Updated 3/19/2020

Dear Friends,
We hope that you are faring well in this unbelievable and unprecedented situation that the world finds itself in. We are here for you spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. This is a time to help one another.

OUR MOTTO IS THE FOLLOWING
"Every hand that we don't shake must become a phone call that we place.
Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern.
Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise."
 

Even though the Chai Center is closed physically – we are not closed!! We are doing our best to help as many families as we can.
Please take note of this important announcements and PLEASE avail yourselves of what we have to offer. Please free to share this email with others as well. 

RABBI SAACKS & RABBI WEINBAUM
We know that everyone is a little panic stricken due to the Coronavirus. We are here to speak on the phone or make a personal visit. Please feel free to call us on our cell phones.

PLEASE NOTE: Both Rabbis will be in the office all of next week unless ordered not to by the health department.
Rabbi Saacks: 516-909-8678
Rabbi Weinbaum: 516-473-3852

EXECUTIVE STAFF
The following are the cell numbers of the executive staff. Please do not hesitate to contact them with any questions. 
DIANE: 631-796-7229
KERI (Early education): 516-449-8173
ALLISON (Friendship Circle): 516-353-8763

PRESCHOOL
While we may not have the kids on site at The Chai Center, The Chai Center Preschool Morahs have been a regular part of the children’s day albeit remotely! They have been in daily contact with their students and families communicating through WhatsApp, with warm smiles, cheer and daily doses of activities and ideas to keep the kids busy and happy. The Morahs shared videos of themselves reading books, singing songs the children know and love from the classroom and davening. Our Morahs shared ideas of how to do classroom activities at home such as creating sensory bins, making homemade playdough and organizing outdoor and indoor scavenger hunts as well as an array of arts and crafts projects that are both fun and educational. Some children are also following our suggestion and making cards for doctors and nurses at Huntington Hospital who are working tirelessly.
In addition to responding to parent questions on WhatsApp, our Morahs made a personal phone call to every preschool family — the parents and kids loved hearing from their Morahs! 
Parents are using our WhatsApp to interact and share videos and pictures of what their children are doing, from Yoga they learned at The Chai Center to following a community idea to make rainbow window pictures to put a smile on neighbors’ faces. Parents are also sharing ideas with one another through our WhatsApp.
Teachers have been communicating and having meetings and sharing ideas, activities, videos and different educational and child activity sites with each other daily through their WhatsApp group. They are committed to helping the children feel a sense of continuity and calm by bringing the classroom to them as much as possible.
Coming up – Morah Bina will make a Challah video today and we will have a Shabbat sing along using Zoom Friday at 11:30 AM.
Please note: We are following the New York State schools guideline and will be closed until April 1. We will keep you posted as we learn more.
*See our Preschool section below for photos

HEBREW SCHOOL
While our Hebrew School students have been spending time at home, they have virtually been connecting with each other and their teachers. Our Sunday and Wednesday students have been participating in virtual online classes through the new Ckids Virtual Online
Hebrew School and the Zoom platform.
On Sunday, they joined thousands of Hebrew School students from around the world in the first ever virtual Hebrew School class and learned all about the story of Exodus. 
 
Click here  for a recap. On Wednesday, each class had their own virtual Hebrew School lesson with their teacher over Zoom where they had the opportunity to Daven and learn more about the upcoming Holiday of Passover and the Mah Nishtana.
Throughout the week our students have been participating in one on one sessions to learn Aleph Champ with Morah Malky and Morah Mussie. It is incredible to see how much they are improving in their Hebrew Reading! If you have not yet set up a time slot for your child please email Morah Malky and Mussie directly at 
 shlichusdixhills@gmail.com .
There will be Sunday classes held virtually at 10:00 AM through the CKids Virtual Online Hebrew School at 
 www.ckids.net/hslive . If your child cannot tune in at that time, you can log on later for a full recap of the class. On Wednesday we will again be holding virtual classes through Zoom. You will be receiving an email with all the links for each class.
As part of the CKids Virtual Online Hebrew School there will be 3 exciting competitions going on! 
The Great Mah Nishtana
The Pre-Passover Challenge 
Ckids Got Talent
Please encourage your children to participate and take part in the challenges!
*See the Hebrew School section below for program details

