Our Road to Reopening

June 2020  Keeping Connected

Well, the governor has given the green light to open up places of worship, but we are going to take things slowly at Congregation Shalom. Rabbi Perry, members of our community, and I have been attending some webinars offered by different groups on re-opening of places of worship. These webinars have been offered by the Union for Reform Judaism, the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. We are trying to gather as much information as possible and be as informed as possible on this very complicated issue of opening up our building.

The temple has basically been closed since March 13 with limited access by a few employees. In general, we will continue with this structure until further notice. We have now relaxed our rules to allow contractors and members in the building for purposes of performing building maintenance or infrastructure-related projects. However, I do need to know when these visits will be happening beforehand so I can ensure we are not overlapping too many people at any one time.

We have performed the following steps just within the last week:

  • We have put up the required signage in the building, as required by the state of Massachusetts. These signs show our requirements for wearing masks, social distancing, and also show a signed checklist ensuring that we have implemented these requirements.

  • As required by the state, we have a control plan filed in the office.
  • Please note that masks or face coverings are now required to be worn while in the building.
  • We have created a sign-in book that must be completed by anyone entering the building. This will allow for efficient contact tracing, if necessary.
  • We have established a training document/set of procedures for our employees, guests, and contractors that will be a living document that we will modify as we learn and as we open our doors more and more.
  • We have purchased a supply of masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and the proper disinfectant solution.
  • We have established disinfection protocols that will be implemented on a weekly basis, at a minimum, depending on the activity within the temple.

This is all very new to us and as you can imagine, it is overwhelming and complicated. And when we do decide to open our doors, these procedures and processes will likely become even more challenging. So for now, we will continue on as we have been since March 13, when this all started. I think Rabbi Perry has done an amazing job keeping our community connected since then. We are blessed that we have a rabbi with this level of commitment, passion, dedication, and patience to guide us through these days.

Please stay well and please attend our Annual Meeting (June 9, 6:30 PM)….