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COVID-19 Update -- Important Guidance

06/25/2020 04:58:31 PM


3 Tammuz 5780
June 25, 2020

Dear Friends, 
Thank you so much for your understanding and patience as we navigate the ever-changing “new normal” and its impact on our in-person minyanim and other gatherings. As we now look back on over two weeks of renewed outdoor minyanim and youth gatherings, we are proud to report that everything has been going smoothly, safely and consistently! We again thank everyone for their support, participation, and partnership in ensuring we can safely return to communal prayer!

As the circumstances continue to change and we adapt our guidelines to new information, we recognize that it is sometimes hard to keep up with the latest information. To help with this, we have put together all of our guidelines, updates and signup links on a single page:  -- available to you whenever convenient. Also, as new information or guidelines change, we will be sure to share them with you via email and post them to this site.

That vein, we would like to share some updates with you today:

● Sign Up -- We continue to ask for advanced sign up for minyanim to ensure we can accommodate everyone safely. Please be sure to sign up for each minyan you would like to attend. You can sign up here (click here). If there is a problem or you have a question, please feel free to reach out to Rabbi Brander. 
● New Time for Weekday Mincha Maariv -- We are reverting back to davening weekday Mincha & Maariv at shikya (sunset) – this means Mincha Maariv will be at 8:15 PM this coming week (6/28)
● Older Children – Initially we restricted our in-person minyanim to only individuals above bar or bat mitzvah, however, at this point, we are able to allow older children below bar or bat mitzvah to attend in-person minyanim provided they can abide by our minyan guidelines (wearing a mask, staying in the designated area, no access to bathrooms, etc.) and are accompanied by an adult.
● Out of Town Visitors – Initially, our guidance restricted any out of town visitor from participating in our in-person minyanim, at present, we are allowing out of town visitors on a case by case basis – please instruct any guests wishing to join our minyan to contact Dr. Steven Luger for permission. Additionally, we will, of course, be abiding by Governor Lamont’s Executive Order requiring those coming from certain states and locations to quarantine for 14 days which certainly includes refraining from coming to in-person minyanim.
● Mechitza-- While there is no need for a formal mechitza in our current set up (see the Halakhic ruling of Rabbi Hershel Schachter here), the ritual committee will be constructing a partial partition for Shabbat davening in response to some requests for such a setup.
● Livestreaming Services – We continue to livestream all in person (non-Shabbat/Yom Tov) minyanim in our Zoom room. Individuals on Zoom can respond full to brachot, Kaddish and kedusha and hear all parts of davening; however, Kaddish can not be set unless present at the minyan.
● Davening Outside – While some synagogues across the country may be having services inside at this point, medical professionals agree that being outdoors is the safest option. What’s more, given current regulations and our desire to maximize physical distances, we can accommodate more people davening outdoors. That said, in recognition of the heat and other environmental discomforts (and to further minimize health risks associated being with larger groups for an extended period of time), we will continue to be shortening services as much as possible without cutting out anything essential and in accordance with the guidance of Rabbi Brander. For instance, we are asking people to daven pseukei d’zimra at home. We are skipping optional parts of davening like mishebeirachs and Yedid Nefesh as well as using “heichi kedusha” (everyone including the chazan saying the Amidah together) at times. Our goal is to keep weekday minyanim (Shacharit and Mincha/Maariv) to 25 minutes and Shabbat morning minyan to no more than 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Thank you again for your participation, support and partnership.

Young Israel COVID-19 Taskforce
Sun, May 16 2021 5 Sivan 5781