The BETC COVID Strategy Task Force has developed guidelines for managing COVID-related risks associated with gatherings at the temple. This group regularly evaluates our guidelines within the context of our Jewish values and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and state and local authorities. The COVID Ops Task Force meets regularly to ensure that our guidelines are applied appropriately across temple operations.
Any updates will be published on this page.
Please be sure you are familiar with our guidelines before any planned visit to the temple building.
In order to attend services and programs in the temple building, you must be fully vaccinated, which is defined by the CDC as being two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Janssen vaccine.
Beginning February 1, 2022, all members and visitors who are eligible for vaccination and who are entering the building for longer than 15 minutes will be required to show proof of vaccination at the door (card or photo). While vaccination has been a longstanding requirement for those attending worship services or other programs at the temple, this precaution will reinforce this layer of protection, and we hope that you will feel comfortable joining us in the building when you are ready.
The Religious School will also be requiring vaccination for all students who are eligible, starting February 1, 2022. Director Joan Perlman is providing guidance directly to families.
BETC has also mandated vaccination for employees, Religious School volunteers, and other volunteers responsible for preparing and serving food at the temple, effective January 5, 2022. Those who are subject to this policy have already received instructions for compliance. All vaccination policies have been developed with legal counsel.
If you are entering the building, you must fill out the Health Attestation to ensure that we have an accurate record of who is in the building. The exceptions are Shabbat and Festival services, where you can RSVP through the link distributed in the weekly emails and someone verifies the attendance list is accurate.
Please do not come to the temple if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
We require all people over the age of 2 to wear well-fitting masks when they are indoors for meetings or programming, regardless of vaccination status, in accordance with CDC recommendations for communities with Substantial or High transmission rates. The Town of Belmont has additionally mandated wearing face coverings in all buildings open to the public, for those above the age of 2, with exceptions for medical conditions or disability.
We will have disposable medical masks on hand. For outdoor gatherings, face coverings are optional, though we recommend that they be worn during events that include singing together.
Fully vaccinated people may attend services in the sanctuary. Attendees must be masked, per our guidelines for face coverings. Capacity in the sanctuary is estimated to be half of “full” capacity. You may use this link to sign up to attend services in person. We are also continuing to provide a Zoom option for joining services remotely.
Committees, classes, and groups are welcome to gather in the building, socially distanced and masked, per our guidelines for face coverings. All attendees in the building must be fully vaccinated. Space must be requested ahead of time by contacting the temple office, in order to ensure adequate custodial/building coverage. Gatherings should also include a Zoom option for inclusivity through remote access.
Food and Beverage
Sunday School and Hebrew School have been operating in person since September. Classroom operations, including spacing and food serving requirements, are in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students are kept in cohorts as much as possible. Music education and singing are treated with special attention, as singing generates more aerosols.
Hebrew School services in the sanctuary have begun, and Kitah Bet, Gimmel, and Dalet class services will start again soon. Religious school has been planned with the utmost care, so that we can provide important religious education while protecting our students, most of whom have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for much of the school year to date.
We have invested in physical measures for minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The sanctuary and auditorium are equipped with MERV-13 HVAC filters. All classrooms, offices, and various other rooms in the building have medical-grade Jade air purifiers. When possible, windows are opened in order to maximize airflow. We have hand sanitizer available throughout the building, including at the main entrance from the parking lot and at the entrance to the sanctuary.
Rental inquiries should be directed to the temple office at (617) 484-6668.
We regularly evaluate our COVID guidelines, both for the Religious School and broader use of the building. We will continue to communicate with you as we adjust our guidelines in response to the progression of the pandemic and the needs of our community.