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COVID-19 Policy

Nov. 9, 2021


As the Fall weather turns colder, and our Shul tent comes down before the first snows, we will be transitioning all of our Shabbat morning services and in-person programs indoors. Kiddush will continue to take place outside. While COVID19 transmission in Middelsex county still presents a "high" risk level (10-24 cases per 100k), the positivity rate in Newton is roughly half of that (1-9 cases per 100k), and thus "Moderate." With vaccination available now to children (5-11) as well as adults & new therapies to reduce severe illness, we hope we will be able to transition, at least locally, from pandemic mode to endemic Covid19 management.  

New Policies & Protocols
For now, effective November 9, 2021, in light of the changing COVID19 situation, our new Shul policies are as follows:

Shaarei Indoors

  • Masks properly fitted over the nose and mouth are REQUIRED for ALL participants, adults and children (age 2 and older).
  • Participants should practice social distancing (3 feet+).
  • "Performers" - i.e., speakers and ba'alei tefillah, while "performing" may unmask provided that they are vaccinated and asymptomatic and distanced 6 feet+ (Unvaccinated individuals or individuals unwilling to affirm vaccination would require pre-Shabbat testing to unmask). Ba'alei Keriyah will need to continue to mask to accommodate aliyot.

Shaarei Outdoors

  • For outdoor minyanim, masks are required during aliyot, and recommended when proximate to others. Participants should practice social distancing (3 feet+).
  • We are sensitive to people having different comfort levels so we will be offering Kiddush with a variety of options. We plan to have multiple tables around the tent. We ask that people stay masked when getting food from a table and not eat/drink at the Kiddush table. We plan to designate one table for "vaccinated adults only" and also have a family-friendly table. 

Unchanged both indoors and outdoors:

  • Singing in a normal speaking volume is permitted.
  • No need for single-use bathrooms.
  • No surface-contact restrictions. 

Thank you for partnering with us in our endeavor to be a kehillah kedoshah - a values-driven sacred community. Together, as a community, we will safely and meaningfully continue our mission of Torah, Tefillah and Chesed with gracious and generous communal spirit!

Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels
Alex Klibaner, President


The City of Newton has an indoor mask mandate for indoor public spaces. Click here to read it.

3 Recommendations from Newton’s Health and Human Services Department 

Recommendation #1If you are not yet vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. If you need assistance getting a vaccine, please go to to locate one. If you have questions and concerns regarding the vaccine, please contact your medical provider or call Newton’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) at 617-796-1420. 

Recommendation #2:If you feel unwell, you should stay at home. While this is always good practice, it is critically important during this pandemic to limit the spread of the virus. 

Recommendation #3We strongly encourage anyone experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 to isolate from others as soon as possible and get tested for COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status. You can find nearby testing locations at Common symptoms of COVID-19 include: Fever, chills or shaking chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, body aches, new loss of sense of taste or smell. The following site provides more information about testing including what to do if your test is positive:

Sat, November 27 2021 23 Kislev 5782