Updated 03/18/2020 8:00 PM

Here at Congregation Beth Shalom, we are committed to providing regular updates regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and our community. We will be updating this page periodically as information matures.
There are a lot of moving parts and we will do our best to communicate when we can.

Most Recent General Status Update (All updates below)

Congregation Beth Shalom is a community, and the health of our community is paramount.  To protect our health, and in light of our Jewish values, the Synagogue Board has made the difficult decision to cancel upcoming events and close our physical building through May 18, 2020.

Our Rabbi, Cantor & Educational Director continue to work for our community remotely. Rabbi Rudolph can be contacted via the synagogue number (630) 961-1818 or rabbirudolph@napershalom.org. Cantor Hasha Musha Perman can be contacted directly at hashamusha@gmail.com or (847) 507-9118.  Our facilities and office manager, Sue Prousa, can be reached at  (630) 961-1818. Dore Tarr can be reached at dtarr@napershalom.org.

While our physical building will be closed, we will be offering our community a new way of gathering virtually as a Connections Mishpacha (Family) group.

Over the coming weeks, you will see this as we:

  • Contact our members to check-in and assess next steps
  • Develop venues for creating connections among congregants
  • Care for congregants in need, with help with errands, meals or a friendly phone conversation

Many of your favorite synagogue groups will continue through technology.  The Thursday study group will be meeting. Our Religious school will continue with asynchronous programming and studies from classroom teachers.  Additionally, new interest groups, programs and classes will be launching. Look forward to cooking, book groups, a knitting/crocheting group, and other efforts to find ways to connect us from our homes.  We need people with interest and expertise to create and offer groups and classes. If you are interested in offering a new program, we can help you with the technology and publicity to share it with our community.  Contact connections@napershalom.org to offer to help.

We also encourage all of our congregants to join our care community at: https://my.lotsahelpinghands.com/community/napershalom. We will be using this online tool to ensure that all of our members have access to the help they need. If you know of anyone who needs support, or you need support yourself, please reach out to us through our care community, by calling Sue in the office at 630-961-1818, or emailing connections@napershalom.org.

We will soon share with our congregants a list of resources available for connecting spiritually.  Congregations and organizations all over the world are opening their streaming services, and we hope you will find services and minyans you can join to pray together. In exciting news, Rabbi Rudolph and Cantor Perman will be offering Congregation Beth Shalom WELCOME SHABBAT from 5:30 to 6:00 pm  on Friday, March 20th. Join with your family by Zoom (it’s easy!) and sing our favorite songs, including Misheberach, ending with us lighting shabbat candles in our homes. Contact the office if you haven’t received an email link.

We have difficult challenges ahead — no doubt.  But our community has many strengths. We have spiritual leaders ready to reach out to our community. We have lay leadership working diligently to maintain and build community.  Mostly, we are extraordinarily lucky to be part of a Jewish community defined by our love and concern for one another. Now more than ever, we need you to reach out to your friends to check in with them, call them, and connect. Even a short call to wish them a good shabbat or see how they are doing will help us all to feel part of something bigger in this uncertain time.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding community connections, communications, or any other ways our CBS community can help you or others please email connections@napershalom.org.

With affection,
Chris Igo, Elizabeth Sigale, and Karen Zatz
Covid Response Committee

Dear Friends,
My friend and Colleague Rabbi Jill Zimmerman compiled this 90 minute playlist. All you have to do is click and listen. There’s tremendous variety and it’s lovely; Music For This Moment

 – Cantor Hasha Perman

Congregation Beth Shalom is a community, and the health of our community is paramount.  To protect our health, and in light of our Jewish values, the Synagogue Board has made the difficult decision to cancel upcoming events and close our physical building through May 18, 2020.

Our Rabbi, Cantor & Educational Director continue to work for our community remotely. Rabbi Rudolph can be contacted via the synagogue number (630) 961-1818 or rabbirudolph@napershalom.org. Cantor Hasha Musha Perman can be contacted directly at hashamusha@gmail.com or (847) 507-9118.  Our facilities and office manager, Sue Prousa, can be reached at  (630) 961-1818. Dore Tarr can be reached at dtarr@napershalom.org.

While our physical building will be closed, we will be offering our community a new way of gathering virtually as a Connections Mishpacha (Family) group.

Over the coming weeks, you will see this as we:

  • Contact our members to check-in and assess next steps
  • Develop venues for creating connections among congregants
  • Care for congregants in need, with help with errands, meals or a friendly phone conversation

Many of your favorite synagogue groups will continue through technology.  The Thursday study group will be meeting. Our Religious school will continue with asynchronous programming and studies from classroom teachers.  Additionally, new interest groups, programs and classes will be launching. Look forward to cooking, book groups, a knitting/crocheting group, and other efforts to find ways to connect us from our homes.  We need people with interest and expertise to create and offer groups and classes. If you are interested in offering a new program, we can help you with the technology and publicity to share it with our community.  Contact connections@napershalom.org to offer to help.

We also encourage all of our congregants to join our care community at: https://my.lotsahelpinghands.com/community/napershalom. We will be using this online tool to ensure that all of our members have access to the help they need. If you know of anyone who needs support, or you need support yourself, please reach out to us through our care community, by calling Sue in the office at 630-961-1818, or emailing connections@napershalom.org.

