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CBE During COVID19

Updated March 18, 2022

Dear CBE Community,

On this page we will keep up-to-date information on current COVID guidelines for CBE Congregational Activities, including religious services, meetings, social events and religious school activities.  

As mentioned previously, the decision making of CBE leadership and the COVID19 Task Force with respect to the “opening” of CBE is guided by Jewish values, which include:

  • Pikuah Nefesh — “Safeguarding Life” 
  • Sakanat Nefeshot — “Avoiding Endangering Life” 
  • Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh — “We Are Responsible for One Another”

Please contact Rabbi Mike at rabbimike@bethelohim.org or Co-Presidents Chuck Pollak or Jaymi Formaggio at president@bethelohim.org for guidance. Be well and stay safe!

Current Guidelines

Outside:

  • Outdoor activities are encouraged for all ages.  
  • Non-religious school events with a focus on children younger than 12 years old should occur outdoors when possible 

Inside:

  • Congregation activities, both indoors at CBE or indoors off-site, are limited to vaccinated individuals for those 5 years old and up.   Effective March 15, 2022, any eligible individuals must also have received their booster shot.  For those 5-11 years old, a full two-dose course of vaccination is currently required. Boosters are not yet available for this age group.   Persons 12 and older become eligible 5 months after their primary series of mRNA vaccination (or 2 months after a J&J vaccination). This requirement applies to all in-person, indoor, CBE-wide community events, such as religious services, b'nai mitzvah, holiday parties, and any other intergenerational event. 

Please note that this vaccination and booster requirement does not currently apply to events that solely involve the Religious School (including class-specific family education programs).  We recommend but are not currently requiring vaccines or boosters for students to be enrolled in the religious school.

  • Masks must be properly worn at all times when inside the building except when seated and eating or drinking (see the indoor refreshment update below). Please note that, during services, the speaker/prayer leader may unmask while at the podium or bima, and while distanced from others. Any unmasked clergy/staff have taken "day of" rapid COVID tests as an extra safety precaution.
  • We strongly encourage maintaining a safe distance of at least 3 feet between household groups (2 empty seats on either side in the sanctuary).
  • Indoor Refreshment Update:
    Beginning March 18th, 2022 in addition to enjoying unlimited unmasked CBE events outside, we will be adding indoor Kiddush and Onegs in the Social Hall and Swing Space. Refreshments at other indoor CBE events, either in our buildings or off-site,  are also now permitted, following the same guidelines.
Guidelines for these indoor events include:
  • Everyone must continue to remain masked during services, in-person meetings, walking around indoor spaces, and while serving food and drinks to themselves or others.
  • People may remove their masks only while sitting, eating and drinking.  Everyone must remain seated while eating.  There will not be walking, eating and drinking at this time.
  • Round Tables (5 or 6 feet in diameter) will be set up with 6 chairs at each round table (which usually sit 8 to 10 people). We ask that people do not add more chairs to their table – as this defeats the purpose of safely spaced seating.
  • Tables will be generously spaced out, such that maximum table capacity in the social hall + swing space is no more than 12 smaller tables or 10 larger tables.  If an event is bigger than 72 persons, additional tables can be set up in the community court. 
  • When serving food, everyone should stay masked.
  • Please note, it is always lower risk, in terms of COVID, to remain masked in indoor spaces.  Thus, events that include eating and drinking are always safer to do outdoors, whenever feasible.
  • The continued masking guidelines are applicable for all CBE events and activities, whether at our buildings or elsewhere.
  • Lastly, any attendee who may not be ready to unmask inside, to enjoy the refreshments, is always welcome to pack up food to-go.  For larger events, organizers should prepare accordingly.
  • Please be aware that adults who are not teachers or staff may not enter the building during Religious school hours (Sundays 9:30am-1:30pm, Tuesdays from 3:15-6:15pm, and Thursdays from 3:15-6:15pm), unless you have a scheduled meeting with Rabbi Mike or Cantor Sarra or another pre-approved activity in the building.  Minyan participants are asked to head directly into the sanctuary.
  • For families planning a B'nai Mitzvah, please be sure to obtain and review all safety guidelines ahead of time.
  • Anyone in need of a medical exemption can contact the CBE COVID19 Task Force at covidtaskforce@bethelohim.org.
  • Also, please do not attend any CBE in-person events if you have new upper respiratory symptoms even if you are vaccinated unless you have tested negative for COVID19.  This is especially important during these winter months.

If you would like to help:

CBE has established two funds to which you can donate.  Read the May 1st letter describing these funds.
  • The Zeh baZeh Fund:  To provide emergency relief for our members and staff and the instructors at our religious school and the ELC. 
    • The Darchei Shalom Fund:  To support the Acton Food Pantry
All CBE ZOOM events require a password. 
To find the password for an event, check the latest STAR-Lite, check with the event organizer, or ask Shoshana, szuckerman@bethelohim.org, 978-263-3061.  Please review Suggested Etiquette for Zoom Services
Sun, May 29 2022 28 Iyyar 5782