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Coronavirus q&A with Dr. jeffrey klausner (March 16, 2020)

On Monday, March 16th, Dr. Jeffrey Klausner provided invaluable information in a Q&A regarding the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The event was hosted by Rabbi Amy Bernstein and was viewed live by nearly 100 families. 

Dr. Klausner is a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of Epidemiology. He earned his Medical Degree from Cornell University Medical College with Honors in Research. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at the New York University—Bellevue Hospital Center. Dr. Klausner earned his Master’s in Public Health with a focus on International Health and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. After that training, Dr. Klausner was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Klausner completed his Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, Seattle, under the mentorship of Professor King Holmes.

Dr. Klausner is a frequent advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and a popular public speaker.

For more information on Dr. Klausner's background, education, and publications, please click here.

If you'd like to view Dr. Klausner's March 14th televised interview on KCAL 9, please click here.

coronavirus update: ecc teacher tests negative for covid-19


Dear KI Community,

In an earlier communication (on March, 17, 2020) we e-mailed the congregation to notify all that an ECC teacher was being tested for COVID-19. We have just received the great news that the teacher has tested negative for COVID-19.

We are thinking of you and your family during this pandemic. We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support from members of the KI community we’ve received and we are in the process of checking in with every member household during this time.

KI will continue to provide support for all those in our community impacted by the current events. If you are seeking assistance or would like to provide assistance for those impacted by this pandemic, please reply to this e-mail with your information.

KI will be streaming numerous previously scheduled and new programs and services as we maintain our deep commitment to our close community.


Moira Tenzer, President

Rabbi Amy Bernstein, Senior Rabbi

Laurie Hasencamp, Executive Director

Program Schedule for the week (March 23, 2020 - March 26, 2020)


Tuesday, March 24th 

12:00 PM Lunch with Rabbi Amy: Live-stream 
Click Here to Join Session via Zoom

6:00 PM JEC 7th Grade: Live-stream 
Click Here to Join Session via Zoom

6:30 JEC 8th Grade: Live-stream 
Click Here to Join Session via Zoom

Wednesday, March 25th  

4:00 PM Zoom-Zits (kumzits) with Cantor Frenkel and Daniel Leanse: Live-stream  
Kumzits is a compound-word in Hebrew derived from the Yiddish words קום and זיץ. The word is used to describe a musical gathering that Jews partake in. Everyone sits together, be it on the floor or on chairs, and sings spiritually moving songs.
Click Here to Join Session via Zoom AND
Click Here for the Music Sheets

7:00 PM Rabbi Bernstein's Studies at the Hartman Institute: Live-stream 
Click Here to Join Session via Zoom

Thursday, March 26th 

7:30 PM Yoga: Live-stream 
Now more than ever is a time to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Come join Nicole Sherman, Rabbi Amy's yoga instructor, for an hour of yoga this Thursday. This week is a free trial to see if this is a class our congregation may benefit from us hiring Nicole as a community for practice. No yoga experience necessary and you don't need a yoga mat! We will be gently moving the body, stretching those areas where you are holding onto tension and releasing your mind from your worries with your breath.  All levels welcomed! 
Click Here to Join Session via Zoom

8:30 PM Cocktail hour with Rabbi Sher: Live-stream 
Click Here to Join Session via Zoom

Coronavirus update: ecc teacher being tested for covid-19 (March 18, 2020)


Dear KI Community,

Today we were informed that an ECC teacher was tested for COVID-19. The test was completed this morning and was done after a flu test came back negative.  
Although the COVID-19 test results are not yet available, we are sending this communication to the entire KI community out of an abundance of caution. The teacher was last at KI on Friday, March 13, 2020, but according to the teacher, no symptoms appeared until Monday, March 16, 2020. For ECC families, please note that all ECC teachers and students interacted with each other while at KI last week. 
For any medical advice for you and your family, please contact your physician.
We wish the teacher a speedy recovery from her symptoms and will continue to provide support for all those in our community impacted by the current events.
We will communicate further regarding test results for COVID-19 as we learn them.  

Moira Tenzer, President
Rabbi Amy Bernstein, Senior Rabbi
Laurie Hasencamp, Executive Director

How to Help and how to continue building community (March 17, 2020)



