Dear Temple Members,
Our lives have been changed dramatically in the past months due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are looking forward to coming back together again at the Temple, but recognize practices will need to be different as we come back together.
First and foremost in our thoughts as we have discussed re-opening has been “Pikuach Nefesh” – saving lives.
Our Temple leadership has agreed to following criteria for our initial re-opening. The re-opening will begin when there has been two weeks of declining case counts in Polk County, widespread availability of testing, contact tracing is available and there is no PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) shortages. We are following the data provided by the state of Iowa at https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/pages/case-counts to determine if the first criteria has been met. We feel that the rest of the criteria have been met, but we want to make sure there is no surge in new cases as businesses re-open throughout the state.
If case counts in Polk County continue to decline we plan to hold our first in person outdoor service on Saturday, July 11th.
This will be a simple Shabbat service held in the large field on the northwest corner of the Temple’s property. The service will be postponed if there are inclement weather conditions.
- The field will be painted with sections where families can gather and maintain social distancing.
- We would ask everyone that attends this service wear a mask, and one will be provided if you don’t have one.
- A disposable service program will be provided to families.
- Chairs will be provided if you need one and they will be sanitized by staff members after the service.
- Members must bring their own kippot and tallitot if they choose to wear one.
- Small children will need to adhere to social distancing guidelines. If they can’t follow the guidelines parents should refrain from bringing them until social distance guidelines are relaxed.
- High risk individuals (people over 60 and those with underlying conditions), whether staff or congregants, should consider staying home.
If we become aware of someone who attends service and is infected with COVID-19, we will put a communication plan into action, and cooperate fully with contact tracers.
We are currently looking at the criteria we want met in order to further open the Temple. We will communicate those criteria to you as soon as they have been agreed to by Temple leadership. Because we have no way of knowing exactly how long these circumstances will last, we cannot yet tell you what the High Holidays will look like at the Temple. High Holy Day Services will certainly be “different” than they have been, but we assure you they will be meaningful and if we are able to physically gather in any way that will be celebrated.
We appreciate your flexibility, patience, and support as we begin to reopen.