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236 Kane Street / Brooklyn, NY 11231 / 718 875-1550

Provisional Plan for Re-opening of In-Person Shabbat Services

The following is the Provisional Plan for returning to in-person Shabbat morning services on a limited basis.
For the time being, the Provisional Plan will apply only to those who are at least two weeks beyond their second (Pfizer or Moderna) or single dose (Johnson & Johnson) vaccination, while we continue to develop plans for those who are not yet fully vaccinated. Please note that the Plan is dependent on information about vaccination rates, COVID-19 variants, and changes in infection rates as New York City reopens, as well as guidance from the CDC and state and local government, and may be subject to change. The first in-person service is anticipated to be May 15, 2021).

Safety Protocols

Services under the Provisional Plan will follow current New York State guidelines as follows:

  • Services will be held in the Community Room, with the HEPA filter running and, weather permitting, open windows and doors;
  • Services will be lay led for now, as Rabbi Sam and Cantor Sarah will be conducting Zoom services for B’nei Mitzvah families through June;
  • Services will be limited to a strict maximum of two hours;
  • Every attendee must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times (extra masks will be available);
  • Attendees not from the same household must remain at least 6 feet apart; and congregants should remain at or next to their seats as much as possible;
  • Attendees must follow marked paths for entry and exit;
  • Only the service leader may be unmasked; the amud will be 12 feet from nearest attendee;
  • Microphones will be available for Torah readers and service leaders, and disinfecting wipes will be available;
  • Gabbaim also must maintain 6 feet of distance from the Torah readers and others; aliyot honorees may stand but must remain by their seats;
  • Congregants must sing and say spoken prayers softly;
  • Congregants will be encouraged to bring their own Siddurim, Chumashim, Tallitot and Kippot; for those concerned about sharing of physical objects, gloves will be provided;
  • Those waiting to use a restroom must maintain 6 feet of distance from others;
  • Drinking and eating will not be permitted inside the premises;
  • Those wishing to visit with anyone who is not part of their household must do so outside the premises;
  • Everyone is respectfully asked to follow these protocols, ensure that others follow them, and accede to reminders from others to follow them.

At each service, there will be at least one member serving as an usher to remind congregants who are not observing safety protocols. Our adherence is essential to our ability to continue in-person services, which we plan to begin on May 15.

If you would like to volunteer to serve as an usher at these services, please volunteer at or contact [email protected].

Sign-Up Procedure & Attendance Determination

The exact capacity of the Community Room is being ascertained, and it is expected that initial access to these services will be very limited. Accordingly, the Reopening Task Force has outlined a proposed procedure for determining attendance as follows:

  • A link to the registration form will be sent at the beginning of each week, with a short deadline for responding;
  • The registration form will require representation that each attendee is at least two weeks beyond full vaccination (see above);
  • The registration form will limit the number of attendees, but priority will be given according to factors to be determined (for example, to someone observing a yahrzeit, or with other ritual needs);
  • A waitlist will be in operation in case of cancellations prior to Shabbat;
  • Registrants who receive notice of a seat assignment must return confirmation of the statements in the Health Screening no more than 24 hours before the service in question; an email requesting such a representation will be sent on Friday morning;
  • The Door Usher will have a seat assignment list to ensure that each attendee has registered and affirmed all pertinent declarations (vaccination as stated above), waiver of liability, and health screening);
  • Attendees then will be directed to their seats by the Service Usher.

Please be patient if you experience any unanticipated wrinkles in the reopening process.

Our heartfelt thanks to the COVID Advisory Group and the Reopening Task Force for the time and effort they have expended over the past months in bringing this plan to fruition. The COVID Advisory Group will continue to meet and to reassess State and City guidelines over the coming months.

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