´╗┐Dear Hill Havurah Members,

I hope that this finds you well and looking forward to resuming summer activities with friends and family.

Thank you for your enthusiastic response (almost half of our membership!) to the reopening survey. The high level of participation provided the guidance we needed to make decisions on how to gather again in-person. Below are some of the survey highlights followed by an update on decisions that have been made about reopening.  

All survey respondents reported that they are fully vaccinated, and the majority of them said they primarily rely on Federal/CDC guidance and DC guidance to inform their personal risk decisions. From there, the survey results broke down as follows:

Indoor events

About half of the respondents would attend an indoor event this summer if masks were required for either everyone or for the unvaccinated. 

Almost half said that capacity restrictions at an indoor event would impact their decision to attend. 

Nearly 40% said that their decision to attend in-person events would be affected by unvaccinated people in their household. 

Few would attend an indoor event with no restrictions. 

Outdoor events

More than half of respondents would attend an outdoor event this summer with no restrictions. That number grows to 75% if masks were required for the unvaccinated.

High Holidays

Half of respondents said they would attend if everyone were masked and capacity restrictions were in place. That percentage drops to one third if capacity restrictions were removed.
One quarter said they would attend the live-stream only.

One quarter would attend in-person with no restrictions.

New Reopening Decisions

For Tot Shabbat, which is currently held in-person, outdoors (on Zoom if there's inclement weather), we will no longer require masks. Instead, we will request that unvaccinated people wear masks. Tot Shabbat will remain our only in-person event until Rabbi Hannah's return from parental leave in mid-August.

This year, the High Holidays will be hybrid services. We hope to add a large screen in the Reformation sanctuary so that those not present who recorded honors will be visible to all. Based on survey results, it is likely we will have some capacity restrictions. This may require registration for services, which has not been our practice in the past. We will wait to make this decision until later in the summer.

We will also wait until later this summer to make a final decision on the mask requirement for in-person attendees. Rabbi Hannah, Michael Allen, and Jenna Shaw (our rabbinic intern) will be unmasked, but there may be a mask requirement for attendees and/or those who go up to the Bimah.  

This past year we had to remove food and drinks from our events to keep our community safe. At this time we do not plan festive meals as we have had in the past. Instead, we are exploring limited prepackaged snacks and drinks for outdoor events and High Holidays services.  

This is a lot of information for gatherings taking place weeks and months from now, so we will be sure to include it when we announce future events. Also, as circumstances continue to evolve, sometimes quite unpredictably and quickly, initial decisions may change; we appreciate your continued patience and understanding.

Thank you again for participating in the survey. Have a great summer!

Marlene Singer 
Chair of the Hill Havurah Board
Hill Havurah is an independent, Jewish community based on Capitol Hill and serving people from across the Washington metropolitan area. We have a mission to meet and anticipate the spiritual, educational, religious, cultural and life cycle needs of a growing and evolving Jewish community. Hill Havurah's many activities support our members' interests in advancing Jewish culture, identity, education and a commitment to community service. A warm, inclusive and informal spirit is part of what has made Hill Havurah so special for more than a decade.
Contact Information:
Email: info@HillHavurah.org
Address: 212 East Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-729-3515

Rabbi Hannah Spiro, Rabbi

Alan Shusterman, Executive Director

Melissa Werbow, Education Director

Laura Vitiello, Gan Shalom Director

Danny Tomares, Operations and Program Assistant