Dear Etz Chaim Member,
The COVID-19 era has upended our lives in many different ways. There doesn't seem to be an area of society that has been unaffected by this virus. Congregational life is not an exception to this reality. As you are aware, our beloved shul closed in March for nearly two months. We started a deliberate and phased reopening in May with outdoor minyanim in the parking lot. The Minyanim transitioned to the building the first week of June with strict protocols developed by the dedicated shul COVID taskforce. The task force meets weekly and carefully evaluates public health officials' data and, together with Rabbinic guidance, issues necessary modifications to the shul protocols.
With the High Holidays just eight weeks away, we are already in serious planning mode for these auspicious days. We recognize that the Yamim Noraim will look very different this year due to the times we live in. As of this time, there will NOT be any youth or kids programs over the High Holidays. Nonetheless, we are committed to providing the best platform for communal prayer under these trying circumstances. We recognize that everyone has different comfort levels regarding precautionary measures. We are working on developing alternative options to the standard indoor minyan in the sanctuary in that spirit. We are exploring the possibility of having an additional outdoor minyan on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in a tent with fans. Additionally, we are developing a plan to have a special Shofar service on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.
We are most eager to hear your feedback on this important matter with the attached survey. Please fill out the survey by Wednesday, July 29.
As we prepare for the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, we continue to pray that G-d grants us life, good health, and redemption.
Etz Chaim Synagogue