Dear KI Community,
In the above photograph, taken last night, it appears that Dr. Klausner and I were talking to an empty sanctuary. In fact, almost a hundred households were participating. Many people shared the link with friends and family today. We must remember that as lonely as it can seem we really are connected to one another. At the end of this email are some ways that we are gathering online–please join virtual KI for these and other programs that will be coming. If you missed Dr. Klausner’s talk you can view the event (along with our other updates related to the coronavirus) at the top of this page.
We are so fortunate to have Dr. Klausner as a KI member, and we are very grateful to him for answering questions from the community and providing such tremendous information. 
We know this continues to be an uncertain and difficult time. We want to do everything we can to help you navigate this coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and be creative about ways our synagogue can best serve this community in a time of physical distancing. 
I'm proud to say that we have received offers of help from many of you, who are as concerned as we are about our more vulnerable KI members. We have also received more donations than usual to our Tikkun Olam program, which is a tangible way to help those in need in our congregation as well as the greater Los Angeles community. Your generosity speaks volumes to the selflessness of our community and the lived mission of healing the world. 
If you would like to volunteer to help those in need–a phone call to check in or an errand to run–then please respond to this email to let us know. Thank you in advance!
If you would like to make a donation to our Tikkun Olam fund, or to another KI program, please click here to donate by credit card, or send a check to KI at our address at the bottom of this email. 
If you are staying home and could benefit from contact with fellow KI members or a call from one of the clergy, please reply to this email and let us know. You can always call us at 310-459-2328 as our phones will continue to be staffed and monitored. We will make sure someone contacts you promptly.
Finally, please join us as we create a virtual Shabbat community by participating in a livestream of our Friday night services, joining Friday or Saturday Torah study by videoconference, or listening later to the Friday Torah study podcast. We had 95 households attend online last Friday night–let’s double that this Shabbat! 
Below is the list of upcoming events that you can participate in remotely. If you need help making sure you are able to access these links or have questions about how to join these programs, please let us know by replying to this email. 

  • Friday, 3/20, 9:45am – Torah Study (link to join) (link for handout)
  • Friday, 3/20, 6:00pm (newly added) – Tot Service (link)
  • Friday, 3/20, 7:00pm – Shabbat Service (link)
  • Saturday, 3/21, 9:00pm – Torah Study (link)
  • Sunday, 3/22, 11:00am – Intro to Judaism with Rabbi Hyman (link)
  • Wednesday, 3/25, 7:00pm – Rabbi Bernstein’s Studies at the Hartman Institute (link)
  • Friday, 3/27, 9:45am – Torah Study (link) (link for handout)
  • Friday, 3/27, 7:00pm – Shabbat Service (link)
  • Saturday, 3/28, 9:00pm – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 4/3, 9:45am – Torah Study (link) (link for handout)
  • Friday, 4/3, 7:00pm – Shabbat Service (link)
  • Saturday, 4/4, 9:00pm – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 4/10, 9:45am – Torah Study (link) (link for handout)
  • Friday, 4/10, 7:00pm – Shabbat Service (link)
  • Saturday, 4/11, 9:00pm – Torah Study (link)
  • Wednesday, 4/15 – Yizkor Service (link)
  • Friday, 4/17, 9:45am – Torah Study (link) (link for handout)
  • Friday, 4/17, 7:00pm – Shabbat Service (link)

Rabbi Amy Bernstein

A Message From Rabbi Amy Bernstein & An Invitation To A Coronavirus Q&A (March 15, 2020)

Dear KI Community,

As we face this pandemic together, Kehillat Israel strives not only to provide a constant sense of community in a world of social distance, but also to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Part of this includes the formation of a Coronavirus Task Force comprised of trustees, clergy, and staff. The Task Force has been in regular consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Klausner (a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of Epidemiology) for guidance, procedures, and communication. One of the key roles of the Task Force is to be responsive to questions that have been raised in our community.

On Friday (3/14/20), we sent an e-mail to 7th and 8th grade JEC families once we learned that one of our members who is the parent of one of those students tested positive for COVID-19. We know you will join us in wishing that member of our community a speedy recovery. We also want to clarify and reiterate key pieces of information related to the email:

  • The parent who tested positive has not been at KI for over a month.
  • The child (of the diagnosed parent) was in the building on Tuesday evening, 3/10/20, and had not shown systems (and, as of last night, was still not showing any symptoms).
  • Dr. Klausner recommended that families monitor for symptoms and be in touch with their child’s pediatrician if they have concerns.

We often quickly take what someone else tells us as fact because we want assurance that we know what is happening. It’s human nature that, in the absence of information (especially during these anxiety-inducing times), we assume the worst. 

Our Sages teach that we should be very careful about what we say and what we repeat. Our tradition believes that what we say creates reality for those around us. Let us be sure in these uncertain times, that what we say is based in fact and that if we have questions about those facts we turn to people we trust to seek the truth.  

Tomorrow evening (Monday, 3/16/20) at 7pm, you will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding coronavirus/COVID-19 to Dr. Jeffrey Klausner. Since KI is closed and this program will be shown by live stream only, please click here (at the scheduled time) to view the program. Please e-mail your questions to either in advance of or during the program. Dr. Klausner also recommends this video about 6 Steps to Prevent COVID-19.

For those who cannot watch at that time, we will also post a recording of the session to our website, on our dedicated page that has KI’s communications to you regarding the coronavirus situation. 

Whether it’s during a pandemic or in the daily search for truth, we are here for you.

