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COVID19 Policy

June 22, 2022

Middlesex County has now entered a low level of COVID infection.  As such, for  the general congregation masks can be considered optional.  For those who remain concerned about becoming infected, the data suggest that an N95-type mask provides the best personal protection. 

Shushan Purim - March 18, 2022 Chevre, We write this update to clarify our Shul's COVID19 protocols for this Shabbat and forward. We will continue to monitor the changing COVID-19 situation as we continue to transition to a more relaxed COVID-safety posture. If the larger COVID19 situations changes, our medical panel will surely guide us through any needed policy adjustments. Per our previous communications, and with the recommendation of our Shul’s COVID19 medical advisory panel, and in line with changing Newton municipal, Commonwealth, and Federal COVID19 safety policies, our minyanim will be mask-optional beginning this Shabbat.  We will continue to provide high quality masks for those who need them (available on table at front entrance). We will also continue to operate our venilation system which utilizes Merv13 filters and has an air exchange rate of approximately 8 exchanges per hour for the Sanctuary, Social Hall, and Atrium. Beginning on Pesach, weather permitting, we will hold a Shabbat and Yom Tov morning minyan in the Shul tent. We hope the positive trend will endure, and also plan on continuing to create multiple paths for people to opt-in to our davening and programming in ways that meet their Covid comfort-levels.  Families with Young Children Per the guidance of our medical panel, Children under age 5 are not required to mask at Shul when masking is optional. Families with members with different masking options and obligations face a difficult dilemma whether to all mask together, or allow for internal differences. There is also the added complexity for families that our community’s shuls and schools are rolling out various plans over different time frames. We respect each family’s decision regarding this dilemma and we should all recognize that different families may legitimately come up with different solutions.  Youth Groups In order to avoid the confusion of youth group leaders and children participants having different masking practices and to make young children and families feel as safe as possible, we will continue to have youth groups leaders mask during Shabbat morning youth groups, which will continue to take place masked in the Social Hall. As weather permits, we will create safe opportunities for Youth Group programming to take place outside as well. Resilience and Dealing with Trauma Throughout this pandemic, our driving principle for our Shul’s COVID-19 policies has always been our community’s wellbeing, both physical and psychological/emotional. This has been true when we made our protocols stricter, and this is also the case now as we aim to relax our protocols. We hope that we will all find resources of resilience to help us contend with the traumas, isolations, stresses, and anxieties of the past two years and the foreseeable near future of our shared global pandemic. People process trauma, isolation, stress, and anxiety in different ways. If this is a difficult challenge for you or your family, we encourage you to seek professional resources who can help maximize personal wellbeing.  Thank you for your partnership in our Kehillah Kedoshah. We are all in this together. Shushan Purim Sameach and Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels Alex Klibaner, President

Thu, September 21 2023 6 Tishrei 5784