Re-opening the Shul – Important Announcement
For nearly three months now we haven’t met together as a community in person and we know how difficult this has been for many, particularly those saying Kaddish.
As you know, the Government has now agreed that places of worship can open from 4 July. You can see the full Government guidance here. We are waiting for an updated version of the US Guidance which will be produced once they have had a chance to fully digest this document.
We are starting our careful and slow process of reopening for Services, in stages, from Sunday 5 July. Here are some of the key points for Sunday services, but for those who book in to attend full detailed guidance will be sent out:
Who can attend?
Whilst we’d love to welcome the whole community back, in line with Government guidance and the latest US guidance document (see full doc here) the following groups of people should not attend services:
Those who are shielded (ie extremely medically vulnerable), according to the Government’s definition.
Those who show any symptoms of COVID-19 or who live with people with symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in contact with a confirmed case in the last fourteen days.
Those who have been asked to self-isolate by the government’s Track and Trace Programme.
Those who are in quarantine having travelled recently.
At the present time, no child under the age of 12 should attend services.
Older people (and certainly those over 70) should use their judgment to decide whether to attend services. They should take into consideration the heightened potential risk to their health should they catch Coronavirus.
Those who are clinically vulnerable should take medical advice as to whether to attend.
How do I book?
We would love everyone to come along on Sunday but, if you wish to do so, you will need to book in. This will allow us to not only control numbers but also, in accordance with the Government guidance, to keep a record of everyone who attends. This is incredibly important in case we should need to use track and trace should anyone attending go on to develop Covid -19 symptoms in the days after.
The system currently used by the US for booking events has been adapted to book into services. You will need to book by 12noon on Friday and anyone who has not booked will not be able to attend. Click here to make your booking (where you can also book for other services over the next few weeks).
What will the services be like?·
Sunday Services will start at 8.30am in the Synagogue car park but will be weather dependent. Rabbi David will send a Whatsapp (please make sure you have joined the MH Synagogue Updates Whatsapp Group by clicking here ) the night before confirming whether a physical Service is to take place or if the Service will revert to Zoom only.
We have measured and marked out the space at the back of the building and can easily fit 25 people socially-distanced. This includes women’s spaces as long as the total remains 25 or under.
Please see the video below that the Rabbi has created for full details of how the Services will work and what the space looks like.
What other safety measures will there be?
All attendees will be asked to bring their own tallit, books and tefillin.
Everyone will be asked to use hand sanitiser on arrival
The space has been marked out to allow everyone to stay at 2m distance
All chairs and any surfaces used will be cleaned after the service by cleaners or caretakers.
When will Monday and Thursday services start?
The aim is to trial Sunday services on July 5th and 12th. In the week of Monday 13 July we hope to add Monday and Thursday services and to move services inside in the hall. Full details of the procedure for this will be released nearer the time.
When will Shabbat services start?
Having tried out indoor services for morning weekday minyanim, we then hope to move to Shabbat services at the earliest on Aug 1st. This is of course assuming the Government guidelines don’t change and that all goes smoothly with the previous stages.
What about the Yomim Noraim?
We are still waiting for more detailed US Guidance on this, but the Rabbi and Wardens are starting to make plans. Whilst it is still too early to give full details, we are working on a plan to offer a mix of live Services and online events staggered throughout the calendar of the Yomim Noraim. Live Services are likely to be for a smaller attendance level and for shorter periods than we are used to and we will also look to create a calendar of online events where this is appropriate. Our intent and hope is to be able to offer all members some form of face to face Service over the period of the Yomim Noraim but, whilst we can’t give more detailed plans yet, it is worth assuming that we won’t have a Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that is like anything we have experienced before.
We wish you all well and look forward to slowly starting to be able to meet together as a community once again. Note also that while weekday services begin in Synagogue, they will still be accessible through Zoom, with links to be sent as usual to the WhatsApp group.
Muswell Hill Synagogue Executive and Rabbi David
Here is what will happen at our Sunday morning service….. Our Instagram Our YouTube Channel Shul Website Our Facebook