To our Beloved Beth Jacob Community,
Perhaps the only thing as precious to us as our weekly gathering on Shabbat for prayer, study and simply being together is our gathering for the Yamim Nora’im each fall in order to share in the joy of the New Year and enact our personal and communal teshuvah in a shared space.
This year more than ever we wanted to be able to gather safely as a community in our sanctuary for tefilot during the chagim. It has become increasingly obvious that in response to the Delta variant, we needed to come up with a new plan for how to safely provide opportunities for prayer, study and connecting with each other during the chagim.
In consultation with public health professionals, clergy, the reopening committee, and a variety of staff and volunteers, we have developed the following plan for the High Holidays.
Proof of vaccination will be required for everyone over the age of 12 to enter the building (see Vaccinations section below for special exceptions and how to submit proof in advance). If you do not show proof of vaccination, you will not be permitted inside the building.
- All daytime services, including the family services, will be held outside under a tent on our lawn (weather permitting).
- An indoor livestream viewing of the daytime services will be available in the sanctuary, with social distancing seating available in the social hall
- Babysitting will be located in the house on our grounds with as much outdoor time as possible.
- Children’s programming will be held entirely outdoors and canceled in case of inclement weather.
Masks will be required for everyone inside the shul and outside under the tents (but those outside who would like a break from mask-wearing can step outside the tent to do so).
- Portable bathroom facilities will be available outside, in addition to the indoor bathrooms in the shul and in the house.
SERVICES: Weather permitting, it is our intention to have ALL daytime services outside on the Beth Jacob lawn. We are renting large tents to protect us from the elements. Although we will be outside, there will be a monitor in the sanctuary for those who wish to participate indoors. In case of severe weather, services will be moved indoors to the sanctuary. Again, proof of vaccination is required to enter the building for any reason.
KOL NIDRE: On Wednesday evening, September 15, we will hold Kol Nidre services inside the shul for those with proof of vaccination. We will offer the livestream for all others.
LIVE STREAM: As has been the case throughout the pandemic, Beth Jacob services will be available via livestream at Beth-Jacob.org/YouTube. We understand this is a decision we each need to make for the safety of our families; if you are unable to attend in person, please know how much we will miss your presence at shul. If you would like to borrow a Machzor, please sign up for one at Beth-Jacob.org/machzor.
VACCINATIONS: In addition to requiring vaccinations for everyone age 12 and older, we are now going to require PROOF of COVID-19 vaccination for anyone eligible who would like to enter the building for any reason. Proof will consist of your vaccination card, which we ask you to scan/photograph and send to us at Beth-Jacob.org/Vax. The deadline to complete this form is Thursday September 2nd at 11:00pm. There will be no exceptions to this deadline for Rosh Hashanah services; after this you will need to bring your card with you.
We will compile a list of all those who have submitted proof of vaccine documentation. Those on the list and those presenting documentation in person will be allowed in the building. If you do not have proof of vaccination, you will not be permitted inside the building. If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, please contact Interim Executive Director, Geoff Marshall, at 651-452-2226 ext. 21 or email email@example.com.
CHILDREN: All children’s programming, including the family service, will be held outside. Children 12 and older must be vaccinated and need to show proof of vaccination to enter the shul building for any reason. Unvaccinated children under age 12 may attend programming for their age group or they may sit with their families in the social distancing section of the services. Children over age 3 will need to wear masks during family services and programming whenever social distancing is not possible.
BABYSITTING: Babysitting will be in a new location this year—the house on our grounds! Weather permitting, we plan to use the backyard for joyous play. The house has a bathroom that children may use, and we will have a changing station, toys, snacks and loving caregivers for our youngest members. In the event of rain, babysitting will be in the Beth Jacob nursery.
SOCIAL DISTANCING: Our services will have social distancing seating areas. Additionally, we will have social distancing stickers that people may choose to wear, just so others are reminded to keep their distance and keep each other safe. Please remember the socially distant hug or the “Covid Elbow bump” and let us greet each other accordingly.
MASKS: As always, we have masks available for your use. Masks will be required for everyone age 3 and over attending services indoors and outdoors under the tent. Children will be required to be masked indoors, under the tent, and in any other situation where social distancing is not possible.
BATHROOMS: We will have 3 options for bathroom use throughout the chagim. If you are vaccinated, you are welcome to use the bathrooms in the building. Please do observe social distancing and wait in line in the hallway. Children may use the indoor bathrooms or the bathroom in the house. Again, everyone must wear masks when indoors. For those of you who prefer to NOT be indoors at all, we will have portable facilities set up behind the shul building.
We appreciate your understanding as we create the best options for our community and navigate this continually changing situation. It is our great hope that these provisions will allow the congregation to experience the joy of the season as much as possible, while keeping our community as safe as possible. May 5782 bring an end to this global health crisis, a joyous return to our precious community, and endless gratitude for our blessings.
Rabbi Adam Rubin, Ph.D.
Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Morris J. Allen Chair in Rabbinics
Rabbi Tamar Magill-Grimm
Neil Moses-Zirkes & Robert Goffman