Hybrid Shabbat Morning Service Discussion
Dear Fellow Members of Kol Shalom,

I am happy to report that planning is underway to re-open our building! We are planning on having our first hybrid in-person and virtual Shabbat morning service on Saturday, May 22nd. Deb and Gil have investigated what other synagogues in the area are doing. Additionally, we have consulted with Danny Douek to better understand the impact of the vaccines and the amount of protection they confer and have come up with what we believe are reasonable restrictions and recommendations given our demographic of membership. 

Based on several discussions, we have identified the following criteria for in-person in our initial plans:
1.   We will be limiting in person access to people who are two weeks past their “second jab” (for 2-shot regimens) and are therefore considered fully vaccinated. People who wish to attend services must provide proof of vaccination by sending a photo of their card to Samantha who will keep a record. (You may send that now, and it will be protected information.)
2.      Only fully vaccinated people who have submitted that proof of vaccination or brought their card with them will be allowed to enter the building. Others who have not provided it previously or do not have it on them will be turned away.
3.      All service leaders including Torah and Haftarah readers will be in-person, from the bimah. They will have already confirmed that they are fully vaccinated and willing to participate in person.
4.      Per CDC regulations, when in the company of ONLY fully vaccinated people, neither masks nor social distancing are required. Therefore, we are not requiring it, but if someone wishes to wear a mask or socially distance, of course, that is fine.
5.      Except among family members who already cohabitate, there will be no handshaking, kissing or hugging between congregation members.
6.      There will be no food/drink for Kiddush as an additional food hygiene precaution.

Beyond this, we are fine-tuning some of the other logistics of the service.
In order to provide as much information as possible about our plans, we are scheduling a Zoom session available to all our members on Sunday, May 2nd at 11 am to give congregants time to consider their options and assess their personal risks before we go live after Shavuot.

Unfortunately, I will be on a plane returning from England at the time, so Rabbi Steinlauf will elaborate on our plans.  Danny Douek will also be on the Zoom session to be able to share critical information to our members who are considering their options and assessing personal risks. Danny will be available to answer questions but due to his government position is limited in his ability to offer recommendations. We want people to make their own decisions but with correct and most recent information. 

I hope you will be able to join us on May 2nd at 11 am for this informative opportunity to learn about our plans and ask questions.

Ilana Bar-Levav, President