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Update on In-Person Programming

08/10/2020 09:33:19 AM


Marianne Balin, President

As I mentioned in my recent email, Har HaShem's Board of Directors and our ReOccupy Task Force have been developing guidelines and procedures for offering in-person programming. Last week, the Board accepted the task force’s recommendations, and I’m eager to update you and answer some of the questions we’ve been hearing from you. 

Our goal is to balance our community’s spiritual and emotional needs against potential risks to our health during the COVID pandemic. We’re being guided by science, data, and the recommendations of public health officials viewed through the lens of Judaism’s ethical teachings to protect life. 

I know you have questions … here are a few that we’re hearing, along with some answers:

When will we have in-person events?
We don’t know. We all long to hug one another, to sit side by side, to share a meal together. We look forward to the day when that will be possible. Until then, we are looking for ways to gather safely -- at a distance -- at Har HaShem.

How will Har HaShem decide when the time is right for in-person events?
With guidance from our ReOccupy Task Force, HHS is monitoring several quantitative indicators of Covid-19’s prevalence in Boulder, Denver, and Colorado, and the ability of our local health system to trace contacts and provide treatment. We will, of course, continue to comply with guidance from our state and local jurisdictions.

Will there be any restrictions or guidelines when HHS begins to offer in-person programs?
Yes. That’s because our top priority is to ensure the safety of our participants and staff. Therefore, at a minimum, we will:

  • Require pre-registration for all in-person programs; no walk-ins will be allowed. 

  • Limit attendance. Space will be allocated on a first-registered first-served basis, giving preference to those who have not attended recent programs.

  • Prescreen registrants for symptoms and other possible high risk exposures. Those with symptoms or high risk exposures will not be allowed to register.

  • Require masks for all. 

  • Maintain social distancing of at least six feet, and at least 12 feet if we’ll be singing. 

What programs are likely to be offered in-person first?
Based on your input to our July survey (more than 300 of you replied!), we’re hearing some interest in outdoor services and outdoor learning for our religious school students. Watch your email for a follow-up survey later this month -- your responses will help shape our programming for the future. When we do offer in-person programs, we’ll do our best to also provide online access by Zoom, Facebook Live or other means.

What will High Holy Days look like?
We’re putting together services and materials -- with familiar songs and prayers -- to help you have a meaningful new year at a safer distance from one another. Soon, we'll begin sharing information about online services, activities for families or social pods, small outdoor gatherings to hear the shofar, hikes or drives to celebrate outdoors.

Tell me more about that task force…
David Price, MD, has led a group of medical, public health, mental health, legal and communications experts to review public health recommendations, science of COVID, and other information and to formulate recommendations for the Board. We value and appreciate their expertise and guidance.

The strength of our Har HaShem community is obvious -- even virtually. Let’s continue to see and hear each other online and look forward to the day that we can safely be together in person.

We wish you a restful and happy end of Summer.

Marianne Balin

Sun, July 21 2024 15 Tammuz 5784