Reopening Our Buildings

We are excited to welcome our community back to in-person worship, programs, and events at Temple and the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center!

Protecting the health and safety of the community is not just required of us, it is woven into our Jewish values, and we made this decision carefully and with guidance from the medical experts on our Reopening Task Force.

First Steps

This summer’s in-person offerings are just the first of many steps, both large and small, that we will take on our journey to reopening our facilities.

Throughout July, we will be testing different check-in and wellness screening options. We appreciate your patience as we determine the processes that work best for our WHC community.

At every step of the recovery phase, we will continue to prioritize community health and safety. Our decisions reflect lessons we have learned from a year of robust virtual activity, the feedback we have received from so many of you, and our commitment to ensuring that all of you will have access to the comfort, inspiration, and community of your Temple.

All protocols and procedures are subject to change pursuant to government regulations and the medical judgment of our Reopening Task Force.

Updated July 7, 2021

Before You Come to Temple or JBSC

Registration

We request that everyone register in advance for any service or program they plan to attend. You can sign up through links on our website calendar. If you need assistance, please call the Temple office at 202-362-7100.

For Shabbat services only: Registration for Shabbat services opens three weeks in advance and closes at noon on Friday. If registration has already closed, you are still welcome to join us! Please arrive at least 30 minutes early so we can help you complete your registration and Wellness Screening onsite.

Wellness Screening

When you come to Temple or JBSC, we will ask you to complete a verbal wellness check that asks the following questions:

1. Have you or anyone in your household knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
2. Have you or anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or are you waiting for test results?
3. Have you or anyone in your household experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
4. Have you been vaccinated this year or have you tested negative within the last 72 hours for COVID-19?

What to expect at WHC

Individual Health and Safety

For your health and the safety of our community, if you do not feel well, please stay home and join us via our live stream.

Masks: We ask anyone who has not been vaccinated to wear a mask. If you are unable to wear a mask for any reason, please join us via live stream.

Social distancing: Please maintain social distancing, keeping six feet between individuals or family groups. Signage and markings will be in place and staff will be available to help with this.

Hugs and handshakes: Although the desire to hug or shake hands with clergy and community members may be overwhelming, for the health and safety of the entire community, please limit physical contact to those in your household and family.

A squirt of prevention: Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building.

Arriving at Temple

Allow extra time: We encourage you to arrive 30 minutes before the service or program begins to allow ample time to check in.

Where to go: Please enter our building via the Parking Lot doors that face 39th Street. If there is a line, please use the markers on the sidewalk to help maintain a six-foot distance between households. If you or a member of your household is unable to wait in line, please speak with a staff member who will assist you.

What to do: Read the Wellness Screening questions we have posted, then check in with WHC staff and/or security. If you included other members of your household in your registration, you can check in together.

During the Service

Seating: For the comfort of our members and guests, one section of the Sanctuary will be reserved for socially distanced seating. The other sections are open seating and will have no restrictions. Our WHC staff and ushers will be on hand to assist with any questions or concerns.

Prayer books, kippot, and assistive listening devices will be available for your use.

On the bimah: Our clergy will maintain a six-foot minimum distance from others. Individuals or family members who are participating in the service may be invited to the bimah to speak without a mask. They must continue to follow the six-foot social distancing guideline from clergy and will be given separate, disinfected microphones.

When the service ends: Clergy or staff will direct worshipers to leave row-by-row to ensure social distancing and join us in the lobby for Oneg Shabbat or our Mimosa Minyan Brunch. We ask you to please limit physical contact with others not in your family group.

Restroom Usage

One family group or up to three individuals may occupy the restroom at a time. Our facilities staff will assist with access and will clean and disinfect restrooms hourly.

Enhanced Cleaning and Ventilation

Before the service or life cycle event begins, all ritual and common objects will be disinfected and/or cleaned. If musicians or singers will participate, they will maintain a distance of 30 feet from the congregation and keep a six-foot distance from one another.

Our facilities staff cleans and disinfects high-touch areas several times a day, and our building is cleaned and disinfected at the end of every business day. Worship areas also receive additional cleaning and disinfection before and after services.

We have installed upgrades to our air handling system that have improved overall air quality and will mitigate many health risks – including coronavirus. Weather permitting, we will also open Kaufmann Sanctuary’s external doors during services enabling us to increase the introduction of outdoor air to 100%.

If you are not ready to join us in person

We know that not everyone is able — or ready — to join us in person, and we will continue to offer options for you to join us virtually for services

Friday evening services can be seen via our live stream and Facebook pages; Saturday morning services will be livestreamed. We will no longer broadcast services over Zoom.

FAQ

We ask that attendees age 16+ have either received the COVID-19 vaccine this year or received a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours before the service.


All of WHC’s clergy and staff are fully vaccinated.


We request that anyone who has not been fully vaccinated wear a properly fitting mask at all times. If someone is unable to wear a mask for any reason, we invite them to join us via live stream.

Masks are optional for fully vaccinated individuals.


Registration helps WHC to gauge attendance and ensure we are prepared for our members and guests.


Please notify one of our onsite staff members so we can provide appropriate accommodations.


We will follow guidance and direction provided by local health authorities.


Yes!


Our facilities staff cleans and disinfects high-touch areas several times a day, and our building is cleaned and disinfected at the end of every business day. Worship areas also receive additional cleaning and disinfection before and after services.


We have installed upgrades to our air handling system that have improved overall air quality and will mitigate many health risks – including coronavirus.


One family group or up to three individuals may occupy the restroom at a time. Our facilities staff will assist with access and will clean and disinfect restrooms hourly during services and life cycle events.


Yes!


Yes!


Yes!


Yes! We invite you to join us in the lobby for Oneg Shabbat after Friday evening services and our Mimosa Minyan Brunch on Saturday mornings. Food will be individually wrapped and cold beverages will be pre-poured. We will have sanitizing wipes by the hot beverage station for you to use.


And we are happy to help! Please email Steve Jacober, WHC’s Executive Director, or Jeff Weiss, Chairman of WHC’s Reopening Task Force and Board of Directors Officer-at-Large.


Yes! Our Friday Evening and Saturday Morning Shabbat services will be live streamed as always.


Additional FAQs for B'nei Mitzvah Families

Yes!


At this time, we are holding all services and life cycle events in Kaufmann Sanctuary. The sanctuary is much larger and offers a better opportunity for social distancing. In addition to the ventilation system upgrades we have installed, the configuration of Kaufmann Sanctuary enables us to increase the introduction of outdoor air to 100% during worship services.


If you are not comfortable or able to have an indoor service, please contact our B’nei Mitzvah Coordinator, Beth Donaldson, as soon as possible so we can discuss options with you.


Yes!