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Covid-19 Response

Welcome Back Home—Temple Israel Re-opening & Covid Policies

Our plan for services, in response to feedback we have received from many of you – and subject, of course, to advice from our Medical Advisory Committee – is to move forward with both in-person and Zoom options. We want to hear your thoughts, particularly your plans for the upcoming High Holy Days. Please take 2 minutes to complete this survey

Phase One:  Now - July 7

  • Shabbat services are in person. Kabbalat Shabbat begins at 6:15 on Friday evenings, Shabbat morning starts at 9am, and mincha is at 5pm. While Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning will also be streamed online, only those in the building will be counted for minyan at all Shabbat services.
  • Saturday night ma’ariv and Havdallah will be only on Zoom. 
  • Sunday morning minyan is held in person, in Founders Hall, at 9am, and will be streamed. Only those in the building will be counted for minyan
  • The decision to hold services outside will vary week to week. Depending on the weather and the health concerns of our service leaders and Torah readers, all or a portion of our services will be inside the sanctuary.

Phase TwoJuly 8-30

  • Evening minyan will meet in person and be streamed; only those at the synagogue will be counted toward a minyan)
  • Monday and Thursday morning minyan, with Torah reading, will take place in Founders Hall and be streamed. Only those at the synagogue will be counted toward a minyan. 
  • Shabbat mincha (and ma’ariv and havdalah) will be held in Founders Hall. Check the calendar for each week’s timing. 

Phase Three: Beginning August 1

  • All services are in-person. Only those in the synagogue will be counted for minyan, although all services (except Shabbat mincha) will also be streamed. 

All who feel comfortable attending services in person, please join us at Temple Israel! We are so excited to be able to see one another in person. We plan to continue offering services virtually for those who prefer it. Our High Holy Day plan assumes that many of you will not be ready to return to the building. Please take a moment to share your plans, to help us better understand our community’s needs so that we may offer the best experience for all, whether you are in the building or on Zoom. 


COVID POLICIES for Temple Israel, effective June 1, 2021

In accordance with current Massachusetts and CDC guidance, and in response to the state’s high vaccination rate and low number of COVID cases, the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) has provided updated guidance for Temple Israel this summer. This new guidance seeks to protect our older congregants and respect the sensibilities of our community by implementing a “slower return to normal” than what is allowed (e.g., some social distancing indoors; no communal eating).

We encourage all who are eligible to please consider getting vaccinated to help us ensure the protection, health and safety of all of our community members. To be considered fully vaccinated, you have received all required shots per the vaccine manufacturer and are 14 days past when the last shot was administered. 

We will not ask members to show proof of vaccination. In using an honor system, we hope all take to heart the health, safety and wellbeing of our community members. For some who are fully vaccinated, masks and social distancing remain a personal choice and we support that. Hand sanitizing stations will remain in place and their frequent use is encouraged.

Over time, we expect to reduce the requirements further. Please reach out to the MAC members, clergy or Temple Israel staff with any questions or concerns. 

Outdoor Activities:

  1. No pre-registration required.
  2. No capacity limits. 
  3. Masking: Unvaccinated individuals are ENCOURAGED to wear masks when outside if they cannot maintain distance from others. Masks and social distancing remain a personal choice for those who are fully vaccinated and are encouraged.
  4. Social Distancing: No requirement; chairs may be next to one another.
  5. Food: Pre-packaged, individual servings.


Indoor Activities:

  1. No pre-registration required.
  2. No capacity limits, but will be dictated by social distancing requirements (#4)
  3. Masking: OPTIONAL for fully vaccinated persons but REQUIRED for everyone else. Masks and social distancing remain a personal choice for those who are fully vaccinated and are encouraged.
  4. Social Distancing: 3 feet or 1 row between each pod. 
  5. Air flow: Doors to outside will be open during services / programs.
  6. Service Duration: No limit.
  7. Bimah participants: Gabbi and aliyot may be next to the reader (with masks covering the nose and mouth if not vaccinated).
  8. Kissing the Torah on bimah: Allowed.
  9. Processional: Not yet.
  10. Food: Pre-packaged, individual servings. Must be eaten outside.
Thu, July 29 2021 20 Av 5781