COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Central is here for you.

May 6, 2020

Dear Member,

The Israeli poet Yehudah Amichai of blessed memory wrote:
“Sometimes I come crashing down inside myself without anyone noticing.”

Our synagogue wants to notice you and be with you, especially during this most challenging period.

One of the more remarkable aspects of this COVID-19 crisis is how Central has been able to continue to serve our community in times of joy and sadness. Through technology, our Clergy have been counseling our members; officiating funerals, memorial services and shivas for our members and their loved ones; officiating at b’nei mitzah services; planning for weddings and baby namings; and celebrating momentous occasions such as the birth of a new child or grandchild in our families. While we would prefer to be able to be face-to-face and in person for these milestones in our lives, phone and video connections have still been able to help us stay close in a remarkably authentic and powerful way.

If you are in need of support or are aware of a member in need of assistance, or if you are celebrating a simcha (a happy event), please contact us in the Clergy Study at (212) 838-5122 x1000 or [email protected] to let us know what is happening. If you are experiencing an emergency or need help following a death in your family, call our emergency line anytime at (347) 334-1043.

We also have a number of resources, some old, some new, to support our members:

1. Weekday Minyan, Shavuot Yizkor. Our weekday online morning minyan from 8:00 to 8:15 am Monday through Friday mornings allows people to gather for prayer and to also say kaddish for their loved ones. On Friday morning, May 29 from 9:30 to 11:00 am, we will have a special Shavuot morning service which will include moving yizkor(remembrance) liturgy.

2. Healing Services and Shabbat Services. We will be holding two healing services in May. The first is for any member of the Central community who works in the healthcare industry on Sunday, May 17 at 6:00 pm. The second will be a public interfaith service of healing on May 24 with the Church of the Heavenly Rest. Be on the lookout in our weekly emails for details on these services. And all are welcome to join our Shabbat online services each Friday night and Saturday morning.

3. End-of-Life Planning Initiative. For members interested in talking through their end-of-life wishes with their loved ones, we have members who are trained facilitators in the What Matters Initiative who are ready to help. Our membership staff is also available to answer questions about the Central Synagogue cemetery in Putnam Valley, NY.

4. Our Social Worker. Jackie Pykon, LCSW, is also available to our community to address a wide range of our potential needs including navigating home care, assisted living, and many other elder care issues. She also facilitates our spousal bereavement group.

5. Our Weekly Sunday Email. This email to the congregation includes, with permission from members, our community’s news of upcoming b’nei mitzvah and recent births, weddings, and deaths.

Note that for more information about a number of the items above, you can click on the hyperlinks. We have also listed some ways below to click, call, or email for more information. Our synagogue is here to support you and your family. Do not hesitate to reach out to us.

We look forward to being with you as we go forward.

With Shalom,

Rabbi Angela W. Buchdahl and Rabbi Maurice A. Salth

Helpful Pastoral Care and Lifecycle Links and Information

To reach our Clergy or Jackie Pykon (our social worker): email [email protected] or call (212) 838-5122 x1000.

Emergency Line phone number: call (347) 334-1043

Weekday Morning Minyan: Mon.–Fri. 8:00–8:15 am. For the Zoom link, please email [email protected].

What Matters End-of-Life Planning Initiative: Click here or email Rabbi Nicole Auerbach at [email protected] to have someone contact you about this.

Cemetery Plots: To learn more about Central Synagogue plots at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Putnam Valley, NY, contact [email protected].

Shabbat and holiday worship services and archived services link:

Our daily activities online: Visit to learn what is happening each day at Central.