COVID-19 & our community

Congregation Bonai Shalom’s leadership is monitoring the recommendations and instructions of health care professionals and experts around slowing the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to make decisions about the closure of our shul based on those recommendations.

While difficult for all of us, we’re most concerned for those immuno-compromised members, and those who might be self-quarantined, isolated, or homebound. We’re organizing a team of volunteers to support members in our community who need extra support.


 

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CLOSED –
(March 15)
Some Opening More Open Nominal
(post-COVID-19)
Stay-at-home order Safer-at-home order Partial Opening Businesses 100% open
Only Rabbi at Shul During Services 2-3 people pre-asked
to join Rabbi at a
safe distance
Pre-Registered outside & attendance or Minyah in the sanctuary Attendance returns to normal
Staff occasionally goes in for mail pick-up Staff coordinates attendance in the office Staff is in office almost 100% of the time with appropriate precautions Regular office hours and staffing
Minimal facility cleaning and maintenance Increase in Hours More hours as required Back to normal with services, food, cleaning, etc.
School/Youth activities are closed Safe-at-home only Family distance gatherings Back to in-school participation

 

Expectations for Visiting Bonai during COVID-19

Here are the expectations for visiting and attending Bonai Shalom programs and services while we are under COVID-19 re-opening phases. 

  • #1 – IF YOU FEEL SICK OR EXHIBIT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS PLEASE REMAIN AT HOME AND DO NOT COME IN
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Muscle Pain
    • Sore Throat
    • Recent Loss of Taste or Smell
  • AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL
    • If you develop any of these symptoms, go home immediately and let the Bonai Shalom office know by sending an email to office@bonaishalom.org
    • Bonai Shalom will perform an additional facility cleaning in this instance
  • IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AND HAVE RECENTLY PARTICIPATED IN ANY BONAI SHALOM EVENTS
    • Notify the Bonai Shalom staff at office@bonaishalom.org. We will notify the congregation that an anonymous individual was at the event on a specific day and time who tested positive so that everyone can take appropriate action

Please fill out this form to let us know if you have skills or time to share or if you need support such as phone calls, meals, shopping, etc. Please let us how we might support you and we will do what we can. Stay healthy.

We are currently in PHASE 1:  SAFER-AT-HOME
Minimal additional members & staff

  • Pre and Post deep cleaning of the building (restrooms, sanctuary, doorknobs, siddurim/chumashims covers, bimah edges and surface, yad(s), scroll handles, Ark handles) for each service/program in the sanctuary
  • Clear communication of all expectations sent to those planned to be attending / Host re-iterates all expectations at the beginning and throughout service/program
  • Wash hands before entering sanctuary in designated “Hand Washing Station” located in the designated upstairs restroom (doors to be held open, signage to close faucet with a paper towel)
  • Masks required 
    • Office Staff:  
      • Masks in all open areas – if working in an enclosed office alone, not mask needed
      • Disinfect any shared spaces at end of shift – phones, keyboards
      • Maintain 6 ft distance between you and any visitors to the building as much as possible
      • All visitors to the building must pre-arrange with Julia 
    • Services / Programs: 
      • masks in all open areas (including outdoor events) – if leading service alone, no mask needed
      • when / if masks removed placed in pocket or individual must bring a bag to put it in so not placed on the bimah 
      • Torah reader/service leader may choose to remove mask during their readings — all others in the room should keep masks on and remain at a 15 ft distance (marking to be placed on floor designating 15 ft from Bimah)
  • Physical distancing of 15 ft between individuals
    • Services / Programs:  
      • families/pods may sit together
      • individuals/families/pods may be together at the bimah
  • Shared service items (Torah, books, yad, kippot, tallitot, bimah, etc)
    • Between each reader / pods / family:
      • Torah handles wiped down with disinfectant wipes
      • Single yads assigned to each reader/pod of readers
      • Bimah edges and surfaces wiped down in between readers/leaders
      • No kissing of Siddurim / Chumashim; No kissing / touching Torah No sharing of kippot, tallitot
      • Siddurim and Chumashim rotated and covers wiped down before and after use
      • Encourage participants to bring their own siddurim 

Update 6/22/20 6:34 p.m.

____________________________________________________________________

Friends,

These are very worrying times and it feels like we so need to be together in community; and yet the responsible wisdom right now is to avoid social contact and larger gatherings, which is a complicated paradox.  As always, our health, safety, and security comes above anything else and we need individually and collectively to make thoughtful choices, even as the information changes almost hourly.  

We, like many other places of worship, are moving towards suspending or significantly limiting all of our services and programs and will keep everyone regularly updated.

Shabbat Hebrew School at Bonai Shalom will be closed from this Shabbat until after Passover and our weekday program will continue online, with more information to follow shortly.

Shabbat Services:  this Shabbat we will have a small, simple service with Torah reading, but without the planned Gun Violence Prevention programming, at 9:30 am. THERE WILL BE NO FOOD SERVED.  We strongly, strongly encourage, according to the medical guidelines, anyone over 60 or anyone with even very mild symptoms of illness to stay at home.  Our sources tell us that each person at prayer has a space of daled amot (four cubits, approximately one meter) all around them for personal, spiritual space.  We ask that we keep a reasonable distance from each other for physical and spiritual reasons,  and, as previously stated, avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses and kissing of ritual items.

After this Shabbat, Bonai Shalom will effectively be closed until further notice, but we will send regular updates of some limited programming and services, along with opportunities to meet, gather and learn online and in other forums. Until we are able to livestream our services here is a list of Conservative congregations who are currently streaming.

Hesed –  in these times where some in our community will need extra help and assistance during this uncertainty, we are working to increase ways in which we can take care of each other, and there will be some updates early next week for opportunities to volunteer.

Jewish communities throughout the world have always had the creativity, resilience, and flexibility to thrive in all kinds of circumstances and we will certainly get through this.  

As well as continuing the descriptions of the building of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle or Sanctuary in the wilderness), this week’s Torah portion (Ki Tissa) also tells the story of the golden calf. As Reb Bracha of Nevei Kodesh taught Boulder’s rabbis earlier today, sometimes the golden calf is our attachment to forms and rituals that we know and cherish. This moment calls for us to create sanctuary, safe and sacred space of community, in different ways and we thank you all for your patience and participation in forming that.

Here is a link to Boulder County’s Covid 19 guidelines. 


Here is a link to The Rabbinical Assembly Resources: Refer to the Rabbinical Assembly Paper that covers the case of an individual who can’t make it to an existing minyan, and visit their webpage on halakhic guidance on coronavirus protocols. 

 

Please be vigilant, safe and cautious and please look out for future updates and resources.

Wishing everyone in this beautiful Bonai family a Shabbat Shalom