COVID DECISION-MAKING PROCEDURES:
The FJCC COVID Task Force (Bruce Moscovitz, Mitch Clarin, Carolyn Goldman, Daniel Weinstcock, and Jeff Doshna), along with Sharon Rednor, as president, determine safety precautions for services, onegs, kiddushes, and for community-wide events in the building. They use recommendations of the CDC and NJ Department of Health when making decisions.
The Hebrew School COVID Task Force (Scott Lipson, Brian Sperling, Laurie Rapkin, Emily Quinn, Kimi Mittler, and Kelley Ellenberg), along with Karen Walsh as Hebrew School Director, and in consultation with the rabbi, determine safety precautions for the Hebrew School. They use recommendations of the Flemington Raritan School District when making decisions.
Other constituencies of the synagogue (Sisterhood, Book Club, Genealogy Club, etc.) make their own policies for their meetings.
COVID POLICIES AS OF THE WRITING OF THIS COMMUNICATION:
The CDC community transmission level for Hunterdon County is currently “red,” meaning high transmission. The FJCC COVID Task Force has decided that, in addition to a mask requirement for the building (except for employees when alone in their offices), only vaccinated individuals are allowed in the sanctuary and social hall for services, onegs, kiddushes, and community-wide events. At this point, we’re “on the honor system,” and we do not require those who enter to show proof of vaccination.
Reasoning: Many houses of worship remain shuttered and offer only virtual services. Others require proof of vaccination to enter. The policy outlined above seeks to balance our desire to worship and socialize in person, with appropriate caution for our most vulnerable congregants. It takes into account the length of time of our events and services, and unmasking during meals. The FJCC COVID Task Force carefully monitors updates in the transmission level, and in the guidelines from the CDC and NJ. Policies are re-examined as either of these change.
The Hebrew School COVID Task Force requires masks of all who are in the building during Hebrew School, and arranges physical distancing in the classrooms. The Hebrew School has also adopted the following policy, based on CDC guidelines and recommendations of the FJCC COVID Task Force, for returning to Hebrew School post-COVID exposure (regardless of vaccination status):
- If you tested positive for COVID-19, but had no symptoms: return only after 5 full days after your positive test.
- If you had symptoms of COVID-19, but were not severely ill: return only after 5 full days, if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), and your symptoms are improving.
- If you were severely ill with COVID-19: return only after 10 days, but consult your doctor before returning to Hebrew School.
We hope this clarifies our current policies and procedures. If you have questions, please contact Sharon Rednor at email@example.com, Bruce Moscovitz at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Karen Walsh at email@example.com.
Rabbi Eric Cohen (he/him/his)