We will soon share with our congregants a list of resources available for connecting spiritually.  Congregations and organizations all over the world are opening their streaming services, and we hope you will find services and minyans you can join to pray together. In exciting news, Rabbi Rudolph and Cantor Perman will be offering Congregation Beth Shalom WELCOME SHABBAT from 5:30 to 6:00 pm  on Friday, March 20th. Join with your family by Zoom (it’s easy!) and sing our favorite songs, including Misheberach, ending with us lighting shabbat candles in our homes. Contact the office if you haven’t received an email link.

We have difficult challenges ahead — no doubt.  But our community has many strengths. We have spiritual leaders ready to reach out to our community. We have lay leadership working diligently to maintain and build community.  Mostly, we are extraordinarily lucky to be part of a Jewish community defined by our love and concern for one another. Now more than ever, we need you to reach out to your friends to check in with them, call them, and connect. Even a short call to wish them a good shabbat or see how they are doing will help us all to feel part of something bigger in this uncertain time.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding community connections, communications, or any other ways our CBS community can help you or others please email connections@napershalom.org.

With affection,
Chris Igo, Elizabeth Sigale, and Karen Zatz
Covid Response Committee

Dear Friends,
What can we do when we are faced with health concerns at home, at school, at work and in the world? A blessing practice can support our anxious hearts. A traditional blessing, a mitz’vah, can set a spiritual intention, a reminder, for us, throughout the day. The Cantor offers more in; Handwashing Is Holiness

With community safety paramount and the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus outbreak at this time, we have made the difficult decision to cancel upcoming services and events at CBS this week. While at this time we are not aware of any infections in our community, as part of our commitment to  community health, we are cancelling this Friday evening and Shabbat morning services and Torah Study with the Rabbi Shabbat morning, as well as Sunday 3/15 and Tuesday 3/17’s religious school sessions.  We are also closing the preschool for the week of March 16th to 20th.

The Dupage County Health Department has recommended that organizations that serve high-risk populations cancel gatherings of more than 10 people. High-risk populations include individuals at increased risk for severe illness, including older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions.  Many frequent attendees at our services fall into these demographics, including our service leaders.

The Board is considering broader, comprehensive policies that may be needed going forward.  After Tuesday’s Board meeting, we will announce further service, school and event guidelines, as appropriate

This is an unprecedented situation, and one for which there is no blueprint. We are doing, and will continue to do, the very best we can to manage and lead our CBS Jewish community that is so important to all of us.  We are already starting to talk about how we can continue to connect our community through Chesed, through telephonic outreach by our Rabbi and Cantor, and by creative use of technology to link us together.  While we may find ourselves practicing “social distancing” in order to combat the pandemic, we hope to use the power of our ties to each other to remember that we are not alone, and that our community is here for us.  If you have suggestions or ideas on how we can continue to respond to this crisis and support our community, feel free to reach out to us at covid19@napershalom.org or our president, Gregg Yedwab cbspresident@napershalom.org.  Our Rabbi and Cantor remain available to you for pastoral counseling and connection via the synagogue office numbers and emails.

We make this decision recognizing that the synagogue is called a Beit Knesset, “a house of gathering.”  Telling our community to maintain physical distance from each other is very difficult. However, there is no act in Judaism that exceeds the obligation to preserve life, and it is our ultimate obligation to do whatever we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

We appreciate your patience, your understanding, and your cooperation as we navigate this difficult and complex crisis. We hope that we all will be able to gather again soon, and celebrate Shabbat as a community.


Rabbi Rudolph, Cantor Perman & CBS President Gregg Yedwab

In light of the COVID-19 virus, the Interfaith Shabbat Dinner scheduled for Friday, March 13 will be postponed.

We value our interfaith families and we want to celebrate them properly. We will look to reschedule this event when conditions permit.

We at Congregation Beth Shalom are very concerned about the spread of  COVID-19 — the coronavirus. We are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of germs in our synagogue and at our gatherings.
In response to the Coronavirus and faithful to our commitment to the well-being of everyone who participates in the worship and programming of our congregation, we are putting forward these guidelines, which follow recommendations issued by the Center for Disease Control. As this public health crisis evolves we will continually reassess and incorporate new guidelines and recommendations based on the best available information. We will then pass it on to you.
We can all:
  • Stay home when we or members of our household have any respiratory disease symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or shortness of breath.
  • Wash our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday through twice), especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol, if soap and water are not available. Hand washing is far more effective than hand sanitizer gel.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the used tissue into a trash can.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects routinely.
For our part:
  • We have provided tissues and hand sanitizers throughout the building.
  • Last Thursday, March 5, members of our Congregation went through the building with disinfectants and  wiped down all surfaces.
  • People setting up food for oneg and kiddush must wear disposable plastic  gloves. There is an ample supply of these in the kitchen.
  • On Friday night and Shabbat morning we will no longer be tearing the Challah with our hands. We will be cutting it up with a knife in such a way that people can take individual slices or pieces.
  • People should avoid shaking hands, hugging or kissing.
  • We will not be carrying the Torah through the congregation on Shabbat morning, so as to help people to avoid touching the Torah cover and kissing the Torah.
  • Those called up for an aliyah should not kiss the Torah. Please do not kiss the mezuzah.
By following these common sense practices, we can help keep our community healthy.
Rabbi Marc D. Rudolph
Cantor Hasha Musha Perman
Gregg Yedwab, President of Congregation Beth Shalom