Temple Beth Am Library Minyan
  March 2020
 Re: LM this Shabbat
Dear Friends,
As you probably know, Hannah Grinblat and the entire Grinblat and Berenbaum families look forward to celebrating with the Library Minyan community as Hannah becomes Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat, in the Dorff-Nelson Chapel. Because of the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many of her family members will not be able to fly to Los Angeles and attend the simcha. The family asked the Library Minyan Steering Committee to consider employing Temple Beth Am’s livestreaming technology.
As a halakhic matter, Rabbi Kligfeld has already ruled that livestreaming is halakhically permitted. However, the Library Minyan community needs to conduct a second evaluation, to determine whether this is something that we want to allow.
Following the precedent of a similar question facing the Library Minyan leadership in 2003, the Rosh Minyan and Ritual Chair determined that there was insufficient time for full communal study of the issues and reactions of the entire community, and so have elected to allow the Steering Committee to decide whether to grant this request as a one-time exception pending further process, or whether to follow the 2003 precedent that video systems may not be used in the Library Minyan on Shabbat.
The Steering Committee recognizes that not everyone in the community takes on themselves the halakhic leniency that appearing as part of a video or recording is permissible on Shabbat; we also recognize that many are concerned about the impact that the knowledge that a video is being made might have on the Shabbat atmosphere.
On the other hand, we are dealing with what is (thank God) a very rare public health situation. Allowing livestreaming might encourage people who are in marginal health condition to participate remotely, which may not only benefit them but benefit all those who do attend. We also recognize the halakhic principle that greater leniencies be taken in sheat Hadehak, a time of emergency.

Therefore, the Steering Committee has elected to allow livestreaming this Shabbat, as a one-time exception, pending further communal discussion of the issue under the auspices of the RItual Committee. Please feel free to email either of us in the coming weeks, as we solicit everyone's input on the larger question.
We are working with the TBA leadership, under the direction of Cantor Chorny, to see if it is possible to position the camera so that its field of vision does not encompass the entire room, thus allowing those who don’t want to be streamed to not be visible. We will try to update you as soon as we have more details.
Finally, we encourage everyone to heed the advice of public health officials and your own medical professionals, to take precautions to protect yourself and those around you from the risks of Covid-19. May those who are ill be given a full and speedy healing, and may God protect us, and all of humanity, from further harm. 
Jerry Krautman   Bill Seligman
Rosh Minyan        Ritual Chair
The Library Minyan of Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd 90035