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Reopening Update - First Tefillot This Week and Sign-up Form

06/08/2020 08:43:45 PM


Dear Bayit Family,

Amidst the painful and powerful upheaval in our nation, as we have gathered to protest and remember, we are also preparing to gather again for tefillah. We enter this moment with gratitude that the current public health progress makes cautious, gradual reopening a possibility, with eagerness to pray together even if with only a small representation of our tzibbur in person, with a sense of absence knowing that many who are so central to our Bayit tefillot will not come in these early phases and with vigilant dedication to doing this safely and carefully.

After further clarification from the governor's office that two groups of 10 people entering different outdoor spaces with different entrances and not mingling can be on the same property at the same time would be permitted, and based on the feedback from our medical professionals that this approach is sufficiently cautious and safe while maintaining all social distancing guidelines, we are preparing for the first phase of our Bayit’s reopening for tefillah.

What We Plan to Do During Phase 1:

  1. Which Tefillot:
    1. We will start with Mincha/Maariv this Wed and Thu evenings around plag hamincha (Mincha at 6:35pm).
    2. Assuming everything goes smoothly, we will continue next week (week of 6/14) with Mincha/Maariv around plag hamincha Sun-Thu.
    3. We would consider adding in 6:45am Shacharit in the middle of next week if we feel ready.
  1. Where will they be held?
    1. Until we can have more than 10 people in the same space, we will have 10 men on the terrace (enter/exit through Bayit front) and (up to) 10 women in the playground space (enter/exit from driveway).
    2. We will set up a mic from the terrace with a speaker on the playground to be sure the shaliach tzibbur can easily be heard.
  1. Virtual Participation
    1. Zoom will be set up for all in-person services and will replace the corresponding Zoom tefillot.
    2. Mourners may recite Kaddish remotely when Zooming into an in-person tefillah with a minyan, and someone onsite will always recite Kaddish as well.
    3. All other Zoom tefillot will continue.

What Do You Need to Do?

  1. Anyone who wishes to attend tefillah beginning this Wednesday evening must fill out the form by clicking here.
  2. All attendees will be expected to comply with the following health and safety guidelines:
    1. All participants must confirm their current health, wear masks at all times, and clean/sanitize hands or wear gloves while on premises.
    2. All participants will need to respect the designated spots for sitting/standing, which will be marked off to ensure well over 6’ of distance between participants.
    3. Participants must bring their own siddur or use a siddur app on their phone. If needed, you may borrow a siddur from the Bayit for your personal use over the next few months.
    4. We expect those in at-risk populations including those over 65 or those with chronic medical conditions including the severely obese as well as those with lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, severe kidney or liver disease, neurological disorders and the immunocompromised to consult with their doctor before signing up.

We will create the attendance lists and maintain communication over a WhatsApp group.

Assuming all goes well, our next steps will be to expand to more Shacharit tefillot. We anticipate deferring meeting on Shabbat morning until a later phase, as the more complex Shabbat tefillah and our inability to communicate on Shabbat pose additional challenges that we will grow into as we gain experience. Given that the Governor has allowed 25% occupancy gatherings for houses of worship beginning in Phase 2 (as soon as two weeks from today, but subject to change), we are thinking ahead to that time to envision what the following phases could look like. We will proceed with caution.

All of our plans are based on our hopes and tefillot that the public health situation will continue to improve. As a Bayit and larger Riverdale Jewish community, we are committed to stepping back from in-person gatherings if a change in the public health situation necessitates it.

We look forward to the opportunity to gather again soon.

Bivrakhah (with blessing),

Rav Steven

Richard Langer

Daniel Feit


click here to fill out the signup form

Mon, July 13 2020 21 Tammuz 5780