Covid-19 Policy Update, August 2021
The value of preserving individual and communal health is prioritized by Jewish law and tradition. Decisions made to protect human life and well-being – known in Hebrew as pikuach nefesh (Hebrew: פקוח נפש ‘watching over a soul’) – are so weighty that they supersede nearly every other religious statute.
With that in mind, we bring you some updated plans for High Holy Day services, particularly with respect to the in-person components.
Due to the recent spike of Delta variant infections and the increase in hospitalizations of unvaccinated individuals, including children under the age of 12, the CBH Covid-19 Task Force revisited our current protocols. In addition, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) issued a resolution clarifying that every eligible and qualified member of our community is morally obliged to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. This resolution establishes that each one of us must do all we can to preserve the health of our synagogues, our cities, and our nation. It is in that vein that the following revised protocols have been established for this year’s High Holy Days services:
- In person services will be limited to 50% of building capacity. This means that partners will need to preregister for services via the CBH website.
- Because of space limitations, only partners will be permitted to attend in person services but can purchase ticket for vaccinated immediate family members over twelve who aren’t partners.
- Streaming services will be offered to all.
- All partners attending in person services, including those with honors, who are eligible to be vaccinated are expected to be vaccinated. This will be on the “honor system.” It follows that no one under the age of 12 will be allowed into the in-person services, except for the one Family Service on Erev Rosh Hashanah.
- In accordance with Yolo County mandates, masks will be required for all indoor services.
- In accordance with current CBH policy, masks will also be required outside while partners are on the CBH campus.
- We ask that partners (or pods of partners) attending in person services leave space between themselves and other partners. With a 50% capacity limit, this should not be difficult.
We will continue to actively monitor pandemic trends and science-based recommendations as they evolve. As updated guidance is available, we will be prepared to make appropriate changes that continue to prioritize your safety and our Jewish value of pikuach nefesh.
Mitchell Singer Elisabeth Dubin