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A Special Shavuot at Synagogue Emanu-El


Dear Friends:

Shavuot begins next Thursday night, May 28th, and ends Saturday night, May 30th. This is the festival in which we commemorate the reception of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Shavuot is a joyous time, one of the three main festival holidays of the Jewish calendar. The celebration traditionally involves all-night Torah study, hearing the reading of the book of Ruth, the custom of eating dairy products, and recitation of the memorial service (Yizkor).

This year, we have planned an experience for our congregants that will keep us spiritually connected as well as allowing safe re-entry of members to our synagogue building.

Household units sheltering together will be welcomed to schedule a time during the holiday to come to the synagogue and pray together in a twenty-minute, self-guided Shavuot & Yizkor experience:

At the start of their appointed time, the members of one household will enter through the Atrium door. A sanitized siddur and suggested prayers and prompts will be provided on their journey to the Sanctuary bimah. The Ark will be open so that they may pray before the Torah scrolls like we do during Neilah (end of Yom Kippur). Our memorial boards will be fully lit for Yizkor. After their time in prayer has elapsed, Rabbi Rosenbaum will be present, appropriately-distanced, to offer a prayer together with you and to escort you out of the building. They will then drop off their siddurim, which will not be used again over the holiday. On the way out, they will be invited to pick up some cheesecake to enjoy at home. Surfaces will then be sanitized, and then the next household unit will be allowed in.

We are pleased to be able to help connect you physically to the building on such an important day, but we are committed to following the most stringent of safety standards possible in order to keep all congregants safe, including our most vulnerable, and to fulfill our responsibilities to k'lal Yisrael (Jews everywhere) and pikuach nefesh (saving lives).

Please note your safety responsibilities:

  • Anyone entering the building must be wearing a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth. None will be provided.  

  • All participants must also cover their head on the bimah. You must furnish your own head covering; none will be available at the synagogue.

  • Participants will be required to sanitize their hands on the way in as well as on the way out.

Appointments are necessary due to the limited capacity available during the festival. Those arriving to the synagogue without an appointment will not be admitted into the building. You must book a time directly with Daphne Hubara at 843-442-6086 or  Your time in the building will be a twenty-minute block at some point during Shavuot; you will receive an email confirming your time. The deadline for booking is Thursday, May 28th at noon.  For necessary planning purposes, this is the last opportunity to make a reservation.

Although we remain socially distanced, we are committed to gathering virtually, and, when possible, allowing members to re-connect physically to our synagogue.


Adam J. Rosenbaum, Rabbi

Daphne Hubara, Ritual Assistant

Mitch Gilbert & Mindy Hawkins, Co-chairs, Ritual Committee


Tue, June 2 2020 10 Sivan 5780