Reopening the Doors of Temple Beth Or – Update

Dear Congregation,

We want to let you know what work is being done to move us towards having services in-person.  We appreciate your continued patience and flexibility as we navigate COVID-19 together. Most of you have made the switch to virtual programming smoothly. For some, including me, this process has had a steep learning curve and perhaps involved some frustrations, reluctance or resistance. Regardless of your comfort level with Zoom, most of us are itching to get back to having in-person activities and services.

Your safety and well-being remain our top priority and we will continue to make decisions based on facts and science. Our COVID-19 Task Force, Reopening Task Force, and Governing Board all agreed to use value-based decision making and to prioritize the values of pikuach nefesh (the sanctity of life), inclusiveness, and equity. These values continue to inform our COVID-19 related decisions.

The COVID-19 Task Force has been busy tracking the continuously changing recommendations and guidelines from federal, state, and local authorities and the emerging science and understanding of this virus. The Reopening Task Force has been busy translating those recommendations into practical, implementable, and enforceable protocols. The Governing Board has been busy processing this information into an action plan that will keep us all safe and keep the community together.

As a first step in regathering the Governing Board has approved the following initial plan:

  • We will continue to encourage all who are eligible to be vaccinated to do so.
  • The congregation will begin to regather for in-person services with masking and social distancing required.
  • Our procedures will include requiring reservations to attend services and limiting attendance in the sanctuary at this time to 55 to ensure that we can achieve social distancing.
  • We will continue to use contact tracing protocols and have hand sanitizer readily available.
  • We will be asking health related self-attestation questions upon entry.
  • In-person Board Greeters will undergo additional training prior to our beginning this in-person regathering.
  • Our goal is for all services held in the sanctuary to also be live streamed.
  • Proof of vaccination will not be required at this time.
  • We will continue to update our protocols based on recommendations and guidelines from federal, state and local authorities.

This has been challenging work but we feel confident that our plan will keep our diverse community safe and connected.  We appreciate everyone’s passions about these issues. It shows that we care about the health and safety of our members, and we value and want to preserve our community.

We are doing our best to lead our community down the road to a safe and joyful reopening. While we are in a great hurry to regather, we are limited by several factors such as negotiating with song leaders, getting our tech in place, and figuring out the systems needed to support our safety protocols.

Please plan to join us on Zoom at the June 13 Membership Meeting for updated information on this topic.  Your continued patience and support is greatly appreciated.

Wishing all a safe and healthy summer,
On behalf of the Board,
Melanie Field, President