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Kesher Israel Online Coronavirus Resource Portal

We know this is a very difficult time both for our community and the world at large. Despite the effects on our daily lives, Kesher is endeavoring to do all we can to continue to provide spiritual and communal sustenance until this crisis passes. 

Please see the information below for all of the ways our shul and community is adjusting given the current public health situtation.

For questions about our COVID-19 response protocols, please contact our Crisis Response Team at

For halachic or ritual guidance during this time, please contact Rabbi Shafner directly.


Current Operating Status Ongoing Learning Opportunities
Resources for Those in Need of Support Health Guidance and Recommendations
More Torah Learning and Community Resources New Virtual Events


Click here for information on Pesach resources and updates!

Current Operating Status

Our Crisis Response team is continuing to monitor relevant updates in order to adjust our response and plans based on national, local, and community health authority and government recommendations (including the Centers for Disease Control and DC Health). 

The Kesher building - including the Keilim Mikvah - is currently closed, and all in-person minyanim, events, and gathers are postponed or canceled. 

We hope to reopen the building and resume normal operation as soon as possible. 

To protect the health and safety of our community, we will resume normal operations when medical professions advise us that the spread of the coronavirus has sufficiently abated. 

We encourage everyone to attempt to daven personally at the same time that the shul would be holding davening were it open. Our schedule of davening can be found on our Calendar page for time references. (Note: Service times on the calendar do not denote in-person minyanim until the shul building has reopened.)

At this time, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the immediate Kesher community, however there are several confirmed cases in other local area Jewish institutions. We will update this page should this information change.

As a reminder: Should you or a member of your household be diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed under quarantine, please contact the shul immediately so that we can take the proper steps to protect your fellow congregants and limit the further spread of the virus. If you have recently had exposure, please seek testing, even if you are asymptomatic.

New Virtual Events

Please check this section for new events and programs often!

We will be transitioning all of our learning opportunities to online. Please see our current offerings below. 

SUNDAYS: Zoom Prayer & Yahrzeit Commemoration Gathering
Sundays  at 7:00 PM via ZOOM online or dial-in (+1 301 715 8592; Meeting ID: 378 157 5306)

Rabbi Shafner will be holding a group Mincha service followed by the teaching of a Mishnah to commemorate the upcoming yortzeits for the week, followed by a group Maariv.  Though not technically a minyan we will all pray individually together as a community.  All invited to participate.  Click the ZOOM link or dial-in to the number above at 7:00 PM to particiapte. 

FRIDAYS: Virtual Cookie Minyan
Fridays  at 4:00 PM via ZOOM online or dial-in (+1 301 715 8592; Meeting ID: 378 157 5306)

Join Kesher kids and families for a pre-Shabbat Virtual Cookie Minyan on ZOOM!

FRIDAYS: Pre-Shabbat Psalms and Song
Friday from 5:30 - 6:00 PM via ZOOM online or dial-in (+1 301 715 8592; Meeting ID: 378 157 5306)

Prepare virtually for Shabbat with Rabbi Shafner and a few of Kesher's talented musicians from 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM today on ZOOM. Rabbi Shafner will share some short thoughts on the parsha and lead us in the recitation of a few chapters of Tehillim. Afterwards, join Kesher musicians for a spirited song session to lift our spirits in preparation for Shabbat!

Ongoing Learning Opportunities

Please check this page for updates as new classes become available or circumstances change!

Make sure you follow us on Facebook, as will be hosting Facebook Live sessions!

We will be transitioning all of our learning opportunities to online. Please see our current offerings below. 

Daily: Daf Yomi
Monday - Thursday at 9:00 PM, Friday 8:00 AM, Motzai Shabbat following Havdalah, Sunday 9:00 AM 
All classes via  ZOOM

Learn a daf (folio) of Gemara a day with Dr. Alan Gersch. Email Alan to get involved!

Mondays: Basic Judaism with Rabbi Shafner
3/23, 3/30, and 4/6 - 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM via ZOOM  (click the link or dial 646-558-8656; Meeting ID: 378 157 5306)
3/23 & 3/30 will focus on Seder Tips for First-Time Leaders

This class, taught by Rabbi Shafner, examines the fundamental concepts of Judaism, with plenty of time for questions and discussion. We will look at the laws of berachot, Shabbat, and various holidays with an eye towards understanding the practical application of the halakha. Open to all levels of observance and knowledge. 

Tuesdays: Adar Beit Midrash
3/17, 3/24, and 3/31 - 7:30 PM line opens, 8:00 PM shiur will be given  via ZOOM  (click the link or dial 646-558-8656; Meeting ID: 378 157 5306)

Wednesdays: Pesach Prep Series with Rabbi Shafner
3/25 & 4/1 - 8:00 PM via ZOOM  (click the link or dial 646-558-8656; Meeting ID: 378 157 5306)

Join Rabbi Shafner for a class and discussion on matters pertaining to Pesach.  

- Class 1: Easy Cleaning and Pesach Prep: Rabbi Shafner and special guest Rella Kaplowitz will answer questions on the best (and halachic!) ways to make Pesach prep easy! (submit your questions early and we’ll prepare to answer them!)
- Class 2: Charoset - The Paradoxical Passover Symbol

Thursdays: Weekly Parsha Shiur and Discussion with Rabbi Shafner
3/19, 3/26, and 4/2 - 8:00 PM via ZOOM  (click the link or dial 646-558-8656; Meeting ID: 378 157 5306)

Discussion oriented class on the weekly Parsha with Rabbi Shafner.  

Resources for Those in Need of Support

We realize that many in our community may be at increased risk of infection due to age or health circumstances. If you are self-quarantined or at a high risk of infection, please reach out so that we can ensure you have whatever supplies you may need.

Additionally, if you are able to volunteer to provide those supplies - either shopping or delivering to those affected - please email Miriam Cleeman.  

For those seeking charity or volunteer opportunities in our community at this time: 

Local businesses, including Kosher restaurants, are also being hit hard by this unprecedented crisis and restrictions on food service establishments. Please consider supporting our local small businesses and restaurants by doing the following: 

  • Order takeout or delivery from those Kosher restaurants still open 
  • Purchase gift certificates to local Kosher establishments which will provide much needed cash flow now, and will allow you to enjoy once the situation has calmed down.

Health Guidance and Recommendations

We continue to strongly encourage our extended community to follow the guidance and recommendations of national and local healthcare authorities. This includes following flu-season best practices including:

  • Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially before and after eating, or after coming into contact with high-traffic surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons, and railings
  • Using a 60%+ alcohol hand sanitizer whenever hand washing is not available
  • Coughing or sneezing into a disposable tissue, discarding it into the trash, and immediately washing your hands or using hand sanitizer
  • Limiting the number of times you touch your face

We also continue to the community to avoid social gatherings and practice "social distancing" to curb the spread of the disease. 

For additional guidance and updated information, please see the following sources: 

More Torah Learning and Community Resources

For those looking for additional virtual options for Torah study or learning at this time, please considering checkout the online libraries of the following sources: 

In addition, local and national organizations have been sending around numerous updates and resources to their members and followers. We will attempt to post some relevant ones here for convenience and broader access:

Sun, April 5 2020 11 Nisan 5780