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B'nai Mitzvah Covid Guidelines

Last updated October 6, 2021

While the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we have implemented the following protocols for 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 no maximum attendance. Attendance at indoor services is subject to the same limit as other indoor service types (currently 60). The guest count does not include the B’nai Mitzvah student, parents, and siblings. 

Vaccination requirement
For in-person services (both outdoors and in the sanctuary), we are requiring all who are called up to the Bimah to provide proof of full vaccination before the service. Siblings who are too young to be vaccinated are exempt from this policy. Vaccination proof should be sent to, where it will be logged and then deleted. Proof can be in the form of a photo of a vaccination card or screen shot of an Excelsior Pass. Proofs should be sent no later than one week before your ceremony. 

If the B’nai Mitzvah student or immediate family members who are eligible are not vaccinated, the service will be held on Zoom.

Requirements for attendees
Each attendee must wear a face mask 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 helpful information about masks from the CDC.)

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 or calling Pam Chernoff at 914-539-2209. 

Masking requirement
All attendees, including clergy and the B’nai Mitzvah student, may be required to wear masks throughout the service regardless of vaccination status. The requirements in place at the time of your celebration will depend on the CDC’s categorization of community spread in Westchester County. The CDC recommends universal indoor masking when local transmission is High or Substantial.

Friday rehearsal
Students whose service will be in-person will also rehearse in-person. Please enter the building through the main doors off the patio. Masks must be worn while in the building. 

Attendee list
For services in the sanctuary, please let the office know how many guests you are expecting at no later than the Wednesday before the service so that the room may be set up appropriately. It is no longer necessary to send a list of names. However, we may ask for your help if there is a need to contact trace after the service.

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

Services that take place online will be on Zoom and streamed on the Woodlands Community Temple Facebook page. You will be provided with a Zoom link that you can share with guests who would like to join us there. In-person services will also be streamed on the Woodlands Facebook page. The page is public, so even those who do not belong to Woodlands can view the service. 

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.

You are welcome to take family photos before guests arrive for the service. Masks are not required if the photographer allows and Woodlands clergy, volunteers, religious school students, and employees are not present. Masks are required indoors at all other times.

Facilities rentals
Woodlands is currently allowing facilities rentals for B’nai Mitzvah celebrations, with the understanding that either Woodlands or the family may cancel the reservation without penalty if conditions change. We are not supporting indoor eating when the CDC characterizes community transmission in Westchester County as High or Substantial. 

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

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.

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. Masks may be removed only while actively eating or drinking.

After the service: Any attendee who develops symptoms or is diagnosed with Covid-19 within 7 days of attending Woodlands is asked to alert the Coronavirus Task Force at or call task force chair Pam Chernoff at 914-539-2209 so that we can perform any needed contact tracing. 

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





Sat, October 16 2021 10 Cheshvan 5782