We are writing to let you know that we at the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom have been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 across the United States and Canada and are here to offer support. We are committed to upholding the well-being of our community, especially the health and safety of those facing hate and discrimination, as well as those who might be particularly vulnerable during these uncertain times. We appreciate the many members who have written to us seeking guidance on preserving the health and safety of their fellow chapter sisters. Your compassion and concern are the very heart of our community.
At present, and for the foreseeable future, we strongly recommend that all chapter meetings and activities and other Sisterhood programs shift to a virtual meeting space. We are urging our members to take this step based on guidance from healthcare experts, and because we wish to aid the solution, not compound the problem. Our core mission is to bring people together across dividing lines, and we hold fast to that commitment, even if, at present, the means to achieving that may look different.
This week, our staff has been working around the clock to prepare virtual meeting options and, in the coming days, will be setting up open online gatherings, where you can grab your favorite cup of tea or coffee and join us online. These sessions will be open to our entire Sisterhood community and are a perfect opportunity to meet people from around the corner and across the country. In addition, we have compiled a list of free, online meeting spaces members can utilize for virtual meetings. We will offer technical support for those who may be unfamiliar with these platforms, and we encourage our more technologically savvy members to offer assistance to those who might need additional support.
We realize that now, more than ever, many people are feeling anxious, isolated and uncertain. It is during times like these that we need our communities most. Though virtual meeting spaces will look and feel differently than in-person ones, we are confident these options will balance the need for support and connection with the need to do our part in preserving the health and well-being of our members.
There can be anxiety surrounding the unknown, but there is great power in the known. What we know is that we care for and are responsible for each other, that we need one another’s support, that small kindnesses and generosity of spirit can go a long way. Such acts not only help not us feel stronger and healthier but strengthen our overall community as well. While temporarily, we may be in a time of social isolation, we encourage and support spiritual communication.
We hope to have better news in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please reach out virtually to one another and to us with news, for support, and seeking community. We will be in touch with news of online community-wide gatherings and other updates. Should you need anything in the interim, please be in touch. We care about your health. We encourage you to review the helpful guidelines from the CDC: Prevention Guide. We wish good health, well-being, and peace to you and your loved ones.
With gratitude and in peace and sisterhood,
Sheryl Olitzky and the staff and board at the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom
Here is a list of free apps and downloads to use for group conferencing. If you have any questions or need help troubleshooting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you find a platform that works and is not listed below, please email email@example.com.
Click on the links for more information:
ZOOM-*Free basic plan has a 40 minute time limit.
Download Zoom Here
How to start or join a Zoom meeting
How to sign up for Google account
How to sign in to Google Hangouts
How to start a group call of 10 or less people
Download Skype Here
How to set up a Skype meeting
How to use enter a Skype meeting
Sign up here
How to set up a conference call
*If attendees have iPhone, iPad, or MAC