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Outdoor Ritual: B'nai Mitzvah

Last updated April 19, 2021

 

While the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we have implemented the following protocols for outdoor ritual-related activities. These guidelines are subject to change as conditions change. We know you share our concern for the well-being of everyone in attendance, and we thank you for your understanding and commitment to keeping our community safe, strong, and healthy.

Attendance limits
Outdoor B’nai Mitzvah services are allowed with up to 40 guests. The guest count does not include the B’nai Mitzvah student, parents, and siblings. We strongly encourage that all eligible guests be vaccinated. 

Attendee list
The family must provide names of those who will attend and family grouping sizes to the office at wct@wct.org no later than the Wednesday before the service. This list is required so that chairs can be set up in the proper configuration. Each family group should include only members who share the same household—either permanently or temporarily. 

For the safety of everyone in attendance, all children under 18 must be under the supervision of an adult. One adult may supervise children from multiple households and must be willing and able to intervene if a child is violating safety guidelines for mask wearing or distancing. On your guest list, please identify which adult is responsible for any unaccompanied children so that we can make sure the adult in question is seated near any children he or she is supervising. Also, please ask that adult to identify him or herself to the ushers upon arrival. We thank you for your cooperation.

Weather
At the service, the reading table will be sheltered by a canopy. Attendees will be seated in the shade as much as possible. The B’nai Mitzvah family may provide an open-sided canopy for guests but bear in mind that distancing requirements may limit the number of guests who can be seated under it. 

If the weather is bad, services will be held via Zoom only. A decision about whether to proceed will be made no later than 7 p.m. the night before. In that case, Woodlands will supply a Zoom link ahead of time.

The Torah Scroll
Temperature changes are detrimental to a Torah scroll. While the weather may be acceptable for us to gather on the lawn, the clergy may decide the same is not true for the Torah. In that case, the B/Mitzvah will read from their notebook.

Friday rehearsal
Please complete the screening form at wct.org/screening that morning before the rehearsal. You will enter the building through the main doors off the patio. Masks must be worn at all times while in the building, including during picture taking, and distancing of at least six feet must be maintained among people who do not share the same household. 

The cantor will place the Torah scroll on the reading table before you arrive. During the rehearsal, the sliding doors on the sides of the sanctuary will be open, so please dress appropriately for the weather.

Before chanting begins, the cantor will move to the far side of the sanctuary so as to maintain the required 12 feet of distance from your family. You may take pictures of the rehearsal, but please ensure you remain 12 feet from the cantor at all times. After the rehearsal, you may open the ark to take pictures. Please do not touch or move any of the Torah scrolls. 

Seating at the service
Seating will be set up so that each family grouping is no less than six feet from any other family grouping. If you bring personalized masks or kippot for guests, please place them on the chairs before the service. 

Streaming
Services will be streamed on the Woodlands Community Temple Facebook page. The page is public, so even those who do not belong to Woodlands can view the service. Those without Facebook accounts are able to view this page as well.

Requirements for attendees

  • Each attendee is required to complete the screening form found at wct.org/screening on the day of the service before coming to the synagogue. 
  • Anyone who answers Yes to a screening question must not come to the service at temple. 
  • Each attendee must wear a facemask or other cloth face covering, over nose and mouth, at all times. Attendees must supply their own masks. Masks with valves are not allowed. (Here’s a helpful article for assessing the effectiveness of your mask.)
  • Attendees must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other attendees from different households at all times. 
  • Attendees are asked to take their seats immediately upon arrival.
  • Attendees will be asked to refrain from singing during the service. 
  • Any attendee who develops symptoms or is diagnosed with Covid-19 within 7 days of attending Woodlands must alert the Coronavirus Task Force by emailing covid@wct.org or calling Pam Chernoff at 914-539-2209.  

Building access
The two bathrooms in the front vestibule will be available. No more than two people may be in the building at one time. No other building access is available except in an emergency. (If the weather turns bad, attendees should shelter in their cars.)

After the service 
The rabbi will depart immediately after the service in order to minimize the number of people gathering. If your family is taking a photo at the Torah immediately after the service, please do so quickly.

Your family may have one photo taken with the Torah immediately after the service. If you plan to do that, please stay at the table at the conclusion of the service. The photo should be taken promptly so that the cantor may return the Torah to the building. Once the picture has been taken, please put masks back on and move away from the table.

Please do not bring in food and drinks to share with guests, as New York state guidelines still discourage shared objects and we are unable to provide tables at this time. Guests may bring their own water to drink during the service.

The lawn will be available for 15 minutes after the end of the service.

Photography
You are welcome to take family photos on the lawn before the service. Masks are not required if the photographer allows; Woodlands clergy, volunteers, and employees are not present; and only immediate family groupings are unmasked. 

Under no circumstances may people who are not in family groupings be unmasked and not distanced.

Cup and Tzedakah box
A member of the Jewish Life committee will deliver a cup and tzedakah box to your home. If your service is in-person, please bring them with you that day. 

Questions and special requests
Special requests will be assessed by the Coronavirus Task Force. Send questions to covid@wct.org.

Note to attendees
Please send the following information to your guests sometime before the service. This will help ensure everyone understands our safety precautions.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Hello friends,

We are delighted you will be joining us for our simcha. 

The synagogue has COVID-19 related requirements for guests that we’ve been asked to pass along.

Screening: Each attendee must complete the screening form found at wct.org/screening on the
day of the service before coming to the synagogue. Members of the same household can be included
in one screening questionnaire. If you answer yes to any of the questions, please join us online at
the Woodlands Community Temple Facebook page instead of in person. We will miss you but appreciate
your caution. After you complete the screening questionnaire, you will receive a confirmation e-mail.
Please be prepared to show the email to the ushers upon arrival either on your phone or on a printout.

Face coverings: Each attendee must wear a facemask or other cloth face covering, over nose and mouth,
at all times. Attendees must supply their own masks. It’s OK to bring a bottle of water and to remove
your mask while drinking. 

Distancing: Attendees must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other attendees from different households at all times. 

Seating: At the service, choose a group of chairs that matches the size of your party. Please do not
move the chairs.

Prayerbook: You can find the service booklet at wct.org/morningservice.

After the service: Any attendee who develops symptoms or is diagnosed with Covid-19 within 7 days of attending Woodlands must alert the Coronavirus Task Force at covid@wct.org or call task force chair
Pam Chernoff at 914-539-2209. 

Your cooperation with these rules will help us protect the health of everyone in attendance. Thank you
for helping keep Woodlands Community Temple safe, strong, and healthy.

                                                                                                                          The WCT Coronavirus Task Force

Mon, August 2 2021 24 Av 5781