzvah (Small Groups)
April 1, 2021

Shir Tikvah will begin opening to the synagogue for small group, b'nai mitzvah services only. Strict guidelines will be in place for COVID compliance which must be followed by the b'mitzvah family and guests.  Specific information with regard to the guidelines is available to the families in order for them to determine if an in-person service is right for them at this time.  Shabbat services will remain virtual until further notice.





Shir Tikvah Services & Activities Return to Full Remote (Virtual) Format
December 10, 2020

Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in Metro Detroit, and out of an abundance of caution, CST has suspended all outdoor, in-person activities until further notice.  We will continue to gather in community through our virtual platforms of Zoom for our membership, as well as live-streaming on our Facebook page and YouTube Channel.  If you haven't joined us before, we hope you will!

Our Health & Safety Task Force continues to monitor the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regarding the COVID-19 health crisis.  Any updates regarding a change in our ability to gather will be posted here as they are available. 




Announcing Outdoor, In-Person Events


August 19, 2020


We are thrilled to announce that we are offering various outdoor in-person events over the course of the next month at Shir Tikvah! Our incredible Health & Safety Task Force, with the support of our Board of Trustees, has worked diligently this summer to create protocols which enable us to host these events, while simultaneously putting the health and safety of our community first.  We encourage you to take look at the schedule below and complete the required preregistration form if you would like to attend.

Thanks to your feedback we understand that many congregants still want to participate only through virtual means, and so we assure you that each of the outdoor events below will also be broadcast virtually - through Zoom and via live stream on our YouTube Channel or our Facebook public and private pages!

Introducing the Shir Tikvah Health & Safety Task Force
July 20, 2020


Our CST Health and Safety Task Force has convened and we are already hard at work! We have spent time getting to know one another, thinking through next steps, and establishing a universally agreed upon foundational goal of keeping all CST members safe and healthy as we consider what will be needed to keep our community strong, connected, and engaged during this uniquely challenging time.

The CST Health and Safety Task Force was formed to advise the Board of Trustees on how we can continue to worship, learn, grow, support one another, and experience community safely during a pandemic.

Our team currently consists of ten members with a range of areas of expertise and experiences, each bringing a unique and important lens to the table.

Stay tuned for future communications, as within the next week we will be sending a survey out to the membership to gather your input.

You may also look for regular Health & Safety Task Force updates in the Schrier and future eblasts.



Shir Tikvah's Second Statement Regarding the COVID-19 Health Crisis

March 12, 2020
16 Adar 5780

Dear Shir Tikvah Community,
At Shir Tikvah, nothing is more important to us than the health and well-being of our community.  As the situation with the coronavirus (COVID 19) continues to rapidly evolve, we are monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  Therefore, in the continued spirit of pikuach nefesh, the mitzvah of “saving a life,” it is the responsibility of each of us, collectively and individually, to take the necessary precautions not to spread any virus.  
Following the announcement of a state of emergency by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in keeping with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services community mitigation strategies to slow the transmission of the disease, and in accordance with the recommendation of the Michigan Board of Rabbis, we are putting the following measures in place at Congregation Shir Tikvah, effective immediately, through April 19, 2020:


  • All services will be conducted remotely via a platform called Zoom. There will NOT be open Shabbat services at shul. You may join services in real time from your computer (or for those without computer or internet access, a telephone call-in line is provided).  Zoom is free, easy to download, and easy to use.
  • This week’s Friday night Sisterhood Shabbat Service at 7:15 p.m. will be our first virtual Zoom service. For this service, we will have the primary service leaders only at shul and encourage you to virtually attend, participate, and read your part (for those who are involved) via Zoom by calling in by telephone or participating virtually via your computer. If you have not used Zoom before, you will be prompted to download their software upon opening your first session.  Therefore, we recommend you attempt to join the service 5-10 minutes early to provide ample time for the download to complete and connect.
  • Rabbi Aura, who has lots of experience using Zoom, will be available to those of you who need help. We are also working to schedule a couple of virtual orientation sessions next week (stay tuned for more information).  Additionally, will be updated with a "Click here to join services" button to make it easy to join.
  • All Family Education programs for grades preK-12th grade are cancelled until April 19th.  This includes Tuesday and Sunday school programs, the teen bus tour of Detroit, special programming during school, and adult ed classes offered on Sunday morning. Adult Beginning Hebrew will be offered virtually. 
  • Tot Shabbats scheduled for March 21st and April 18th are cancelled.
  • Individual committee meetings and small group gatherings are encouraged to use Zoom or Skype instead of face-to-face sessions, where possible.
  • B’nai mitzvah tutoring will continue via Skype or FaceTime
  • Rabbi Aura, Sarah and Lorelei will still be available and working both in the building and remotely to keep our congregation connected through this time we must be apart.  Please reach out to us via email or phone should you have any questions or needs.  If you must visit the shul for any reason during office hours, please call ahead to schedule an appointment.

