Chabad of Grass Valley assists Jews celebrating Shavuot holiday at home as synagogue remains closed |

Chabad of Grass Valley assists Jews celebrating Shavuot holiday at home as synagogue remains closed

Submitted by Chyena Yusewitz

With the Jewish festival of Shavuot approaching amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Chabad of Grass Valley will provide Grass Valley’s Jewish community with resources to celebrate at home.

Although Nevada County’s Phase 2 plan now includes places of worship, Chabad of Grass Valley, in consultation with public health specialists and rabbis who are experts in Jewish law, will remain closed for in-person services for the time being, out of an abundance of caution and concern for human life. They will reopen soon in a phased and deliberate manner.

“While local officials are slowly opening the state, and we are eager to begin in person activities again, we are going to be a little more cautious in developing plans to reopen Chabad,” said Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz, director of Chabad of Grass Valley. “The Torah, a living guide for life, instructs us to prioritize saving and preserving life over virtually every Mitzvah.”

Shavuot, which begins this year at sunset on May 28 and concludes at nightfall on May 30, celebrates the “Giving of the Torah” and the “Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai” some 3,332 years ago and is considered one of Judaism’s major holidays. While traditionally, a significant aspect of the holiday observance is hearing the Ten Commandments read at synagogue from a Torah scroll and joining family and friends for festive meals, this year’s celebration will be altered in order to save lives by maintaining crucial social distancing requirements.

On Thursday, Chabad of Grass Valley will be offering Shavuot packages at curbside pickup and delivering it to elders who are staying at home. The Shavuot package will include fresh Challah and cheesecake to help the at-home dairy feasts, a popular custom on Shavuot. To order your Shavuot package including a complete do-it-yourself guide for holiday celebration, visit

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“While we anticipate the time when we’ll once again be able to gather for Shabbat and holidays, this year’s Shavuot celebration is a chance to remind ourselves that in truth, the most important Jewish institution is the home,” said Chyena Yusewitz, program director at Chabad of Grass Valley “The Torah wasn’t given in a synagogue or other private property; it was given on a mountain, in the middle of the desert; a place anyone can go, to remind us that the Torah is the heritage of everyone equally, including those at home.”

Chabad of Grass Valley offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations. For more information, contact Rabbi Nochum Yusewitz at 530-404-0020, visit or follow Chabad of Grass Valley on Facebook and Instagram.

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