COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Update: Addressing Coronavirus Concerns

March 5, 2020

​Last week all members received the following message, via email, from Executive Director Marcia Caban regarding Central’s actions in relation to news of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the steps we are taking to ensure the safety of our community. We are closely monitoring advice from government agencies and have also put together a lay committee of member-experts in fields of healthcare, medicine, and logistics. In response, we are instituting additional cleaning measures throughout our facilities, and sanitizing “high-touch surfaces” on a regular basis. You may also notice some minor changes to our worship services that relate to items that are touched by many people, as well as to the way we serve food. Otherwise, worship services and programs will continue as scheduled. We will continue to keep you informed if there are any changes.

We are asking anyone who is not feeling well to please stay home in order to protect the most vulnerable in our community. All of our services and many of our programs are livestreamed, and access is available via phone, cable TV, our website, and Facebook (details can be found here).

A Message from our Executive Director Marcia Caban:

Sent to Central Synagogue members via email on March 3, 2020.

Dear Congregant,

With the situation relating to the Coronavirus evolving daily, it is understandably a source of concern. We wanted to share some of the actions Central is taking to ensure the safety of our community, staff, and members.

We are closely following communications and recommendations from New York City, the New York State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, Central Synagogue is fortunate to have among our members experts in areas of medicine, healthcare, and logistics, and we have formed a lay committee to help inform our response.

The safety and health of our community and staff are our priority. Throughout our buildings, we are placing an extra emphasis on cleanliness. We are cleaning elevator buttons, door handles, and bathrooms more frequently, and we are increasing hand sanitizer stations throughout the building. Our public spaces, classrooms, offices, and bathrooms will also all receive extra daily cleaning.

Here are some additional ways we can keep ourselves healthy:

1. The first line of defense for COVID-19 remains good hygiene. This applies to all of us. This includes regular hand washing with soap and water, avoiding the touching of your face as much as possible, and covering a cough or sneeze with a sleeve or tissue. Last week at Shabbat services Rabbi Buchdahl suggested that instead of greeting each other with a handshake or hug we should consider a bow, a wave, or an elbow bump.

2. If you or a member of your family are feeling ill, please stay home. We are recommending that our community adheres closely to the rule that people stay home until they are fever free without the need for medicine for 24 hours. This also applies to child and adult caregivers who spend time with your family. We are asking parents to be extra cautious about sending a potentially sick child to nursery or LCLJ classes.

A reminder that Central livestreams all our worship services and some adult programs. We welcome all to join us this way. You can learn more here about the various ways to virtually participate (whether by phone, cable TV, website or Facebook).

3. This is a time where we can all prioritize the value of kindness (or chesed in Hebrew). We are encouraging all of us to show support, and to care for each other in our community. Central clergy, staff and Caring Committee members are available to reach out to you and any from our community who are in need of support. Contact the clergy team by emailing [email protected] or calling the clergy study at (212) 838-5122 x1000. If you have any questions, please visit for updated information. I can also be reached at [email protected]


Marcia Caban

Executive Director