The Path to Reopening
Over the past 14 months, we have learned in a new way what it means to be interconnected. We saw how a tiny virus could quickly spread across the world and turn our lives – and way of living – upside down. We also felt the power of the community we have built. We showed up for one another differently, found that we could still connect—meaningfully and miraculously—through Zoom and phone calls and distanced ‘hellos’.
But we have looked eagerly to the day when we could safely be together, hearing each other’s voices blend, feeling the energy, celebrating and grieving, laughing, crying, and dancing together once again.
With tremendous gratitude, that time has arrived. We are excited to announce that Tifereth Israel will resume limited in-person, indoor Shabbat and holiday services beginning this Friday night, May 7th. We will also continue broadcasting our services via Zoom throughout this time.
As we navigate this time of transition, we recognize that we may be moving slower than some would want and faster than others are ready for. Our gatherings will not yet look as they once did or as they will one day again, once all restrictions are lifted. This process will require patience and generosity of spirit from all of us. We know also that each person and family is making the decisions that feel right for them. We will continue to update you as changes are made.
What will this transition look like?
On Friday evening, May 7th we will gather in the sanctuary with up to 75 people, distanced and masked in household pods. This number will change as time goes on and we learn how to safely and effectively create sacred space for in-person services.
We will only make services available to adults (16+) who are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after their last vaccine) and their children, as well as those medically unable to vaccinate. For those who are not vaccinated (including children), we require a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Reservations will be required
The sanctuary will be set up to make sure that those in person are safe and comfortable, and those at home are spiritually fulfilled and engaged by the virtual offering. There will be a screen, a camera, and more wires than in the past.
Minyan has already been meeting in the sanctuary with masks and social distancing.
Tifereth Israel groups can now gather together outside. If everyone in the group is vaccinated, no masks or social distancing are required. We will keep the groups small for now.
How do I sign up to attend minyan, Shabbat, and holiday services in-person?
Receiving a vaccine—for those eligible and medically able—is the single most important thing one can do to engage in pikuah nefesh, the imperative to save a life. We have all seen this past year as the number of COVID cases and deaths rose and fell based on the actions and decisions of individuals. We believe that there is a Jewish and moral imperative for all who are able to get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible—for your own sake, and for the sake of the broader community.
We are appreciative of our Medical Committee for the countless hours and measured discussions they devoted in thinking through these next steps. If you have concerns or questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, we encourage you to speak with one of the medical professionals in our community.
We cannot wait to see you!
Rabbi Josh Dorsch
David Ogul, President
Alissa Messian, Executive Director