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Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, The South Philadelphia Shtiebel joins many other organizations as we face an uncertain future. As we navigate the road to what Jewish gathering spaces look like for today’s world, we continue to be guided by our overarching principles. 

A few months in, we have been hard at work, trying to keep people connected through daily and weekly online gatherings and Torah study, drop-by visits, curated connections, deliveries, and phone calls.  We are proud that we closed our doors early on, even before it was mandated, to protect human life. We will continue being guided by medical advice as we consider what the next phase looks like, by the principle of pikuach nefesh which is mandated by halacha (saving lives), and by a drive for chesed (acts of kindness). Our community is still very much in operation, whether or not we are gathering in person. We must continue to thrive in the most creative ways, providing different channels to connect and meaning-making. 

Our Zoom Room

While our community is still very much in operation, our physical building is closed until further notice. All virtual opportunities can be found on Zoom. 

Password: 522305 
Phone: 6465588656,,9099867176#

Regular Online Offerings (check calendar as well)


Join us for a nightly ten-minute study of Pirkei Avot count at 9:00 PM, all evenings except Friday night. 


Join Rabbi Joshua Frankel for a weekly class on the Zohar, Wednesday evenings at 9:00 PM. 




Join us in our zoom room for Daf Yomi: Sunday mornings 8:30 AM. Schedule for the week: Monday-Thursday 8:00 PM, Fridays 7:30 AM.  

Don your Shabbat finery, and join us as we welcome Shabbat together. Approximately 45 minutes before candlelighting each week. 

Weekly women's* space and Parsha study class. Thursday nights at 7:00 PM. Beginning April 26. RSVP required.

For many of us, davening at home on a regular basis on Shabbat is a new experience. Check back here on the homepage for a weekly at-home davening and parsha guide. 

Nightcap is a late-night series featuring contemporary Jewish writers. Follow our Facebook page for info on readings. 



Community Support Resources

If you'd like to receive a call to connect with another member of the our community, or if you'd like to make calls, please contact Channa Schramm Lenoff. 

To join a WhatsApp group for sharing support and strength in addition to errand requests,  click here.


Send an email to to ask a question or send a message of support. 

Whether you or someone you know are struggling with anxiety and isolation, looking for advice on applying for benefits, or a healthcare provider in need of support. Click here for more information. 

Leora Cohen Schiff’s law firm (Jerner Law Group, P.C.) is offering basic estate planning services on a sliding scale to residents of PA and NJ to make sure that anyone and everyone who wants to have basic estate planning documents in place has access.  Click here for more information. 


Domestic Violence: physical, sexual, financial, verbal and emotional) impacts community members every day.  Living under quarantine with an abuser is that much more unbearable.  Please look out for friends and for yourself.  The Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA) hotline at 877-88-JCADA and Shalom Task Force hotline at 888-883-2323 are open.  

Click here to learn more about local volunteer opportunities. 

Visit the JRA for volunteer opportunties If you are in need of a box of food, please email 




COVID-19 Email Communications


June 26, 2020

We are writing to announce that next Sunday, July 5th, at 8:20 PM, we will have our first gathering of tefillah, learning, and reflection. This is the first of what we hope will be many occasions to join together and so this email contains necessary information for anyone who would like to attend a Shtiebel program moving forward. In addition to details about this first gathering, you will also find the official South Philadelphia Shtiebel COVID Gathering Guidelines which we ask all community members to read and abide by in advance of attending. Signup is required. 

What are we gathering to do? When should I be there? 

We are coming together to daven mincha and maariv, the afternoon and evening services, with integrated time for communal learning and gratitude. The gathering will be around 30 minutes in length. Please join us at 8:20 PM. 

Where will we be meeting? 

The service and learning will be outdoors on the grounds of Neumann Goretti Catholic High School, 1736 S.10th Street. The entrance is at 11th and Moore. Once you arrive there, you will be guided to where we will gather. Please arrive on time! 

What are the guidelines? 

