As of August 18th, we have made the following announcement to our congregation:
Good evening, friends:
Like all of you, we are following closely the news of the Delta variant and its spread among those both vaccinated and unvaccinated. We are aware of the variant infecting children and teens in increasing numbers, many of whom have not yet had the opportunity to receive the vaccine. These tragic circumstances have compelled us to reevaluate our reopening plans.
Following extensive consultation with medical experts, we have made the difficult decision not to hold indoor in-person services during the High Holy Days this year. We continue to prioritize keeping our community safe through this public health crisis and note the following:
- Even with many members planning to participate virtually, these High Holy Day services draw large intergenerational crowds for extended periods, making safe distancing nearly impossible.
- These services involve a great deal of singing by cantors, soloists, choirs, and congregants, as well as shofar blowing, all shown to amplify the spread of the virus.
We respectfully request your patience as we continue to meet as a leadership team, consult with our medical advisers, and determine the specific logistics required for this transition. We will be in touch early next week to detail the updated schedule of services, as well as an organized plan for members to pick up prayer books for use at home. As always, we will continue to assess public health guidance relative to all of our programs, religious services, life cycle events, and learning opportunities. These details will be shared in forthcoming emails, on our website, and in a letter that will be mailed to the congregation in the coming week.
We are deeply saddened by this turn of events, but are with you in spirit always, and look forward to gathering together as one Temple community when it is safe to do so—oh, how sweet it will be!
Rabbi Jonathan Cohen