Over the past nine months, I have had the privilege to serve on our TBE Strategic Reopening Committee. This committee is dedicated to guiding TBE through the COVID pandemic. Our committee is comprised of board members, clergy, physicians, nurses, local community elected officials, non-medical professional members, and TBE administrative staff.
We have been meeting weekly since April to advise TBE on how to implement state recommendations within our community on topics ranging from staff entry protocols, clergy in the sanctuary for Shabbat, b’mitzvah celebrations, Gan Elohim, High Holy Days, COVID testing, and the ongoing evolution of data and state guidelines. Generally, we have taken a stricter approach than the state requires. This has been done with careful thinking, discussion, and in accordance with our TBE values.
While we all long to be back in our makom, given the current virus transmission within community, we are not in a position to change our policies. We know there are many groups across the generations who have a need to use our building, and we look forward to being together again as soon as possible. But we must be safe—for our clergy, for our staff, and for all of us.
When we are able to move forward, I anticipate that plexiglass barriers in our community and mask wearing will remain routine in our daily lives. Looking towards the future, removing these barriers will be challenging and maybe even anxiety provoking. I personally look forward to that challenge and the day when we can all truly be together again, and I hope it is soon.
Our committee will continue to meet weekly for as long as we are needed. We always welcome questions from our community, so please feel free to reach out to us at any time through Stephen Ashkinos.
Join TBE’s Strategic Reopening Committee on Wednesday, February 10 to learn more about the science of vaccines, hear about vaccination distribution in our community, and find out how you can help .