Home > Blog > COVID-19 > IMPORTANT: High Holy Day COVID Protocols
Dear WHC Community,
Prioritizing community health and safety helped Washington Hebrew discover new opportunities for spiritual and community connection throughout the pandemic. From record-setting participation at our virtual 2020 High Holy Days to welcoming you back into our buildings for in-person services and programs this summer, being with you has filled our hearts.
The fluid nature of the pandemic requires us to be flexible and cautious so we can continue to uphold our value of “pikuach nefesh” – the mitzvah of saving a life, and we appreciate your understanding.
Under the guidance of Washington Hebrew’s Reopening Task Force and with the full support of our clergy and staff, we share important updates regarding this year’s High Holy Day services.
The sections below include important High Holy Day updates for:
We require all attendees at Temple to be fully vaccinated and present their vaccination card (physical copy or digital image on a smartphone) along with their High Holy Day ticket at the door. No exceptions will be made. We request that you arrive 30-45 minutes early as lines will be longer and slower to ensure safety and social distancing.
We have options if you cannot join us at Temple! Families with unvaccinated children and those who cannot be vaccinated are welcome at our outdoor services at JBSC. And just like last year, you can join us virtually, as all of our Congregational and Family services will be livestreamed. Whether you feel more comfortable participating virtually or just prefer the comfort of home, we encourage each person and family to join us in whichever way is best for them.
We reduced the number of available tickets by approximately 50% to allow for socially distanced seating throughout the Sanctuary.
Properly fitting masks must be worn at all times when inside our building. Please note that clergy will not wear masks while on the bimah and speaking to the congregation.
Rabbi Lustig’s keynote discussion with Mayor Muriel Bowser and U.S. Ambassador Nominee to Israel Tom Nides will be livestreamed from Kaufmann Sanctuary. Those who hold tickets for Yom Kippur services at Temple and are fully vaccinated are welcome to join us in person.
Our other study sessions will be held via Zoom. You will be able to register for these sessions on our Yom Kippur webpage. The week following Yom Kippur, all Study Sessions will be posted on our WHC YouTube page for you to view at your convenience.
Our community break fast meals have been canceled.
To enable families with children under 12 to worship with us in person, all Family Services will be held under our tent at JBSC. You are welcome to join us in person, watch our live stream, or view the services at your convenience on our YouTube page.
Our Preschool Services on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur will be held outside on our patio, and everyone over two will be required to wear a mask. These services are weather-dependent.
Our Erev Rosh HaShanah and Kol Nidre Services for young professionals will now be held at Union Market in D.C.
All ages are welcome to join us under our tent at the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center! Vaccines are not required.
When you come to JBSC, we will ask you to complete a verbal wellness check when you present your tickets. Please allow extra time for this step.
Even though services will be held outdoors, families with young, unvaccinated children; older adults; and those who cannot or choose not to be vaccinated will be in attendance. In consideration of the health and safety of our community, we require everyone over two to wear a properly fitting mask at all times. Please note that clergy will not wear masks while on the bimah and when speaking to the congregation.
Because the tent is open, we will not have socially distanced seating. If you would be more comfortable with some space around you, we invite you to bring chairs and sit on the lawn outside the tent.
Our Preschool Services on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur will be held on the front lawn at JBSC, and everyone over two will be required to wear a mask. Because these services will not be under the tent, they are weather-dependent.
Please email Jonathan Honigman.
No action is needed. We will accept your Rosh HaShanah ticket at other services on Rosh HaShanah, and you can use your Yom Kippur ticket for other Yom Kippur services.
You will receive an email on Friday with links to our online ticket forms. Please note: online ticketing for Rosh HaShanah ends on Friday, September 3 at noon.
The many valuable lessons we learned over the past year and a half have guided our High Holy Day planning to ensure that you can experience the renewal you seek in ways that are safe and comfortable.
Our High Holy Day website hub includes additional details about the coming Days of Awe. Should public health guidelines require us to make further changes to our plans, we will notify you promptly. Thank you for your patience and flexibility!
3935 Macomb Street NW
Washington, DC 20016
11810 Falls Road
Potomac, MD 20854
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