CTEEN
We have been keeping our social distance but have not become socially distant. Although we are unable to have weekly CTeen programs, we have not lost that CTeen spirit!
On Monday evening, we had a virtual Torah class with Rabbi Dovid where each teen had the opportunity to ask any questions they had in regards to Judaism. On Wednesday, our teens joined in a global CTeen Torah class on the topic of slavery and freedom, featuring our very own Sarah Strent! On Thursday night the girls took part in a Virtual Challah Bake together with hundreds of girls from around the world!
Many teens have taken this opportunity to brush up on their Hebrew Reading with Malky and Mussie. If you’d like to set up a time to do so, feel free to email them directly at 
 
shlichusdixhills@gmail.com .
We have lots of exciting things coming up in the upcoming weeks! On Sunday, there will be another virtual Torah Class with CTeeners around the world at 
 www.cteen.com/cteenchannel . On Monday night we will be having a Virtual CTeen Game Night with Rabbi Dovid over Zoom! Stay tuned for more details!

FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE
Since the participants could not come to the Friendship Circle, The Friendship Circle was brought to them!
This past week I delivered cookie and brownie mix to all my Friendship Circle chefs. I know they enjoyed cooking with their families. Tonight we are going to try our first online chorus class thanks to our volunteers and parents. Next week there will be a surprise for our Art students. Hope all of you are safe and enjoying your time with your families.  if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me at 516-353-8763. Your children safety is my number one concern. hope to see everyone soon.     Allison Alper, Director

THE CHAI CENTER MINYANS/CLASSES/SPECIAL EVENTS
All services at The Chai Center have been postponed until we reopen. Let’s hope it is soon.

YARTZEIT
If you have a yartzeit and need kaddish said, I will arrange it with a minyan in Israel.

SENIORS
Seniors, please stay put! Let me know if you need meds or groceries picked up & dropped at your door. I have volunteers ready! Call 631 351 8672

SHABBAT IN A BOX TO GO
The Chai Center has the perfect idea for you – Shabbat in a Box

This box comes with the following
1.            Small grape Juice
2.            Kiddush cup
3.            Two challah rolls
4.            2 tealights
5.            Candies
6.            Conversation starter packet
7.            Kiddush & candle lighting cards
Limited supply 

MATZAH
We will not be delivering the hand made matzah this year. Rather we will be using the post office. Please note that these matzas were made in the Ukraine WEEKS BEFORE the virus pandemic.

TORAH CLASSES
Torah Classes - Classes will not be held at The Chai Center for the next two weeks but will continue on Facebook Live. We will be providing you with a full schedule early next week .We encourage you to join these classes from the comfort of your homes as who knows the value of Torah study during these difficult times.

SUPPLIES
Please let us know if you need:
Prayerbooks
Mezuzas
Tallit
Tefillin
Bibles/Chumashim

MIKVAH
The Mikvah is open with the following understanding:
We have been working under the guidance of the Rabbinical Council of America and Dr. Sharon Nachman, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, to ensure that going to the Mikvah remains a safe and healthy experience during these difficult times.

1. Surfaces in preparation rooms are cleaned after each use with a disinfecting cleanser.
2. The Mikvah pool is brominated and filtered daily and is treated to eliminate germ contamination.
3. We have impressed upon our cleaning staff the importance of their attention to extra vigilance at this time.
A woman who is under quarantine must follow the recommendations of the CDC and local government agencies. She may not break quarantine to immerse in the Mikvah. Please do not come to the Mikvah with any symptoms of illness, including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and upper respiratory infection.

The situation is constantly changing and there are new revelations almost every day. We continue to strongly encourage people to follow the guidelines of the CDC and the Nassau and Suffolk County Departments of Health. We are calm, and we urge all of you to be calm, as well, in these challenging times.
We will all continue to pray sincerely and powerfully for abundant help in bringing a protection to all in need in the very near future.  Let us never lose sight of the potency of our heartfelt prayer and Torah learning in arousing the mercy of G‑d, and engendering the special protection of the Guardian of Israel.

May G‑d  watch over all our communities, and carry us through these difficult times without any serious illness. May we merit soon a special measure of help from Above, and dance and celebrate together with all of Israel and our Righteous Moshiach, Speedily in our Times!

With boundless love, care, and concern,
Rabbi Saacks