As we welcome the secular new year and continue to hold all of Temple Shalom’s Early Learning Center, religious school, religious services, and administrative functions in person, we are also aware of the continued impact of Covid-19 in our community and country. Your health and the safety of the Temple community as a whole is vitally important to us.
Temple Shalom’s current policy is that wearing a mask when inside Temple Shalom is optional. You may also be aware that Montgomery County’s Covid-19 community level is now “medium.” While we have decided to continue with our current policy that wearing a mask when inside Temple Shalom is optional (with one exception as noted below), we are now strongly encouraging you to consider wearing a mask when at Temple programs. Additionally, as in our previous communications, please make sure to follow all CDC guidelines related to vaccines, boosters, masking following exposure, and isolation and masking if infected with Covid-19. And, of course, if you are experiencing symptoms that could be related to Covid-19 or other viruses, we ask that you not attend Temple events in person in order to keep the community as safe as possible.
Based on discussions with some members, we have decided to reinstitute — on a temporary basis — a requirement that masks be worn by those attending Saturday Morning Worship and Torah Study (SMWTS) beginning Saturday, January 21. This decision was arrived at in consultation with a number of the SMWTS participants and was based on the combination of 1) the increase in service participation due to a wonderful pre-service breakfast program geared toward 5th-7th graders, 2) the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Montgomery County, and 3) the fairly small size of the Chapel. This change is not intended to impact the pre-service breakfast program or kiddush at the end of services and during study. We will continue to evaluate conditions of Covid-19 and of the minyan participation in determining when we will return to a mask-optional status for SMWTS. We will continue to monitor what is happening in Montgomery County and be prepared to make adjustments in our Covid-19 policies.
L’Shalom (In Peace),
Jeff Steger, President
Rabbi Rachel Ackerman, Senior Rabbi
Andrew Maayan, Executive Director
Karen Miller, Vice President