The big heart and innovation that are SFS have been on full display in our response to COVID. We were among the first synagogues in the area to pause in-person services and events, and to provide virtual alternatives through both Zoom and Facebook Live. We put together a Task Force of lay leaders, clergy, doctors and lawyers that created and continuously updated our protocols.
On May 13 of this year the CDC, followed by NY State, issued guidelines that caused us to take a fresh look at our protocols and procedures. Now we’re facing the Delta variant and the evolving guidance that accompanies it. We have been gratified that we built a solid foundation upon which we could revise our approach, rather than start from scratch.
As we continue to hold in-person services and activities, whether they are held indoors or outdoors, they will all have these primary objectives:
- Provide a smooth transition back to in-person gatherings as vaccination rates increase
- Recognize that there may be individuals within our congregation who are not vaccinated or who still feel vulnerable to COVID even if they have been vaccinated
- Provide virtual options, when feasible, to accommodate those who cannot attend events in person
- Follow NY State Department of Health and CDC guidelines
Whenever reasonable, the clergy and lay leadership will be allowed maximum discretion in implementing these objectives, while recognizing that circumstances can change day-to-day. The result is that different events may follow different protocols to reflect who will be attending and the judgment of the planners. For each event we will communicate the protocols you will be asked to follow.
As of this article’s publication date, services and events are open to pre-registered members of our community who are fully vaccinated. We are requiring congregants to mask when indoors regardless of vaccination status. We are serving food only outdoors.
To read more about our response to COVID, visit our FAQ page.