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6/5 GUIDING PRINCIPLES IN PLANNING TO REOPEN (IN THE FUTURE) 

TBS Principles for Re-opening our physical spaces 

As we envision ways to reopen our building in the future, we, the Board of Trustees, are mindful that kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh -- all Israel are responsible for one another -- and that pikuach nefesh -- preserving the sanctity of life -- is of paramount importance in Jewish tradition. Therefore, we are adopting the following guidelines to serve as benchmarks for how we will make these vital decisions:

Grounded in Science. Any steps toward reopening our physical space should be made based on the best available data and science, including information about cases in Cambridge and our surrounding cities and towns. 
Coordinated and regional. TBS leadership will follow state and local guidelines. We will continue to collaborate with religious groups in Cambridge, with city leadership, with CJP and with other Jewish organizations to share information and best practices. Communication must also be clear to the community. Our plan will also be grounded in communication with Alef-Bet and other groups using our building, members and other visitors to our building. 
Prioritize health and welfare. We must prioritize public health and the welfare of our community. We are already identifying and implementing changes, including ventilation and sanitization processes, we need to make to our facilities to support gathering when it is allowed. 
Equitable. Our plan must address our ability to support members and guests who are not able to attend in person services and those who are able to. 

 

5/22 COVID UPDATE

Dear Tremont Street Shul Community,

We have been united in patiently staying apart throughout the outbreak of Covid-19 to minimize risk within our community and beyond. Thank you for your resilience and participation in our online options for daveninglearning, and socializing. “Seeing” you has been a treat and if you haven’t yet joined, please do! 

Governor Baker released the Reopening Massachusetts plan earlier this week allowing the state to reopen in measured phases. You might know that houses of worship are among the institutions that are being given the choice to reopen during the first phase, which began earlier this week.

At this point, we do not have a definitive timeline for when we will reopen in person. Safety is our primary concern; we are committed to keeping our building closed at this time. We will make sure to provide a lead time of at least two weeks ahead of any changes we make in our status.

The City of Cambridge has also convened multiple conversations with leaders of municipal religious communities to discuss this on a more local level. We are monitoring the status of health, safety, and comfort in our region and within our community. 

As a shul family, we look forward to the time when we can come together as we all want to for the occasions that mark our year. We yearn for Shabbat singing, kiddush, l’chayims, lifecycle events, classes, conversations, BBQs, and more. We can’t wait to give each other hugs and high fives, to play with the kids, and get back to large picnics in the park. We are not there yet. As we would have said last week at the end of the Book of Leviticus, “chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek!” Be strong, be strong, and let us be stronger still!

Wishing you a chodesh tov ~ a healthy and joyous new month ahead,
The Tremont Street Shul Executive Committee
Brian Eisenstein, President
Leah Robins, Vice-President
Honi Sanders, Vice-President
James Carolan, Treasurer
Paul Weiss, Assistant Treasurer

3/13 SHUL BUILDING CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Friends,

Thank you so much to the many of you who have been reaching out regarding the evolving situation of how we as a community respond to COVID-19.

Out of an abundance of caution and in response to Governor Baker's state of emergency orderwe will be suspending Shabbat and weekday services, classes and events until further notice. We will not be hosting a communal seder at the shul this year, but we are in the process of developing options for you to make seder at your own home. These decisions are not taken lightly. Stay tuned for more details as they come.
 
Infectious disease specialists and medical experts have indicated closing buildings where people gather is one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of coronavirus and the severe respiratory infection it causes, known as COVID-19. Synagogues, as centers for larger gatherings, must take the lead on social distancing. We have an important role to play to contain the spread of the illness, protect vulnerable populations, and ensure the best possible health outcomes for our members. 

We have one goal: to slow the spread of the virus and to save lives. 

We know this decision is challenging and that many of you look forward to both the davening and the communal aspect of shul. We invite you to help us think creatively as a community for how we can bring that support into new forms. Please reach out to Brianthe officers and/or Chesed committee with your recommendations. 

As some of our many next steps, please know that we are continuing to assess our ability to hold services further into the future. We are also in active conversations with teachers of our Hebrew and Talmud classes about the ability to move those classes online going forward and working closely with Josh in the office to find appropriate ways to continue necessary shul business. At this time when the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh compels us to impose distance, we will use all technological means at our disposal to ensure that isolation does not mean being isolated from one another. 
 
It is important to note that the changing circumstances around COVID-19 are challenging to us all. Please do not not be shy in reaching out to Brianthe officers and to your fellow members- our community is here for each other.

We will continue to be in touch on this evolving situation. Thank you again for all you do to make TBS the strong, warm, and caring community we know it to be. 

Thank you,
Brian Eisenstein                                Leah Robins
President, Tremont Street Shul        Vice-President, Tremont Street Shul

Thu, July 9 2020 17 Tammuz 5780