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TEMPLE ALIYAH COVID-19 POLICIES

(Updated April 8, 2022)

As we look to maintain a vibrant community during the current health crisis, Temple Aliyah’s Reopening Committee has developed a number of protocols that balance our members’ desire to gather in person with the need to do so as safely as possible. This page contains a summary of Temple Aliyah’s current policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to update these policies – and this page – in response to changing conditions and evolving guidance from state and federal regulatory authorities.

General Building Policies

*For Celebration in Honor of Rabbi Perkins, May 14-15, 2022:

*Because of the number of people expected, masks (and advance submission of proof of vaccination and receipt of a booster in accordance with our existing policy) will be required at all indoor events, including Shabbat services, during Rabbi Perkins ‘ Celebration Weekend. If you have already submitted proof of vaccination and boosting, you do not have to submit it again.*

Anyone over the age of five entering Temple Aliyah must be fully vaccinated, must be free of symptoms of COVID-19, and must not have been advised to quarantine in the last five days. Please note the following:

Proof of Vaccination.  Photos or copies of vaccination cards showing receipt of one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines must be submitted in advance by mail, email, or in-person to Executive Director Melissa Rudman, melissa@templealiyah.com. (See below for our religious school policies with respect to vaccination.)

Additionally, after January 31, 2022, anyone entering Temple Aliyah who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster must have received a booster and provided proof of that in advance to the Temple Aliyah office. A person is eligible for a booster two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or six months after receiving the second of the two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. 

Please submit vaccine and booster information as soon as possible, so that your name will appear on our list. 

Mask UseEffective March 26, 2022, Temple Aliyah will be a mask-friendly environment. This means we will be accepting of people as they are, free of judgment, and without questioning their personal choice of wearing or not wearing a mask during Shabbat services, kiddush, daily minyan, or other gatherings in the building. We ask that anyone entering Temple Aliyah bring a mask with them to use depending on the circumstances. Acceptable masks are N95, KN95, KF94, or two- or three-ply surgical masks. We have a supply of extra masks if someone needs a mask.

Symptoms/Quarantine.  No one is permitted to enter Temple Aliyah if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been advised to quarantine in the prior five days. 

Religious Services    

All services (weekday and Shabbat) are offered in person and virtually via livestream and Zoom.  Adults and children over the age of five who are attending a service in person must be fully vaccinated; after January 31, 2022, must have received a booster if eligible; and must have provided proof of vaccination status to the office in advance.

Children under five may attend services under the supervision of their parent or guardian. Children over the age of two must remain masked.

While people will now have the option of not wearing a mask on the floor of the sanctuary, masks will continue to be required of everyone on the bimah.  We will continue to make an exception for Bar/t Mitzvah students, who will be allowed to read from the Torah, deliver a D’var Torah, and read the Haftarah unmasked provided they follow a strict testing protocol in the days prior to the service.  We will also make an exception for the Rabbi and Cantor when they are alone at the reading table for the purpose of leading our davening or delivering the D'var Torah. (Clergy regularly participate in our pooled staff COVID testing each week.)

Funerals may be held indoors. Anyone attending a funeral in person may provide proof of vaccination at the door before entering if they have not provided proof of vaccination to the office in advance. Seating at funerals will be arranged to permit people to sit socially distanced from others if they wish. 

Meetings/Events

Meetings and events may take place in person at Temple Aliyah.  Anyone attending such a meeting or event indoors must be fully vaccinated; after January 31, 2022, must have received a booster if eligible; and must have provided proof of vaccination status to the office in advance. We encourage groups to hold events outdoors when weather permits. Indoor events will be scheduled for rooms that are large enough to permit social distancing.

Event organizers are encouraged to advise congregants about the number of people expected at the event and the size of the room to be used, so that congregants may have the information needed to make their own COVID-related decisions about whether to participate in person. When an event is planned for a smaller room, the event organizer should coordinate with Executive Director Melissa Rudman so that portable air filtration equipment may be supplied to that smaller room.

Food

Food may be served at kiddush after Shabbat morning service and at other events.

Mercaz Aliyah

Mercaz Aliyah began a mask-friendly policy on March 21, 2022. The overwhelming majority of our Mercaz Aliyah students are fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible. Consistent with the public schools, students (in discussion with their parents) and teachers may decide whether to wear a mask during Mercaz Aliyah.

Effective September 2022, all children in the Temple Aliyah religious school must be fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible, in order to attend Mercaz Aliyah.

Positive Tests

Any adult who tests positive for COVID-19 may return to Temple Aliyah ten days after onset of their symptoms, or ten days after receiving the positive test result if asymptomatic. Any child in Mercaz Aliyah or Gan Aliyah who tests positive for COVID-19 must remain home for five days and may then return to Mercaz Aliyah or Gan Aliyah, provided they are able to remain masked at all times. Otherwise, they should remain home for ten days. 

For quarantining after a close contact with someone with COVID-19, please see the guidelines from the CDC and from the Mass. Dept. of Early Education and Care.  

Physical Plant

We continue to provide hand sanitizer throughout the building and have instituted a frequent cleaning regimen, particularly for high-touch surfaces. We have multiple portable air filters for use in smaller spaces.

Further Guidance 

Anyone planning a Temple Aliyah event, including Bar/t Mitzvah families, should contact Melissa Rudman or the Reopening Committee with questions about the event that relate to our COVID-19 policies.

Tuesday, May 24 2022 23 Iyyar 5782