By Eric Sandhusen
The Ethical Culture Society recently reached a milestone in our Covid journey. On Aug. 22, after more than a year of voluntary shutdown of in-person platforms at our meetinghouse, we hosted a hybrid platform, paving the way for a great “Welcome Back” platform on Sept. 12.
The dress-rehearsal platform, “How Did I Get Here?”, featured Andrew Tuliszewski at the meetinghouse, and Pam Berglund, and Esther Sandroff in their homes, with near-seamless interaction between them, presider Ed Gross, and members’ questions. We made some adjustments to address a bit of feedback, echo, and volume control, but in the end everyone was fully audible to those on Zoom, and in the room!
Thanks to the great efforts of our committees in sustaining safe, in-person activities, we’ve done well keeping connected as a community. Moving safely back into the newly refurbished meetinghouse for Sunday platform is the next important step as we seek a new normal. While it was great to have remote attendees on the big screen with us, it won’t be the same until we come together in-person. Our true vitality is when we gather at our meetinghouse to make music, break bread, and have conversations unmediated by camera and screen.
The pandemic is, of course, a constantly changing environment in which we try to plan, and we are in regular coordination with the Re-Opening Task Force (look for updated guidelines, separately published). At this time, we are confident that we can safely congregate under established guidelines, which require a vaccination check and indoor masking, among other controls. For those unable to attend, or uncomfortable with in-person attendance, Zoom will continue to be an option.
Many thanks go to the team of people who helped make this happen! Special thanks go to Building Committee Chairs Perry Stein (former) and Andrew Tuliszewski (current), Ken Karp, Orion Hopper, and David Bland.
Eric Sandhusen is a longtime member of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County.