Guidelines for Reopening TABI
Our lives have been changed dramatically in the past year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We will get back together again at TABI– hopefully soon – but things will have to change. The way forward will not be a matter of following a timetable, but of faithfully discerning the signs of the times, and responding accordingly. “Pikuach Nefesh” – saving lives – is always held above all else in our tradition.
We will face difficult choices between our religious needs and communal desires and what is safe and sound. We also know that if we push the envelope too far and reopen our building and resume gathering prematurely, we may unfairly force on our more vulnerable members the choice between keeping themselves and others safe and participating in congregational life.
We have been consulting with local and state officials and following closely the guidelines of our Reform Movement to help us come up with a plan for resuming our spiritual life at TABI. This is not at the exclusion of our increased online presence. We will continue our Streaming and ZOOM meetings and opportunities for people to connect – especially if they are not yet comfortable coming back into the building. We appreciate your flexibility, patience, and support as we move through the reopen phases.
We pray for a spirit of discernment, for wisdom, and patience. We pray for researchers and medical professionals; for the planners; for the ill and recovering; for those grieving and struggling with the weightiness of these times. May the memories of those lost to COVID-19 live on for a blessing.
- We will continue holding online worship services via LiveStream Fridays and Saturdays.
- We will continue recording in the sanctuary, while maintaining at least 6 ft of space between the rabbi and the musicians.
- The 1st and 3rd Friday Evening services (beginning 4/2/2021) will be held outside in front of the building. All members welcome – masking and distancing required.
- Beginning 4/3/2021, TABI members who are fully vaccinated (both shots and 2 weeks since last shot) may start coming back to in person worship on Saturday mornings wearing masks and continuing to distance.
- Saturday Morning Services will take place in the Sanctuary with no more than 25 people spread out to allow for social distancing. We will need to limit volunteer participation and handling of ritual objects and the like. Therefore:
- There will be no Torah procession
- Only the Rabbi will handle the Torah, dress and undress the Torah and open the ark.
- Musicians will need to play their own instruments and maintain Social distance when playing.
- Tuesday Minyan can begin to meet at TABI for those who are fully vaccinated while continuing via ZOOM for those who are remotely participating. Masks and distancing will need to be in effect.
- Life Cycle Ceremonies (weddings, funerals) should be kept to less than 25 in attendance. If you need to help set a limit, consider using immediate family.
- Religious School may begin to meet back at TABI with all wearing masks and observing social distancing.
- We will keep office functions as limited as possible to ensure essential operations. Barbie will continue to work 2 days from home.
- Those coming into the office will need to wear masks.
- Masks will be available by the front door for those that don’t have one coming in.
- We will keep a “check in” sheet at the front door.
- The Check in spreadsheet will have a column for vaccine verification. Please either bring your vaccine card with you or email a photo of your card or the vaccine certification from the Indiana Department of Health.
- Each member coming to services will need to have a signed “waiver” on file.
- Security will be present once members are allowed back into TABI.
- Wearing face masks while at TABI is required, as is recommended in public spaces. (Double masking or wearing N95 masks is preferred)
- Distancing: Chairs will be set in such a way that only 25 people are in attendance and they are spread out 6 feet apart. “Family Seating” areas will be available.
- There can be no Oneg on Friday or Kiddush on Saturday during this time. We should encourage people to leave the building rather than mingling.
- Life rituals (weddings, funerals, confirmations) could take place in a more traditional way, with careful attention to guest lists so as to keep under the 25 person limit, and physical distancing plans. No receptions can take place at TABI during this time.
- The use of nametags will be discontinued until further notice.
- General Building Practices
- Post signs indicating symptoms and urging people to stay home/seek medical attention if they have symptoms.
- Maintain a good stock of tissue, soap, hand sanitizer and disposable paper towels for drying hands.
- Leave all doors open (office, rest room, social hall, etc.)
- Maintain a small waste basket at each restroom door to allow opening the door with a paper towel when exiting and then disposing of the towel.
- Clean the building regularly and between user groups, paying extra attention to high-touch surfaces.
- If we become aware of someone in the Synagogue or a building user who is infected with COVID-19, we need to put a communication plan into action, and cooperate fully with contact tracers.
High Holy Days
We are very hopeful that we will have in person services this year for the holidays. We do not know yet what the layout, seating capacity or regulations will be. More information will follow over the summer.