    Many of you have children and grandchildren.  Disruptions in routine such as this add to already high levels of anxiety.  The following resources are available:
  • Talking to Teens and Tweens about Coronavirus
  • Talking to Kids about Coronavirus
  • Coronavirus Student Guide: Virus Explainer

Shir Tikvah is a safe and sacred community to us all, one that provides comfort and peace through all of our life experiences.  While we are deeply saddened to have to limit access to our shul, we are thankful that virtual communication is available so that we may seek ways to remain connected during such an unprecedented time. 
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we, as a community, navigate this road together.
Rich Spitzer, President
Aura Ahuvia, Rabbi
Lorelei Berg, Executive Director
Sarah Chisholm, Director of Lifelong Learning


Shir Tikvah's First Statement Regarding the COVID-19 Health Crisis

March 11, 2020
15 Adar 5780

Shir Tikvah Community,
With the news of the continuing spread of COVID-19, including two reported cases now in Oakland and Wayne counties, we want to assure you that we are being proactive at Shir Tikvah to protect our community from the spread of illness. We are calling on you to support our collective efforts, and we need your help to follow the measures we are putting in place. 
The health of our members and our community is paramount.  Therefore, for the sake of pikuach nefesh, the mitzvah of “saving a life,” it is the responsibility of each of us, collectively and individually, to take the necessary precautions not to spread any virus.  
We assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, the CDC, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHSS), the Oakland County Health Division, the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit and the Jewish Community Center of Metro Detroit. Should we need to suspend any activities (be it events, religious school, or even services) we will notify the congregation immediately and post updates on our website at

That being said, out of an abundance of caution, Sisterhood has decided to cancel the “In the Spirit of Empty Bowls” potluck dinner that was to precede the Sisterhood Shabbat service this Friday evening.  The Sisterhood Shabbat service is still on, and we encourage you to keep reading for more information on how we can all do our best to make our communal spaces as safe as possible for everyone around us.

We have also made the difficult decision to cancel the congregational trip to Israel this spring, due to concerns over non-essential international travel.  More information about a reschedule date will be available in the coming weeks to those who were signed up for the trip.
While at shul, we are temporarily putting several changes in place to help mitigate the spread of viruses.  We ask that everyone do their best to greet each other without touching, a hand placed over the heart is a lovely, warm and welcoming alternative.  We are suspending touching the challah during hamotzi and “hand-washing reminder signs” have been placed in the bathrooms and kitchen.  Other parts of services which require touching, such as the occasional end-of-service practice of holding hands while chanting “Kol HaNeshema,” are also suspended. We are cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces more frequently.
At this time, we are not canceling Family Ed classes.  As we continue to monitor the situation, we will let you know immediately if this changes.  Any cancellations will be posted on the CST website and on Facebook, and sent via robocall and eblast.  Looking ahead, the March 22nd teen bus tour to Detroit will be postponed with a new date announced in the future.
We need your help too! We ask that you please monitor your own symptoms and those of your children. If you have signs of illness, regardless of whether you have a fever, please stay home and play it safe rather than take the risk of inadvertently sharing an illness at a shul gathering.  Please also remember to practice frequent handwashing, and, if you are coughing, please cough into a tissue and throw it away or, if not possible, into your elbow.
Please let us know of any support that you need! We, the clergy, staff, Board of Trustees, and our Caring Community, are here for you.  In the spirit of community, we ask that you offer support to anyone you know who is homebound or in need and let us know if we are unaware of another member in need.

While we each respond in different ways, let us also remember to turn to our tradition, prayers and relationships to ease our anxieties and determine rational ways to stay healthy and connected during a time in which we may need each other, and our spiritual community, the most.

For more information about COVID-19 and helpful resources, we recommend reviewing the toolkit provided by the Oakland Country Health Division.
Rich Spitzer, President
Aura Ahuvia, Rabbi
Lorelei Berg, Executive Director
Sarah Chisholm, Director of Lifelong Learning

Tue, January 18 2022 16 Sh'vat 5782