Dear TBO Community,
As we have all experienced over the last year and half, the COVID-19 virus is challenging us in a myriad of ways. Our COVID-19 Task Force, our Re-gathering Task Force and our Governing Board have been working hard to stay on top of new scientific and medical information about this virus and to identify ways that we could safely be together as a community. We have improved our technological capabilities and are offering virtual access to all of our services. We are pivoting to a multi-access approach to meeting the needs of our membership.
Most recently, the surge of the Delta variant, that can be spread from asymptomatic vaccinated people and can cause vaccinated and unvaccinated people to become sick, has warranted a re-evaluation our current precautions. Previously the TBO Governing Board approved protocols that, among other measures, included masking and social distancing for indoor in person gatherings, regardless of vaccination status. The protocol also included the directive to monitor the situation and update our strategy as necessary. This new information has prompted a reassessment of those precautions and the Board has approved a new set of protocols. Our new Combined COVID-19 Task Force, consisting of both the previously existing COVID-19 related task forces, met and developed updated recommendations. The Board reviewed those recommendations and approved new protocols consistent with those recommendations.
The approved updated protocols are as follows:
- We continue to encourage all who are eligible to be vaccinated to do so.
- We encourage everyone who is already vaccinated to follow recommendations from their healthcare provider and/or pharmacist regarding getting their booster shot.
- Everyone who is eligible for vaccination must be fully vaccinated to attend in person events, both indoors and outdoors. Those who are not yet eligible for vaccination (at this time, children under 12), are also welcome to attend in person. Those who are choosing not to be vaccinated and those who are not feeling well are welcome to participate virtually.
- All attending in-person services and activities will be required to properly wear an appropriate mask.
- All attending indoor in-person services and activities will be required to observe social distancing.
- Singing is allowed while masked.
- Eating together will only be allowed under very specific circumstances – outdoors with ample spacing to keep family pods adequately distanced (i.e. at Camp Kalsman).
- Our procedures include requiring advanced reservations to attend services and other in person events.
- At this time, we are limiting attendance in the sanctuary to 55 people to ensure that we can achieve social distancing.
- We will continue to use contact tracing protocols and have hand sanitizer readily available.
- We will continue to ask health-related self-attestation questions upon entry.
- Proof of vaccination will not be required at this time for members. However, all who are eligible for vaccination will be required to self identify as vaccinated, using the honor system.
- Members are encouraged to provide their vaccine status at templebethor.org/vaccine-reporting or to otherwise notify the office that they are vaccinated.
- Non-members will need to submit documentation proving that they are vaccinated, well in advance of the in-person activity.
- In-person services will be live streamed.
- We will continue to update our protocols based on recommendations and guidelines from federal, state, and local authorities.
In order to implement these new recommendations in time for High Holy Days we are asking that all who have not yet completed the self reporting vaccine status survey please do so. If you cannot use the survey link, contact the office to report your status. If you are eligible for vaccination and you do not self identify as vaccinated in advance, you will not be able to attend in-person services or activities.
Those who are pre-registered for in person activities who have chosen not to be vaccinated are asked to please join us online instead.
While nothing is 100%, we are striving to keep our community as safe as possible. We will be sure to clearly communicate the parameters of each activity and each individual or family can decide for themselves, based on their own situation and comfort levels, what services and events to join in-person. Given the new multi-access approach to our programming, all will be able to join us virtually, if in-person is not a good fit.
We appreciate the efforts of all those who are working hard to protect the community and to create opportunities to be together safely. We also greatly value the patience and cooperation of the congregation as we navigate this extremely trying situation.
If you have any questions about these protocols or their implementation, please contact Melanie Field or Rabbi Kort.
Rabbi Rachel Kort
Melanie Field, President