We hope this finds you well and that you are able to maintain health and sanity in these challenging times. We write to give you an update on our approach to COVID-19 at Temple Emunah.
Since we closed our physical building to communal activities in March, our Temple Emunah community has strived to navigate this complex experience with patience, flexibility, and creativity, even in the face of difficulty and adversity. The coming months will require that we continue to be well-prepared to adapt to a quickly evolving situation. We remain committed to navigating uncertainties as a community with humility, transparency, authenticity, compassion, and kavod (respect).
As we hope you have seen, our rabbis, staff, and volunteers have been very busy building creative programming that is COVID-safe. Participation over Zoom has been vibrant, and we are proud of our community for finding ways to learn, pray, socialize, support each other, work for social change, and celebrate our milestones together during this time.
With the lessening of restrictions from the Commonwealth and the addition of new research about the virus, we are turning our attention towards possible additions to the types of activities we can safely offer.
The Temple Emunah Board of Directors has authorized two ad-hoc committees to set guidelines for our community and to plan for the high holy days. The members of the committees are:
COVID-19 Emunah Health Safety Committee
Rabbi Kling Perkins
COVID-19 High Holiday Planning Committee
Rabbi Kling Perkins
As of now, we have decided to continue to refrain from any events or gatherings inside our building through the end of July. The responsibility should someone get sick is more than we are willing to bear.
In consultation with our ad-hoc COVID-19 Emunah Health Safety Committee, we will now offer b’nei mitzvah families the option to use the sanctuary as their Zoom “home.” Families who choose to do this will have to adhere to restrictions on their numbers and activity. We are happy that in this time of “opening” this change will allow families to add the significance of the sanctuary and sifrei Torah to their joy.
Further, we will be scheduling some outdoor programming for small groups, including for our youth community, with restrictions (social distancing, fixed seating, no eating or drinking, wearing masks, and more). Those who hope to attend will have to attest that they are free of symptoms and risky exposures. Rules will be communicated to all who hope to attend each event and we will keep attendance lists to assist with contact tracing.
You should also know that discussions about the High Holy Days have also begun. The committee has already met five times and will continue its work throughout the summer. There are many moving targets, but it is likely that services will be over Zoom, with the possibility of some in-person elements. Be assured that we will work very hard to create a service that is meaningful, joyous, communal and reflective of all that is good about Emunah.
There will be more to come on all of this and we appreciate all your support and efforts to keep our community together and strong in these extraordinary times