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Information on In-Person Minyanim

Information on In-Person Minyanim

Shalom L’kulam,

I want to begin by sending blessings of health and well-being to each Beth El community member. As you well know, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it unprecedented times that have deeply affected our lives and certainly the way we are able to interact with our synagogue community. In order to protect the welfare of our members and in order to participate in safeguarding public health, we created a medical task force, chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Kopin, to guide synagogue decision making during the pandemic so that our choices were informed by science and expert opinions.  

Accordingly, our medical task force is currently helping to guide us as Illinois has transitioned into Phase Three, which allows for gatherings of ten, especially in outdoor spaces. We recognize that one of the many difficult aspects of this pandemic has been the inability to gather together for a live, in-person minyan, especially for those who are saying Kaddish for a loved one. Therefore, starting this week, the medical task force has approved our holding a live minyan of ten outside in our backyard.   

Subject to the precautions listed below, we will begin by holding  in person Minchah/Maariv services will be at 7:30 pm on Mondays (new option) and Wednesdays. Shacharit services will be at 8:45 am on Sunday and Friday.  Assuming all goes well, we will continue next week and will also consider expanding further minyan opportunities. We know that ten people is a very limiting number, so priority will be given to those saying Kaddish. However, we encourage anyone, whether you are saying kaddish or not, to sign up if interested.

Until restrictions change, only those who have signed up can attend.  Please be understanding as we begin to offer these services in the safest manner possible. Please also note that these live minyanim will not replace our on-line Zoom services. We will continue to hold our Zoom services twice a day independent of these live minyanim.  To sign up for any of these live minyanim please click the button below and fill out the form. As we finalize the participants, we will contact you to let you know if you are confirmed.  

To participate in these live minyanim the following precautions must be taken:

  • Only participants who signed up for a particular minyan and receive an e-mail confirming their participation may join. For the sake of being in compliance with state regulations and for the safety of everyone involved, there can be no walk-ins. 
  • All participants must wear a mask from the time they leave their car until the time they return to their car. 
  • All participants must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from each other (preset chairs will be positioned that exceed these requirements)      
  • Any participant that is experiencing, or has recently experienced, symptoms of illness should not participate. Here is a link to common COVID-19 symptoms for reference: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided. All participants will be asked to use it before entering the prayer space and we recommend you wash your hands when you return home.
  • We ask that anyone who has underlying conditions or is immunosuppressed to avoid participation. Here are some guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html
  • We ask that anyone who participates bring their own siddur (actual or app) or download the siddur to their phone.
  • If there is a significant chance of rain, the minyan may be called off.
  • You may park in the back, or in the side lot, if there is room. Otherwise, you can park in the front and walk around the south side of the building to the backyard.  
  • The building will remain closed. 

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at mschwab@nssbethel.org .

Thank you and Shavuah Tov! 

Rabbi Schwab