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Plan for In-Person Services

Last updated January 3, 2022 at 8:00 PM

The Boards of KH and SZ have approved the following plan to for in-person Shabbat morning services, in keeping with the principles we shared in June 2020. We continue to endeavor to be thoughtful about each aspect and phase of this plan, consistent with our conservative approach to risk. Details of the current plan are below. We welcome your questions and feedback at covid@kehilathadar.org.

Plan Highlights

  • We hold Shabbat morning services and kids programming at Schechter Manhattan. (We are no longer meeting in Central Park.)
    • Registration for services is not required for vaccinated individuals who intend to sit in the non-distanced section. Registration is only required for those who need distanced seating and/or babysitting.
    • All participants are required to wear masks at all times while indoors, including the person leading the service or reading the Torah or Haftarah, due to the recent New York State mask mandate.
    • Babysitting is available for young children attending services, with limited capacity and advance registration required.
    • Tot Shabbat and Junior Minyan will also meet at Schechter. Registration is not required.
  • All participants ages 12+ must be fully vaccinated to attend services indoors (defined as two weeks past the second dose).
    • As of January 22,  2022, all children 5–11 must be fully vaccinated in order to attend services indoors (defined as two weeks past the second dose).
    • Additionally, as of January 29, 2022, all eligible adults (16+) must be at least two weeks past receiving a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated.

How do I sign up to attend?

Registration is only required for people who need distanced seating and/or babysitting. It is not required for vaccinated individuals who intend to sit in the non-distanced section.

Under New York State rules, unvaccinated individuals must request distanced seating, as they are required to maintain six feet of social distance from non-household members while indoors. Those registering with children must request distanced seating, even if they intend that the children will be in babysitting during the service.

We send out a registration form in the KH and SZ weekly emails every Monday evening and close the form at 5PM on Wednesdays. (If you don't currently receive our emails, you can sign up on either of our websites or email office@sznyc.org for support.) On Wednesday night, all registrants who requested distanced seating will receive an email indicating whether or not they’ve received a place at services.

Registrants who wish to request babysitting for young children may specify this on the registration form. Since the babysitting room capacity is limited, registrants will be notified on Wednesday evening whether or not their child(ren) received a place. Receiving a place at services is not a guarantee of receiving a place in babysitting. Learn more about babysitting below.

Please email office@sznyc.org if you received a place but no longer plan to attend services.

Who can attend?

All participants ages 12+ must be fully vaccinated to attend services indoors (defined as two weeks past the second dose). As of January 22,  2022, all children 5–11 must be fully vaccinated in order to attend services indoors (defined as two weeks past the second dose), based on the date by which NYC guidelines require that all children 5 and up be fully vaccinated in order to participate in indoor activities. Additionally, as of January 29, 2022, all eligible adults (16+) must be at least two weeks past receiving a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated.

We can accommodate up to 12 distanced seating households and approximately 50 people in vaccinated non-distanced seating. 

Please do not attend if any of the following are true:

  • You are sick.
  • You have felt sick in the past two weeks.
  • You are required to quarantine under New York state or local laws, due to travel or exposure.

The COVID task force may make exemptions to the above based on consulting with a physician. 

Indoor service attendance policy for children
Children are welcome to attend shul indoors. Expectations differ depending on their age and whether or not they have received a place in babysitting for that week. 

  • Masks are required for children ages 2 and up. 
  • Those registering with unvaccinated children must request distanced seating, even if they intend that the children will be in babysitting during the service.
  • Children who have not received a place in babysitting for that week may not use the babysitting room, due to capacity restrictions.
  • We are renting three classrooms at Schechter: one for babysitting, one for Junior Minyan, and one overflow room for adults who need to feed children, change them, etc. to ensure proper space for unvaccinated children. Children must be supervised by an adult in this room at all times.

  • During davening, children must either remain seated with member(s) of their household or be in babysitting or under adult supervision in a side classroom. Please do not congregate in the halls.

Children should be listed on an accompanying adult's registration form. There is an option on the registration form to request a place in babysitting. 
 

Health & safety policies

We rely on each member of the community to uphold the following safety guidelines at all of our in-person services and will enforce it if necessary. 

  • Vaccination is mandatory for anyone ages 12+ who is attending services indoors. As of January 22, 2022, vaccines will be mandatory for all children 5 and up. And as of January 29, 2022, all eligible adults (16+) must be two weeks past receiving their booster in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
  • All participants ages 2 and up are required to wear masks during indoor services. Masks must cover both nose and mouth, and masks with valves are not permitted.
  • Social distancing rules (at least 3 feet) must be maintained by anyone who is not vaccinated. 
  • Anyone not adhering to these policies or following the instructions and reminders given will be asked to leave.

Regarding the use of the space at Schechter,

  • Elevator use is restricted to 1 household at a time.
  • Restroom use is restricted to up to 2 people at a time.
  • Chairs are set up to enable both distanced and non-distanced seating options. Distancing requirements for unvaccinated children will be 3 feet rather than 6 feet, which will allow us to adjust seating to accommodate more people.
  • Attendees are asked not to shmooze in the hallways or entryway.
  • On weeks we have a sponsor, a small Kiddush will be served on the Terrace. No food or drink is to be eaten indoors at Schechter. 

Babysitting

Babysitting is available for young children attending services. Participants who wish to request babysitting may specify this on the registration form. Those registering with unvaccinated children must request distanced seating, even if they intend that the children will be in babysitting during the service.

Masks are required in babysitting, as in all of Schechter, for all children ages 2 and up. Based on the guidance from our consulting physician, we do not require unvaccinated children to remain distanced while in babysitting but we will calculate the room’s overall capacity by defining 3” x 3” as the required amount of space per child.

Since the babysitting room’s capacity is limited, participants will be notified on Wednesday evening whether or not their child(ren) received a place. Receiving a place at indoor services is not a guarantee of receiving a place in babysitting. If more people submit requests than we have space for, children attending with someone who is leading a part of the service will receive a place first, after which we will prioritize younger children. Children who do not receive a place are not permitted to use that room.

The babysitter will not do diapering, toileting, or feeding for children. Adults who need to feed children during the service may either do this in the babysitting room at a distance from other children, or in another room.

Children's Programming

We hold two children's services on Saturdays at 10:30 AM at Schechter. Tot Shabbat services are geared toward kids ages 0–5 and will take place outdoors on the Terrace. Junior Minyan is geared toward kids ages 5+ and will take place in a classroom. These spaces are accessible without entering the main service. Both  children's services meet nearly every week. Check our calendar for the schedule. 

Families who plan to only attend Tot Shabbat and/or Junior Minyan and not the main service will not need to register for shul, but all those in attendance should be symptom free and in compliance with our attendance guidelines, including the vaccination requirements mentioned above. Families who do plan to attend the main service with an unvaccinated child will need to register for distanced seating.

Masks are required for all participants while indoors.

 

As mentioned above, we welcome and appreciate your thoughts as we navigate the current moment. Please feel free to contact us at contact@kehilathadar.org and membership@sznyc.org.


The Kehilat Hadar Board
Emily Scharfman, Steven Melzer, Meir Schecter, Max Arad, Allison Kapusta, Aaron Kasman, Ashira Konigsburg, Stefan Krieger, and Heather Rosen

The Shaare Zedek Board
Michael Firestone, Lianna Levine Reisner, Adin Rosenberg, Jeff Weinstein, Sara Marks, David Handelman, Harlan Levinson, Sharon Meiri Fox, Joshua Newman, Ronald Slusky

Sun, January 16 2022 14 Shevat 5782