A Message About Reopening
May 30, 2021 | 19th of Sivan 5781
Dear chevre,

At our annual meeting on Sunday, May 23, Temple president Loren Goldstein shared the exciting news about our temple’s first steps back to in-person gatherings in the coming month of June. These guidelines have been developed by the Executive Committee and clergy, in consultation with Phil Platcow, who has blessed us with his expertise as a workplace safety consultant. We are starting small and, if all goes well, hope to offer more in-person opportunities as the summer continues.

We are hugely excited to start seeing you in person again—and we know that comfort levels vary, member to member, as to what you feel safe doing. We are committed to maintaining the accessibility of our services and programs and will keep Zooming so that all continue to be welcome and feel comfortable attending and participating in our Temple gatherings, either in person or remotely. 

In-Person Event Guidelines
For health and safety reasons, we are limiting the number of attendees at in-person Temple events. Registration is required for those wishing to attend in person, and no one will be admitted who has not registered in advance. Registration links will be available on the website and in the Shavuon. (Please contact the office if you have trouble registering.) Preference will be given to members of Temple Emanu-El. Please do not sign up unless you definitely plan to attend. Repeated no-shows will be precluded from further sign-ups. **Registration is not complete until you have received email confirmation from the temple.**

When attending an in-person event, we ask you to comply with the following guidelines so that we are able to continue practicing the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh—saving lives—and taking care of one another:
  • Remain masked and physically distanced by household (at least 6 ft apart if talking, at least 12 ft apart if singing). 
  • All events in the building (including services) will be limited to 50 minutes.
  • Do not bring food or drink into the building. We ask that you eat and drink before attending any program, rather than during it.
  • While we don’t require those attending to be vaccinated, we strongly encourage it. 
  • Please stay home and care for yourself if you or anyone in your household (a) is feeling unwell, (b) has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, or (c) has been in close contact with anyone known to be infected with COVID-19. If you are not going to attend, please let us know so that another person can come.

Events During June
  • We will gather for two b’nei mitzvah: Doug Wiggins on June 5 (at 10:00 am) and Zack Hannula on June 26 (at 9:30 am). Both will be hybrid services, with just clergy and the family of our bar mitzvah celebrants present inside the synagogue. The rest of our congregation is warmly invited to join by Zoom.
  • On June 12, we will offer a hybrid Rosh Chodesh group at 7:30 pm, followed by a Havdalah service at 8:30 pm, both at Round Pond. Both will also be Zoomed. If you would like to light a Havdalah candle or smell spices, please bring your own materials to celebrate with; we won’t pass them around. 
  • Small study groups, such as Raising Jewish Children and Spirited Aging Together, will (at the discretion of the clergy/leaders) meet outdoors, in person, with either Zoom or Winer Auditorium as the backup in case of bad weather. BYOB: bring your own blanket (or chair)! 
  • On the afternoon of Saturday, June 19, we will have the opportunity to meet and say farewell to Rabbi Rachel in person, at Round Pond, at 1:00 pm (in lieu of Israel Chavurah).
  • Our choir will rehearse together outdoors on June 23, masked and distanced.

Finally, we know that many of you are thinking of the fall. Our goal is to be back in the building for hybrid High Holy Days services and in-person Religious School. But we also know that circumstances can change rapidly, and we need to be ready to adapt to new conditions and adjust our expectations—with patience and with strength, as we have already done so many times in these past fourteen months. 

Chazak chazak—may we go from strength to strength. We’re looking forward so much to seeing you in person!

President Loren Goldstein
Cantor Vera Broekhuysen
Rabbi Rachel Putterman
Executive Director Nancy LaFleur
Temple Emanu-El | www.TempleEmanu-El.org