News from the Road to Re-Opening              August 14, 2020

All of us look forward to being with our CBS family again, and the Re-Entry Task Force is working hard to bring that about in a safe way. 

We had 105 responses to this week’s member survey, which closed last night. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your input is important to us as we make decisions about our path forward. 

Over the next few days, we will be tabulating and analyzing your responses, and we will report the results next week. If you didn’t have a chance to complete the survey, we would still love to hear from you by email at

Getting Ready
Although Pinellas County has recently shown some positive trends in terms of infection rates, we still are not ready to re-open for services and other activities. However, we are determined to be prepared when the time comes. To that end, together with the Security team, the Task Force recently conducted two walk-throughs to test and refine the procedures we have been considering.  

We are also developing the pieces needed for a congregational mailing that will contain the information you will need if you decide to attend services when they are available. 

How Will We Know When It’s Time?
That’s a good question, and one we can’t answer at this time. We tell people we will re-open when (1) it is safe and (2) we are prepared. We closely track infection rates locally and across the state. We also follow projections about the course of COVID-19, and we read the advice published by the White House, the CDC and medical experts. In addition, we are guided by input from the rabbinic community and other Conservative synagogues. However, there is no mathematical formula that will tell us when it is safe to re-open. Ultimately, it will come down to a judgment call. 

When we do re-open, that won’t mean it is safe for everyone. Each person will have to make his or her own decision about whether they are comfortable returning. In particular, those in certain risk groups should choose to stay away longer. As you have been hearing in the news, that includes the elderly and those who suffer from diabetes or chronic heart or pulmonary problems. 

Thank You
We appreciate your ongoing patience with our process. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us at the email address above. 

Steve Shepard
Re-Entry Task Force Chair