Important High Holiday Announcement
On August 10, the Board of Trustees had an emergency meeting to revisit High Holiday Covid-19 protocols in the light of new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. The Board made the difficult decision to eliminate in-person attendance at all services, including the High Holidays, until further notice. Our Religious School will re-open to in-person instruction in September as previously planned, however. High Holiday services will be streamed on our YouTube channel, as we did last year, and prayerbooks will be made available to all members. Details on when prayerbooks can be checked out will be sent to everyone very soon. Shabbat services will be held via Zoom. Access codes will be provided in Rabbi Lader’s weekly News You Can Use newsletter or by calling the Temple office (216-941-8882) Many factors went into this decision, which was made reluctantly. Among them were these:
- The rapid spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant throughout Northeastern Ohio. It now accounts for over 93% of all new infections.
- Evidence that fully vaccinated people can contract Delta (“breakthrough infections”) and spread it to others, both vaccinated and un-vaccinated. However, the same evidence shows that the Covid-19 vaccines remain remarkably effective at preventing serious illness and death. If you are not yet vaccinated we strongly urge you to do so, both to protect your health and the health of your family and friends.
- New CDC guidelines that strongly recommend having even fully vaccinated people wear masks and socially distance themselves when attending indoor events.
- The heightened risk of infection to those on the Bimah who cannot realistically mask during services, such as the Rabbi, Cantor, and our Torah readers.
- Allowing in-person attendance would have required rationing the greatly reduced seating. There is not enough time to work out the mechanics of such rationing.
- The increased uncertainty about the Covid-19 infection risk in the fall, including the possible emergence of other more transmissible and lethal variants.
- The Board’s responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of our community and our community’s responsibility to help mitigate the spread of this insidious virus.
Please be on the lookout for additional information via email and postal mail. If you have questions, please contact Board President Luis Fernandez via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (440-935-4556).