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Important Update -- Phase 2 -- Outdoor Minyan this Shabbat and Full Schedule for Weekdays

06/11/2020 06:00:48 PM


18 Sivan 5780
June 10, 2020

Dear Friends, 
Over the past week, we have had three remarkable Minch-Maariv minyanim -- both spiritually uplifting and comporting with the critical guidelines for our health and safety. We would like to thank everyone who helped plan and participated. 
We continue to be encouraged by the downward trend of COVID-19 cases in our area and by the wonderful progress being made thanks to our incredible medical professionals and first responders and thanks to all of us doing our part to maintain physical distancing, wear masks and promote good COVID-19 Hygiene. 
Based on the results of the past week’s in-person minyanim and the continuing stabilizing COVID-19 situation, our COVID-19 Taskforce has green-lighted the next steps of our slow resumption of in-person minyan schedule.
Again, we preface these steps with these two critical reminders:
  • With the daily new cases across our state still in the hundreds, it is critical that we continue to maintain all the essential practices of physically distancing, wearing a mask in settings where that is not possible to maintain proper distancing, and taking all other important precautions to safeguard our collective communal health from COVID-19. Our deliberate and carefully planned resumption of in-person minyanim should NOT diminish in any way the importance of continuing stringently with these practices.
  • At no point should anyone feel obligated, pressured, or otherwise compelled to join our minyan or any other minyan during this time. We all need to be the best judges of what is right and appropriate for ourselves and our families. These protocols are designed to allow someone to attend our outdoor minyanim, but certainly does not obligate anyone to. As we have done, we will continue to provide virtual ways to stay connected to communal prayer even when we meet in person. 
That said, we excited to take these following next steps:

(1) Resuming a full Weekday Mincha-Maariv Schedule – Beginning Sunday, June 14, we will be meeting every afternoon (Sunday-Thursday). This upcoming week, minyan will be at 6:40 PM.  

(2) Restarting our Weekday Shacharit Schedule. Beginning Friday, June 12, we will be having minyan each morning. The minyan will meet at 7 AM (M-F) and 8:15 AM (Sundays). Please see below for davening guidelines.  

