Our goal is to create an environment for in personal worship and gatherings in the safest, most inclusive fashion. We anticipate iterations of these guidelines as we learn from the experience of in-person gathering during this transition, and as we become comfortable being together again. So much depends on where our community and the world is at as we open up, and as we have learned we must be ready to pivot and adjust as needed.
- Sign-up and Attestation: Everyone who enters the building must complete sign up ahead of time and answer the questions on the sign up genius. We encourage people to sign up at least several days in advance so that we can confirm and secure appropriate participation. It is so important that we can all pray together.
- Walk Ins: Walkins will be accommodated as long as there is capacity. Everyone will be required to complete the attestation upon entry to the building if they have not signed it on the sign up genius.
- Vaccination Requirement for those 16 and older: Bet Torah is requiring all individuals age 16 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter the building. This is for the safety of all, and for allowing us to meet and congregate in a meaningful way. It is strongly recommended, but not mandatory, that those aged 12-15 also be vaccinated.
In order to accommodate those who for various reasons will not yet participate in person, we will continue to offer a way to experience the in-person services virtually.
- Masks, Seating and Social Distancing: Masks are required for all throughout the building. Children who are less than 16 and not vaccinated, will need to be masked and seated with their families 12 feet from others. Vaccinated leaders will be unmasked with certain protocols. Families that live in one household will sit together. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and sit with that adult. Households can sit together and the sanctuary is marked accordingly. Please look to the guidance of ushers for seating.
- Capacity: In-person attendance for services and minyans will be based on a sign up genius, which will be available for one month dates at a time. Every attempt will be made to accommodate everyone, but capacity will be limited and will be assessed throughout the summer. As we evaluate how this works, we anticipate getting back to greater capacity. Preference will be given to attendees who have a yahrzeit, birthday, or have not attended in the previous two weeks. 50% of the seating capacity will be given to a life cycle event, and 50% to the general congregation. Mourners who have not reached Shloshim will be given priority.
- Eating and Drinking: There is no eating or drinking in the building at this time. We encourage you to step outside of the building if you need to drink or eat.
- Health and Safety: The following have been implemented as a minimum standard for the health of any individual who enters the building. Touch-free hand sanitizers are available prior to entering the sanctuary. Restrooms are available with a maximum of two people at a time. Automatic soap, water and paper towel dispensers have been installed. The main sanctuary HVAC system has been enhanced with MERV-13 filters. There are two commercial grade HEPA filters in the main sanctuary and social halls
Additional Guidelines for Services
- Entering and Exiting:
For Minyan: please ENTER and EXIT at the Sanctuary Entrance. Please save the parking spaces by the Sanctuary entrance for those who need additional assistance.
For Shabbat Services: please ENTER at the Main Entrance and EXIT through the Sanctuary Entrance. We are happy to make accommodations for those needing additional assistance.
- Crowd Control and Gathering: When you enter the building you will be met by a greeter who will check your name on the list. Groups in the hallways, and other areas of the synagogue will be discouraged during this initial period, but an outdoor area will be available for socializing.
- Check in and Seating: An Usher will greet you to sign in. For Minyan, walk-ins will be asked to complete the attestation in writing. On Shabbat, Ushers will check in walk-ins by referencing a membership list and walk-ins will verbally complete the attestation questions. An additional Usher will seat you upon entry into the Sanctuary.
- Kippot, Tallit and Prayer Books: You may bring your own Kippah, Tallis and prayer book if you wish. These items will still be provided by Bet Torah and will be available in a “clean area” (unused for greater than 24 hours) for use, and returned to an “unclean area” and remained unused for greater than 24 hours.
- Handling of the Torah: We now know that surfaces are not the primary mode of transmission of Covid 19. Gabbais will be assigned as usual, but will maintain 6 feet distance, closer only when necessary for handling of the Torah, for short intervals. All readers of Aliyah and Torah will be asked to use hand sanitizer before and after readings. The Yad may be shared but readers can feel free to bring their own if more comfortable. Readers will be allowed to unmask if vaccinated, unvaccinated readers will maintain 6 feet distanced from everyone. At this time there will be no Torah procession.