September 10, 2021
4 Tishri 5782
The Tikvat Israel COVID-19 Task Force met last week (as we have been doing periodically) to discuss the recent Delta variant news and the community numbers, and to fine-tune our High Holiday, Fall Festival and Shabbat health and safety measures.
Some changes were made to increase distancing from a potentially unmasked Torah reader:
- The Gabbaim will stand at music stands distanced from the shulchan (reader table) and reader.
- Those with an Aliyah will stand and say the blessings from a music stand that is distanced from the shulchan (though they may approach the Torah to touch the starting and ending words).
- Those with an Aliyah should sit down after their closing blessing and not stay up for the following reading.
We also decided to increase our general rules for Sukkot and upcoming Shabbatot:
- We will follow the same Torah reading and Aliyah changes as above.
- (New) We will require vaccination for those who are eligible.
- We will not require registration.
- We will expect people to stay home if they are not feeling well.
Services on Shabbat morning, Saturday, September 11, will be in the Social Hall, with pods of chairs.
- Services will return to the Sanctuary on Shabbat morning, September 18. We will continue with the pods in the back of the sanctuary (where people can choose to distance). We will not be converting the pews to specific pods; however, people can choose to distance themselves.
To reduce unmasked interactions outdoors, we are implementing the following (for at least the next month):
- We will move our small kiddushim from the back patio to the front patio to gently encourage people to stay for only a short time after services.
- Kiddush foods will be able to be taken "to go."
- We recommend distancing or wearing masks when having conversations outdoors. Each measure you take makes you safer and reduces risk for all.
- We are going to pause having communal sit-down meals, including those in the Sukkah, until further notice.
Note: We require vaccination for all synagogue employees and contractors.
As always, please call me if you have any questions about our policies.
Stay safe and healthy this new year.