As we noted in our last email, the gathering will be outdoors and limited to 25 participantsGuidelines for participation are very specific and have been developed carefully by our regathering team and under the advisement of health professionals and state policies. Please read them carefully and prepare to follow them before signing up

What if I can’t come?
While so many people yearn to come together in person, we also recognize that others desire to remain at home.  We will continue to use all of the tools we have to make a wide range of classes, tefillah, and activities available for those who prefer not to gather in person. Sunday night’s gathering/service will also be on Zoom. Rabbanit Fruchter’s halachic opinion is that If there is a gathering of ten men in person, any person logging on to zoom can say and answer kaddish. Please let us know if you plan on saying Kaddish. 

We are painfully aware that even without categorically forbidding people from attending on the basis of age or other risk factors, the choice to hold in-person gatherings right now will inevitably exclude a significant number of individuals from attending. We trust you will make the decision for what is best for you and safest for our community.

In addition, regardless of age, physical condition or other circumstances, no Shtiebeler should feel compelled or under any obligation (halachic or otherwise) to attend gatherings just because they are made available. 

After many months away from each other, this is undoubtedly a momentous occasion, yet we hold our excitement in the same breath as our caution. Safety remains the top priority for our community and we look forward to seeing many of you in person soon. We look forward to the time when we can once again bring our entire community together. 

June 4, 2020

Dear Shtiebel Community, 

We hope this email finds you healthy and safe. As Philadelphia plans to enter the Yellow Phase tomorrow, we are writing to share our plans with you for how and when we can begin gathering in person. We know how difficult these last few months have been, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this uncertain time. We have been so grateful to connect in various ways over the last few months, and we are looking forward to entering this next phase of being in person together again. 

All of our decisions are guided by values core to our community: protecting human life (pikuach nefesh), kindness (chesed), and our dedication to communal life and prayer. We will hold fast to these values as we move forward. We have reviewed federal, state, and local guidelines; the OU guidelines; Rabbanit Fruchter’s halachic guidance; recommendations from Shtiebel doctors, and the experiences of other Orthodox shuls ahead of us in the process, to be sure that our decisions are informed by experts and varied perspectives. 

We have decided that we will resume in-person activities no earlier than June 26, which is 3 weeks after Philadelphia’s Yellow Phase. This will afford us ample time to ensure it will indeed be safe to gather. Provided case levels go down, we will plan to gather then. 

While we are in discussion about what our first gathering will be, for now we can share that it will be outdoors and limited to 25 participants. It will also aim to address our communal needs for connection, learning, and spirituality. This is the safest and most inclusive way for faith communities to gather right now. While so many people yearn to come together in person, we also recognize that others desire to remain at home.  We will continue to use all of the tools we have to make a wide range of classes, tefillah, and activities available for those who prefer not to gather in person. 

Please note: Our plans are subject to change based on updated information from the health department and current events so keep reading your emails and announcements.  We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to make plans in these uncertain times. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rena Pressman, who can pass it on the team. 

We are looking forward to beginning this process together, 

Regathering Committee

March 2020 

We are truly going through a trauma together. You may find that you are feeling tired, unable to motivate, terrified, sad, angry, or overwhelmed. You might also feel resolute, grateful, and loving--and like you need to laugh. You might be someone who wants to seize the day and do all the zoom things and make phone calls and take walks and embrace joy. You might be someone who wants to disappear under a blanket until this is all over, or just take care of the tasks that are right in front of you.

I don’t know about you, but I am all of those things. It just depends on the day.

It all makes sense, and no one feels just one way. My hope is that we can offer lots of opportunities for connection and resources for those who need it. You *never* have to show up if you’re not feeling it or take advantage of these things. These modes of connection are by no means ideal, and do not replace in-person connection. As a community however, we have to keep on trying to show up and stay united in our desire to be back together in person again.

My ask is that we be gentle with each other about what each of us need, and that you have compassion with yourself about what *you* need or about any of the emotions you are feeling. This is new and we are all doing our best.

If there is a way that you need to feel seen or for someone to show up for you, try to tell us. Otherwise, we’ll keep showing up in the ways that we can.

-Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter

Creative Connection and Solo Quarantine Activites

1. A list of board games available for free on the internet. Actually it's not just board games but also card games, solo games, social deduction games, multiplayer online role playing games, etc. 

2. Videos of people walking around various international cities.


Other Resources


Tue, July 7 2020 15 Tammuz 5780