CBI COVID-19 Advisory Task Force
Dear Fellow Congregants,
I hope you all continue to be safe and in good health
Governor Newsom announced last week that houses of worship could reopen when they are ready to implement established guidelines and restrictions for in-person services. At Congregation B’nai Israel, the campus remains closed as we sort through addressing health, safety, and security challenges associated with the pandemic.
In consideration of our eventual return to in-person gatherings, we have formed a CBI COVID-19 Advisory Task Force to research the best practices and approaches to reopen the shul. We will be taking our cues from the virus, health science, and our context and mission. We continue to learn more from public health specialists, specifically from the CDC (who have offered both general guidelines and specific guidelines impacting religious and educational institutions), about transmission, protection, and safe gathering practices when they will become possible again. This much, however, is already clear: the possibility of safely gathering again for intergenerational communities like ours will emerge slowly and return to gathering will be necessarily cautious and gradual in phases. If gathering in person puts people at serious risk, even if it is not the people who are gathering, we must refrain from doing so.
We must give special attention in our decision making to the needs of those especially susceptible to COVID-19, including seniors, people with compromised immune systems, and those with respiratory, cardiac, or other chronic health conditions that place one at risk from the virus.
The work of the synagogue continues and grows as we wait to return. CBI is more than a building and in-person activities; CBI is our community. During the suspension of gathering, we have discovered new ways to fulfill our mission that may be here to stay. Particularly shining examples of our online programming can be found in A Psalm a Day with Rabbi Spitz as well as regular Zoom interviews with various guests, and Amy Robinson Katz’s evening minyans and Prayersong at home. And of course, we have provided virtual services with Rabbi Spitz, Amy Robinson Katz, Carl Cedar, Hal Hurwitz, and others, and we will continue to livestream our services.
Our COVID-19 Advisory Task Force will determine when it will be safe for CBI to reopen for in-person gatherings. Our maintenance staff is already deep cleaning our facility, and we are evaluating what needs to be done to prepare for reopening. If you have insights, questions, or concerns feel free to contact me or the office. Despite the pandemic, we are here for you and will continue to do our best to meet your needs.
In the meantime, please continue to stay safe.
We are diligently monitoring the ever-changing situation closely and with great care.
Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat services will be broadcast, click here for information on our live stream. Click here to download our siddur by filling out the form and choosing “Siddur Lev Shalem: Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat Evening Service” and ” Siddur Lev Shalem: Shabbat Morning “
As per the ruling of the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS) those who wish to be part of a minyan, including mourner’s kaddish, may connect virtually with a minyan by way of live stream.