Dear RCOS Members,

We wanted to review with you the measures we are undertaking and requirements we are establishing to allow us to resume in-person services while keeping attendees as safe as possible. First and most importantly, for those who are in high-risk categories or for any reason do not think it is yet safe or appropriate to resume in-person attendance at services, we fully understand and want to assure you that we will continue to stream all Shabbat services on YouTube.  They will continue to be simple Shabbat evening services without Torah reading.

For the High Holidays, the electronic presentation of services will be our highest priority this year.  We have locked down the services of a “Producer” to help the electronic presentation of services as smooth and professional, as possible.  We are exploring the capabilities of our technology to allow people to participate via Zoom in addition to YouTube, so we can, at least, be “looking at each other” during our services.  In addition, we are hoping to create some small group experiences that will allow us to see, talk, and discuss these challenging times.  

  1. All proper cleaning and sanitation guidelines that have been set by the State and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will be followed.  We have purchased equipment and disinfectant that is used in many public spaces.  The sanctuary, bathrooms, and public areas will be sanitized with a disinfectant mist, with some surfaces also cleaned manually prior to and after every service. If you have any questions about cleaning and disinfecting the building, please let us know.  
  2. We are limiting services to no more than twenty (20) people per service, following the most recent State and CDC guidelines.  This number may be changed in future based on any updated information and guidance we receive from the State and the CDC.  
  3. Service attendance will be by reservation only!  This allows us to plan seating and keep numbers within established guidelines. For Shabbat, we will send an e-mail on Monday evening with a link to register, or you may call the synagogue office on Tuesday to register for that week’s service.  Arrangements for High Holiday reservations are still under consideration.
  4. You must wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times.  If a medical condition prevents you from wearing a mask, we ask that you do not attend services, at this time.  Anywhere on synagogue property, you must wear a mask and maintain proper social distancing of at least six feet.  You may sit only with other members of your immediate household.
  5. You may read Hebrew and congregational portions of the English, but we ask you not to sing in order to avoid the further spread of droplets even through masks.
  6. We request you keep restroom trips to a minimum because we are unable to clean after every use.  Children should be encouraged to go no more than once a service and children under ten must be accompanied by an adult to ensure that proper sanitation and social distancing is observed traveling to, from, and in the restroom.
  7. For Shabbat, we will use two sets of prayer books.  Each set will only be used once every two weeks and handed out by an usher with a mask and gloves.
  8. We will welcome members inside the building on Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rosh HaShanah morning, Kol Nidrei, and Yom Kippur morning.  The Shofar service on Rosh HaShanah will be a series of special “Drive-In” services in the parking lot.  This will allow many more people to participate and hear the shofar blown in person.  We will repeat this service to accommodate as many of our members as possible.  Yom Kippur afternoon and Concluding service will be also be drive in experiences.  The Yizkor/Memorial service will only be available via Zoom and YouTube.
  9. High Holiday Prayerbooks can be accessed in a number of ways.
    1. A free virtual flip book is available online: (https://www.ccarnet.org/publications/hhd/)
    2. You may purchase e-book versions of the text for use on tablets and readers for $9.99 via the same website.  Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur e-books are purchased separately.
    3. We will be lending out a supply of High Holiday prayerbooks limited to two sets per family.  You will be asked to complete a deposit form providing either a credit card number or check for $50.00 per set.  Your check and/or form will be returned when the books are returned.  More information about book lending will be forthcoming.
    4. You may purchase a set of books for $50.00
  10.  During the week between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur we will be making the sanctuary available for individuals or households to visit.  Appointments will be required and available from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm.
  11.  Sukkot and Simchat Torah services will be drive-in style services.
  12.  There will be no onegs held until further notice.

Please be aware that if attendees do not follow the above guidelines or the State or Federal governments issue new restrictions, we will discontinue in-person services. 

We will continue to monitor all State and CDC guidance and assess how in-person services are working.  Requirements will be modified, as appropriate, and communicated to the congregation.

As much as we value being together as a community, even-more-so do we value the preservation of life.  As a community, we must work together to keep ourselves and our fellow members from harm.

L’Shalom,

Brian I. Michelson, Rabbi and Nic Cohen, President