Amy Bernstein - Senior Rabbi, Kehillat Israel

Update as of March 13, 2020

Dear KI Community,


Please read this important update about events, gatherings, and meetings at Kehillat Israel. This is an update regarding our current plans and to remind you that the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation is fluid and rapidly changing.


Being part of a community is about looking out for one another and nowhere should that be more dramatically felt than in our response to the current situation. It is with an abundance of caution and concern that we have put together a Coronavirus Task Force made up of trustees, clergy, and staff. Our Task Force began regular meetings immediately in order to decide the best and safest steps for KI congregants.


Previously we communicated with you regarding the closure of selected events through Sunday, March 15, 2020 and the steps that KI is taking.


It is the determination of this Task Force that it is prudent at this time to take the following steps:


1. The Early Childhood Center will close starting Monday, March 16, 2020, and is tentatively scheduled to re-open after the previously scheduled Spring Break on Monday, April 20, 2020.


2. The Jewish Experience Center will close starting Sunday, March 15, 2020 and will reassess plans for the remainder of the year during Passover Break. (For families in 3rd-6th grade, please see Rachel’s email regarding modifications for the upcoming weeks.)


3. The following events will be cancelled, postponed, or moved to a virtual (audio or video) format between now and April 19, 2020. If you have any questions about specific events, please let us know. You may receive a separate email for any event you are involved with.



  • Wednesday, 3/18 – Savvy Sages
  • Wednesday, 3/18 – JNET
  • Thursday, 3/19 – Sages Healthy Living
  • Friday, 3/20 – Jewish Meditation
  • Friday, 3/20 – Kabbalat Shabbat
  • Friday, 3/20 – HIAS Shabbat Speaker (NOTE: This event will be rescheduled.)  
  • Tuesday, 3/24 – Coffee with Rose & Jason
  • Wednesday, 3/25 – Griefhaven
  • Wednesday, 3/25 – Winter Shelter (canceled for volunteers but we will be providing food and supplies to shelter residents)
  • Thursday, 3/26 – Griefhaven
  • Friday, 3/27 – 5th Grade B’nai Mitzvah Shabbat
  • Saturday, 3/28 & Sunday, 3/29 – All Reconstructing Judaism Events
  • Monday, 3/30 – Rabbi Carr-Reuben’s Seniors Group meeting
  • Wednesday, 4/1 – Women’s Passover Celebration (NOTE: This event will be rescheduled.)
  • Wednesday, 4/1 – KI Sages Mahjongg
  • Thursday, 4/2 – Griefhaven
  • Friday, 4/3 – Jewish Meditation
  • Friday, 4/3 – KI Women’s Singing Group
  • Saturday, 4/4 – Turning Point (canceled for volunteers but we will be providing dinner to Turning Point residents) 
  • Friday, 4/10 – Jewish Meditation
  • Friday, 4/10 – Kabbalat Shabbat
  • Thursday, 4/16 – KI Movie Night
  • Thursday, 4/16 – Grief Haven
  • Friday, 4/17 – Sages Shabbat Dinner


The following two events are also cancelled:

  • Tuesday, 4/21 – Violins of Hope
  • Friday, 4/24 – Yom Hatzmaut Shabbat Celebration


Participation Via Videoconference (Including links for virtual attendance):

  • Saturday, 3/14 – Torah Study (link), please note that this event has not been cancelled
  • Monday, 3/16 – Coronavirus: Answering Your Questions with Dr. Jeffrey Klausner (link) (please send your questions to
  • Friday, 3/20 – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 3/20 – Shabbat Service (link)
  • Saturday, 3/21 – Torah Study (link)
  • Sunday, 3/22 – Intro to Judaism with Rabbi Hyman (link)
  • Wednesday, 3/25 – Rabbi Bernstein’s Studies at the Hartman Institute (link)
  • Friday, 3/27 – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 3/27 – Shabbat Service (link)
  • Saturday, 3/28 – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 4/3 – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 4/3 – Shabbat Service (link)
  • Saturday, 4/4 – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 4/10 – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 4/10 – Shabbat Service (link)
  • Saturday, 4/11 – Torah Study (link)
  • Wednesday, 4/15 – Yizkor Service (link)
  • Friday, 4/17 – Torah Study (link)
  • Friday, 4/17 - Shabbat Service (link)


Please note that all committee meetings will either be cancelled or moved to videoconference until further notice. Committee Chairs will be in touch with committee members with additional updates.


All other future events and classes are under consideration. We will update you as we utilize the best and latest information to make determinations.


If you have any questions or concerns or simply would like help in processing the current situation, please know that the clergy and staff are here for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you would like a call from a member of our clergy, please respond to this email with your request and we’ll be in touch.


While physical, social distancing is necessary for the near future, we hope this unique situation will also bring our spiritual community closer as we support each other during this difficult time.



Moira Tenzer, President

Rabbi Amy Bernstein, Senior Rabbi

Laurie Hasencamp, Executive Director




Mon, August 3 2020 13 Av 5780