Dear RCOS Members & Friends,
As you know the COVID-19 situation is always changing. A little over a week ago, I shared some new guidelines that had been adopted by the Board of Trustees that would have allowed us to re-start Onegs and provided for greater community participation in services.
With the sharp increase to over one thousand new cases a day, the Reopening Committee has been forced to make some tough decisions and updated recommendations. They are:
1) Services will continue to be offered in-person and streamed. Those who choose to attend in person will continue to be required to wear a mask at all times. We are asking people from different households to sit with some distance between them. In addition, RCOS will have a supply of KN-95 masks available, since these have been the most effective against the spread of the Omicron variant.
2) We are going to suspend re-starting Onegs after the service until, at least, the middle of February. The Reopening Committee will continue to meet regularly to make decisions for the coming months.
3) We have delayed the re-start of Sunday School for the remainder of January. We felt that with students representing more than seven school districts that this was a prudent decision. We decided not to go virtual due to student Zoom fatigue. Students are still having one-on-one Hebrew lessons either in-person or virtually at parents’ discretion.
4) We are canceling all large in-person group activities for January and the committee will revisit this decision going forward at its next meeting.
I understand many people’s frustration with what may be seen as a step backward and I hope we will be able to gather safely as a community very soon. However, as a Jewish community, we know that the obligation to keep our community and the broader community safe belongs to every one of us.
Brian I. Michelson
Brian I. Michelson, Rabbi