As the High Holidays approach, we want you to know that KI has been working hard for months to plan programs and operations that will be as Covid-19 safe as possible. We are providing you with many resources to help you understand the relevant issues, remain safe, and keep others safe while attending on-site events. These may be found at the top right of this page on desktop view, and below on mobile devices (if held vertically).
Our 384 Campus Covid-19 Safety Committee, advised by our Medical Advisory Committee, has implemented guidelines and protocols addressing everything necessary including physical plant (ventilation, restroom, stairway, elevator, room capacity, cleaning protocols, etc.), ritual objects (prayer books, torahs, kippot, tallitot, etc.), and guidelines for attendee conduct and behavior.
Given the wide variety of groups on our campus, we believe we have chosen an approach which is conservative (some may say overly strict), but enables sufficient interaction to provide meaningful encounters and programming on site.
The Campus will follow all Massachusetts State laws relevant to COVID-19 and is taking many additional measures to minimize the risk of spread to be extremely low, but cannot guarantee that spread will not occur. However, if we as a community follow these guidelines, our Medical and Covid-19 Safety Committees believe the risk of transmission to be incredibly small. Every event will have an event coordinator who has the responsibility to assure rules are followed and has the authority to implement changes, restrictions, cancellations, etc. as the event safety dictates.
Our plan is to start with strict distance, time, capacity, and other safety requirements. We will gradually and slowly increase our in-person events as we gain experience how to do so safely. We will keep monitoring what is happening in greater society and scale back on event numbers, duration, frequency, and increase restrictions if dictated by increased societal virus.
We are well aware that, even as we work hard on preparing for safe on-campus activities, many will simply not feel comfortable in public gatherings, therefore, we remain strongly committed to robust virtual programming that has been so valuable to all of us for these many months.
Just as we have a responsibility to support the needs of those who cannot attend, we also have a responsibility to each other to follow these guidelines for the safety of others who do attend. This includes behaving in a way which helps others feel safe, whether or not we believe we might play a role in COVID -19 transmission. These behaviors include pre-registration for events, no socializing before or after events, and agreeing we can give your contact information to the state if requested for purposes of contact tracing if necessary. In addition, we will not attend in-person if we feel unwell, been in close contact with an unwell person, or if we have recently traveled to/from a state that is NOT on the list of lower-risk states as defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order.
We are providing you with many resources to help you understand the relevant issues, remain safe and keep others safe while attending on-site events.
The most important points we want you to know regarding on-site participation are found in Attendance Eligibility and Attendance Instruction.
If you have further interest in the ideas which informed the guidelines, these may be found in our Decision Making Premises documents.
Our guidelines also request you do not attend any events if you traveled across the Massachusetts border and not followed the regulations set by the Governor’s travel order. We recognize this order is complicated and controversial. A summary may be found in the Mass Travel Order Summary.
If you are interested in volunteering to be an on-site safety coordinator for any specific event or for events in general, please review the Role of the Event Safety Coordinator document and notify the synagogue office. If you have further questions about this or wish further training before volunteering, email Bruce Weinstock or call 617-818-7976. And on Thursday, September 17 from 7:30PM-9:00PM, KI warmly invites you to a webinar on COVID-19 and congregational safety, hosted by Bruce. Join us via Zoom here.
Additional answers to questions you may have can be found in our FAQ About Resuming In-Person Activities
One additional point regarding children:
There will be limited children’s programming, at least for the initial phase of the building’s re-opening, with pre-registration required. Children will not be allowed inside the building, and we require that children not attend any of the indoor programming until further notice.
We are distraught about the prospect of excluding many members, including our children and any seniors or other members who may feel uncomfortable with on site events in the early stages of this resumption of in-person activity process. This is clearly at odds with our vision of a multi-generational Campus community. We will continue to re-evaluate this approach as the resumption process continues.
We wish you all a safe and sweet and healthy new year.