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Coronavirus Challenges


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Rabbi Yaakov Glasser

Inspiration and Chizuk for families, and practical guidance for how to bring informal education into the home.

Dear YIPC,
As many of us prepare for an extended period of time with children at home, or under quarantine, I wanted to share some suggestions, based on my years of experience in informal Jewish education at NCSY:
Rabbi Yaakov Glasser

Creating a specific space will not only infuse greater structure to the experience overall, but will provide a more immersive experience for a particular religious moment. One idea is to consecrate a section of a room and create a “shul”. The kids can design, decorate, and construct a mechitza. One can set out rows of (spaced) folding chairs, and create some sort of makeshift “bimah.” Each family member can pick a particular tefilah that inspires them, print it out, and hang it up in the shul. The family can also name the shul, and hold a short chanukas habayis, which will dedicate its use, by reciting the perek of tehillim of Mizmor Shir Chanukas Habayis Ledavid, and then davening the first tefilah in it together.

I would recommend instituting a particular time for the family to daven together. A Shacharis time, and a Mincha/Maariv time. I would also suggest each family member choose a particular siddur for this experience, and make that their official siddur (good for germs and for a sense of personal connection). There are lists of cholim going around, and each family tefilah can include a chance to say the mishebeirach for these people, and you can take turns in appointing someone to do so.

One can also simulate some of the familiar idiosyncrasies of the shul Shabbos experience. One could create a “shul announcements” – listing the times for tefilah, and mazal tovs to members of the family for certain accomplishments. Programs during the week can be included as well, and a dvar torah can be submitted by a member of the family.

Torah Learning
A second area can be established as the beis midrash. I would recommend placing a white tablecloth on a table, and intentionally spilling some coffee on it as the official consecration of this area
Coronavirus or COVID-19
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