A note from Rabbi Rachel about the hospital closure

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

I have returned from my trip to Israel to the news of the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital.

This is a blow to northern Berkshire county on many levels. Our community is losing jobs, we are losing our hospital and our easy access to medical and emergency care, and our sense of trust and certainty is shaken.

Along with other area clergy, I am doing my best to learn what we can do and how best to proceed. If you want to talk about any of this and what it’s opening up for you, I am here; call or email and we can make an appointment to connect. If you need a dues abatement in the wake of this financial news, our treasurer Sue Hogan is available to help on that front.

This news comes as we are moving toward Pesach, the holiday when we re-experience our freedom from the constrictions of Mitzrayim, “the narrow place.” In order to reach this freedom, tradition tells us, our ancestors had to plunge into the Sea of Reeds although the waters had not yet parted. Only when one brave soul named Nachshon ben Aminadav stepped into the waters did they recede.

May we partake in Nachshon’s courage and faith, and as we move forward into this new world, may the waters part so that we can reach the other side of this difficult situation in safety. Like our ancestors crossing that sea, we are in this together; may we find comfort and strength in our togetherness.

Chodesh tov; wishing you a joyous new month of Nisan.


Rabbi Rachel


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