Would you like to come to Shabbat services right outside our synagogue building?
Cantor Caplan here. Good news first. Then the Reality Check.
Good news: Starting this Friday night, July 31, we’ll start an experiment.
Up to 18 CAI members will be able to come pray together — with me — on Friday night and Shabbat day, in the Courtyard right outside our Library/Beit Midrash. That’s where our Men’s Club puts the Sukkah each fall.
Anyone not in the Courtyard can “click in” to be part of those services on-screen via Zoom, the way we’ve been doing since May. Those in the Courtyard and those on Zoom will daven together, at the same time.
This experiment has been planned by CAI’s Re-Opening Task Force, headed by our president, Gayle Wieseneck.
I’ll be leading the parts of the service that contain an Amida. Other parts may be led either by Zoom Daveners or Courtyard Daveners.
But first, a Reality Check: Does this sound enticing? Maybe...consider the following, if you’re thinking of signing up:
- We’ll be outside. August weather. It’ll be HOT.
- You’ll need to wear a face mask at all times, and use hand sanitizer upon arrival.
- You’ll need to bring your own chair, mask, water, Head Covering, Siddur, and Tallit.
- An umbrella for shade (or rain!) is recommended. And a sun hat. And sunscreen.
- We’re working on getting a canopy in the Courtyard, but it may not be ready by July 31.
- On Shabbat morning, we’ll be able to use the restrooms inside the synagogue building, one person at a time.
- In the Courtyard, for safety, we’ll all need to stay six feet apart at all times (except, basically, if you live together in the same home). There will be X’s marked on the ground. You’ll need to stay on your X.
- Because of this: No children under Bar/Bat Mitzvah age, please.
- Of course, if you’re at added risk for COVID-19 for any reason — health, age, whatever — please join us on Zoom, but not in the Courtyard.
- Same if you’ve traveled recently to any of the 31 states which have experienced a spike in the number of COVID cases (*see below).
And, of course, to come to the Courtyard, you’ll need to acknowledge that: You are not suspected of having or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 30 days; that no one in your home is suspected to have or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 30 days; that in the last 14 days, you have not come into contact with anyone suspected to have or who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who has recently traveled abroad; that you yourself have not recently traveled abroad; and that you are not currently experiencing any of the following: cough, sore throat, fever, body aches, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea.
As I said: Reality Check...
But if you’d like, please register! You’ll need to register in advance to be admitted.
P.S. Courtyard Davening is also available on weekdays. Questions? Ask me.
Cantor Joel Caplan
973.226.3600 ext. 116
*As of July 26, if you have traveled to any of the following states, you need to self-quarantine for two weeks upon returning to New Jersey: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.