(3) Restarting of Shabbat Morning Minyan. Beginning this Shabbat, we will be having Shabbat morning minyan at 9 AM. Please see below for protocols and davening guidelines. This minyan will still be limited to 35 people. 
Each of these minyanim will REQUIRE advanced signup, will be held in an abridged manner (see below) and will be run in accordance with the guidelines laid out below. Of course, also, they will all be outside and weather dependent. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and adherence to our outdoor minyan guidelines. Should the current medical reality shift, God forbid, or these protocols below not be followed, our minyanim will be put on hold again immediately.  
Please review this information and the guidelines below before signing up:
Davening Outline and Procedures
(1) Shabbat Morning Minyan
  • Shabbat morning will begin at 9 am with Yishtabach. We will proceed with minimal singing through the course of davening. Taking out and handling of the Torah will be done only by the baal koreh as well as hagbah and gelilah. The baal koreh will receive all 7 aliyot; there is no maftir and will read the haftorah followed by the half-kaddish. There will be no mishberach or alike. 
  • Shul chairs will be provided and set out in advance at designated spots. Siddurim (and Chumashim, if available) must be brought from home.
  • Bringing water is encouraged for those who need due to possible heat. Water must come in bottles with screw off lids and without straws or straw-like drinking units. 
  • There will be NO access to the building including bathrooms.
  • This minyan will be limited to 35 slots for sign up. If there is excess demand, additional opportunities will be explored for the coming weeks. 
(2) Weekday Shacharit Minyan
  • Shacharit will start at Yishtabach. Tefillin can be put on at home in advance or after reciting Yishtabach prior to the minyan beginning in the shul parking lot.
  • Like Mincha-Maariv, no shul chairs will be available. 
  • Like Mincha-Maariv, these minyanim will still be limited to 15 people.
We will also be live-streaming the outdoor in-person minyanim on Zoom for anyone who cannot attend. (Halakhically, whether in person, on Zoom, or alone, it is best to time one’s  davening to coincide with when the tzibbur (community) is davening). On days where we will not be having a minyan at the shul and for minyanim which we are not yet convening in person, we will be continuing our virtual Zoom davening at their scheduled times.
General Minyan Guidelines: (PLEASE REVIEW)
The Minyan Space – The Young Israel Parking Lot 
  1. All minyanim will be conducted outdoors. In the event of inclement weather, the minyan will be canceled.
  2. Our outdoor minyan space will allow for spacing of 12ft between each participant. (see diagram below)
  3. The outdoor minyan space will be arranged in advance to ensure proper physical distancing – attendees must obey minyan guidelines and remain in their preset spots and sections.
  4. Please park head in only - do not back into your spot.
  5. As you pull into the lot, please fill in each space in order (spot 1 first, then spot 2, etc.).
  6. The two exceptions to the rule above are parking spot 6 and spots reserved for women who sign up. Because of its central location, spot 6 will be reserved for the shliach tzibur. The shliach tzibur will be determined in advance of minyan and should park at that spot irrespective of when he arrives relative to the other participants. 
  7. Each participant will stand at the rear of his/her car. These locations are referred to by the numbers on the map below next to the cars and in the lower part of the diagram. Please remain situated on the number (marked in chalk on the surface of the parking lot) in back of each car throughout davening. Please avoid walking around or pacing from the moment you exit your car until minyan is over. This will ensure that physical distancing guidelines are maintained.
  8. Anyone arriving not by car (ie. by bike or walking), will be directed to a spot by the person in charge of the minyan just like anyone coming by car.
  9. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide chairs, siddurim or other items. (On Shabbat chairs will be provided). Every attendee will need to bring their own.
  10. There will be no access to the interior of the building (including bathrooms) before, after or during minyan.  
General Safety
  1. Our minyanim will have a limited number of spots. Priority will be given to members of our Young Israel.
  2. Anyone who wants to join one of our minyanim must sign up online in advance. No one may be allowed to join a minyan if they have not signed up. (Please see below for eligibility)
  3. Participants must wear masks throughout davening, from the moment they exit their cars until they return to their cars to leave the premises and for the duration they are on the Young Israel Property. Masks must cover both the mouth and nose.
  4. Minyan will start promptly and end promptly – attendees may not socialize before or after (or during!) minyan. After minyan, everyone must return directly to their cars and depart.
  5. It is imperative that all participants be punctual. There will be no margin for error on anyone arriving late, and minyanim will immediately disband if there is no quorum.
  6. To ensure our communal safety, once communal guidelines are established -- anyone who attends a minyan anywhere must be organized under the auspices and supervision of one of the undersigned synagogues. No private minyanim will be allowed. One who attends such a minyan will be barred from attending minyanim at the Young Israel for safety concerns.
  7. Should one become ill or diagnosed with COVID-19, obviously s/he should cease coming to minyan and must immediately notify Rabbi Brander, Les Loew or Dr. Steven Luger. This information will remain anonymous but will be used to alert other minyan attendees of a potential COVID-19 positive contact. 
  1. Davening will be done in a respectful, yet brief way, with an eye to keeping the minyan as short as possible. Unfortunately, at this point, there will be no communal singing.
  2. Additionally, guidelines for each minyan we resume will be shared in advance, detailing what parts should be said at home prior or after the minyan.
● To attend our outdoor minyan, one must:
  1. NOT be symptomatic as described by the CDC. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to: Cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fever/chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell or feeling unwell.
  2. NOT have had COVID-19 while not yet being cleared by their doctor to leave home.
  3. NOT have a family member at home for whom #1 or #2 is true for. 
  4. NOT be an outside visitor to our community.
  5. NOT have traveled on a commercial airliner in the last 14 days.
  6. Be above bar or bat mitzvah age.
  7. Priority will be given to Young Israel members.
  8. Maintain proper COVID-19 Hygiene outside of minyan (physical distancing, masks in areas where that is not possible, etc).
  ● Furthermore, to attend any of our outdoor minyanim:
  1. Anyone attending must sign up online in advance for each minyan they wish to attend.
  2. Members of the same household must sign up individually in advance as well (except for Shabbat minyan see above).
  3. Anyone attending a minyan must be able and willing to comply with the guidelines enumerated in this document
  4. One must not attend any unauthorized minyan around town or minyan that does not maintain the communal standards which, God willing, will be released in the near future.  
● Individuals considered high-risk due to their medical history or age should consult with their physician as to whether it is prudent for them to attend services.
Once you have thoroughly read the protocols above and if you can submit to following them when attending minyan, we invite you to sign up for upcoming minyanim using this link:

We would like again to express our gratitude to our entire COVID-19 Taskforce, Dr. Carolyn Ganeles, Dr. Steven Luger, Dr. Tali Porat and Marc Rifkin, for their guidance, insights, and planning. We also appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation in this matter as we try to resume a critical function of our shul -- tefillah b’tzibbur (communal prayer) -- and ensure we do so without jeopardizing our collective health or safety and with as minimal and limited risk as possible.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Additionally, we will be making time on our Shabbat On Wednesday program this week to discuss and answer any outstanding questions about these guidelines.


Rabbi Tuvia Brander
Les Loew, Coordinator
Shayne Green Kesler, Coordinator-Designate
Young Israel COVID-19 Taskforce


Minyan Configuration Diagram

Sun, May 16 2021 5 Sivan 5781