Breaking News on the High Holy Days
Our rabbis and the Re-Entry Task Force have concluded that we should not conduct live, in-person services for the High Holy Days this year, and instead should focus on offering a virtual experience that provides a vehicle for spiritual growth, religious observance, and some sense of CBS community, that we all can enjoy from the comfort and safety of our own homes.
While the details are still to be worked out, this will involve some form of enhanced virtual services with certain aspects presented via video recordings.
A separate group will be meeting to develop holiday programming that we all will find meaningful and enriching.
As we delved deeper into what would be required to bring a large group of people into the shul for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, it became apparent that the restrictions we would have to impose would have a negative effect on the communal experience we all hope to get each year from those holidays. For example:
- In order to maintain the required social distancing, only a limited number of people would be able to attend.
- Those who come to services would be required to register in advance so that we could control the attendance levels.
- On arrival, you would be asked to wait in your car before joining a line for screening.
- To prevent spread of the disease, you would be asked not to interact with your friends, except from a distance of six feet or more.
- Because the disease spreads primarily through the air, no singing or chanting would be allowed.
- You would be asked to leave right after the service ends.
This is a difficult decision for all of us, but one that is consistent with most of the Florida synagogues at this time. By making this decision now, we are better able to prepare holiday services and programming that are rewarding and spiritually uplifting. We look forward to sharing the month of Elul with you in new and exciting ways.
Last week, we told you we would be conducting a survey this week. Due to the change in plans for the holidays, the survey is being postponed.
Meanwhile, the Re-Entry Task Force continues its work in other areas, including planning for the coming year for the Religious School and preparing to eventually reopen for Shabbat and minyan services. We’ll have more news on these and other activities in the coming weeks.