June 19, 2020

Dear Friends,

The CBS Re-Entry Task Force has now met for the third time and has set a schedule for regular weekly meetings as we work on a plan for reopening Congregation Beth Shalom.

The Re-Entry Task Force is chaired by Steve Shepard.
The Task Force members are:
Rabbi David Weizman
Rabbi Danielle Upbin
Karen Tashman, Executive Director
Caren Evans, President
Michael Igel, Legal consultant
Dr. Eric Steckler, Medical Statistics and Public Health consultant
Elian Bar-Av
Wendy Lenett
Elisa Hirschfield

Rabbi David Weizman, Karen Tashman, and Caren Evans will continue to present reports of meetings and recommendations from the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly, the North American Association of Synagogue Executives, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, respectively. These invaluable sources of information help guide our discussions and process.

Each of the Task Force members bring essential information and input to our work. The Task Force members participate in webinars and conferences to better understand the challenges and potential solutions to opening up the synagogue. We each are in contact with other synagogues to hear how they are moving forward and to learn from one another. Our priority is to plan the reopening of activities at CBS with all the necessary steps to keep us all safe.  

We are all in this together. Clear and consistent communication is very important. Keeping the CBS community informed is a key element of this work.

An “On the Road to Reopening” email will be sent out each week updating you on progress and next steps. We ask that you send your suggestions, concerns, questions, and ideas about this process to us by email at ReEntryTaskForce@cbsclearwater.org   . Although we will not be responding to individual emails, we will read and discuss every email received.

At this time, we do not have a specific date for reopening the synagogue for services and we are not sure what our High Holy Day services will look like.   However, the Task Force has put together an action plan to bring our office staff back to the building beginning Monday, July 6, 2020. Telephones will be answered onsite and congregant needs will continue to be met. Please understand that it will still be necessary to keep social distancing and safety precautions in place. If you need to come to the building for any reason, meet with someone in the office, pick up supplies for a project, etc. you must have a pre-scheduled appointment and masks will be required for all. More information on this next step will be sent out by July 2nd.

Going forward, we will closely monitor local and national developments, and will adjust our plans as necessary as we continue on the Road to Reopening.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.

Steve Shepard
CBS Re-Entry Task Force Chairperson