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Covid-19 Response

Updated COVID-19 Guidelines 

We hope you are doing well and enjoying the fall. The MAC has continued to meet regularly and monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors to ensure the health and safety of our community. We have taken several factors into account when considering a change to our policies: 

  • There is a slow, but steadily improving picture for COVID-19 in Massachusetts 
  • Most COVID infections remain mild 
  • Many other local synagogues have adopted a mask-optional policy which was in effect during the haggim and it did not lead to community outbreak  
  • It would appear that we have entered an endemic phase of the virus 

 
Based on these factors, we have opted to shift our policies as outlined below. We will continue to evaluate the state of COVID-19 and adjust policies accordingly.  
 
WHAT IS CHANGING:The following changes will go into effect this coming Shabbat, October 29, 2022.  
 
Masks: We strongly encourage congregants and Temple Israel employees to wear a mask while in the building. However, we will now pivot to a mask-friendly environment. This means that masking will be a personal choice for each individual, including those involved in leading services.  
 
Services: We will now allow the Torah processional during the Torah service.  
 
WHAT IS STAYING THE SAME: 
 
Vaccination: We continue to encourage everyone to be vaccinated, including with the new bivalent vaccine. We do not require vaccination for entry into the building. If you are looking for a vaccination appointment, you can use the Massachusetts VaxFinder website.
 
Eating Indoors: We continue to allow eating indoors with Kiddush indoors. We will continue to provide outdoor seating for those who prefer to eat outdoors while the weather permits.  
 
Kitchen: If you are holding an event at the Temple, you will be allowed to use the kitchen to heat and prepare food. Please note that anyone in the kitchen must adhere to all kitchen kashrut policies.  
 
Religious School: We will continue to be a mask-friendly environment which means that masking will be a personal choice by the parent(s) for their child(ren). All religious school families have received separate communication from Dr. Ella Levy regarding COVID policies for positive cases and exposures. Families will continue to receive updates to these policies if changes are made.  
 
COVID Awareness: Given the extreme contagiousness of the current COVID variant, it is absolutely incumbent upon all of us to absent ourselves or family members from the Temple if there is any sign or symptom of infection, regardless of COVID rapid test results. If you are symptomatic and cannot join us in person, please consider joining us online. 
 
HERTZ NURSERY SCHOOL: 
 
Masks: We will continue to be a mask-friendly environment which means that masking will be a personal choice by the parent for their child(ren). 
 
Drop off/Pick Up: This can happen at the classroom door rather than the front door. If the parent or guardian designated for drop-off or pick-up has been exposed to COVID-19 or has symptoms, they are asked not to enter the building and rather to be in touch with Leisa Glass for special arrangements. 
 
COVID cases/exposures: All Hertz families have received separate communication from Leisa Glass regarding COVID policies for positive cases and exposures. Families will continue to receive updates to these policies if changes are made. 
 
Vaccination: We continue to encourage everyone to be vaccinated, including the new bivalent vaccine for those who are eligible. If you are looking for a vaccination appointment for your child, you can contact their pediatrician or use the Massachusetts VaxFinder website.
 
We are delighted you are joining us at Temple Israel and grateful for your understanding and cooperation. Please keep in mind that the best defense against COVID-19 is to be vaccinated and wear a mask as appropriate. We wish you and your family all the best and good health. 


L’shalom,
 
Medical Advisory Committee (MAC)                              Neil Aronson, President
Mark Popovsky, M.D., Chair                                          Karen Nahary, Executive Director           
Allie Hershey, NP, APRN
Rafi Kieval, M.D.
Ken Sperber, M.D.

Thu, December 1 2022 7 Kislev 5783