The high holidays are upon us! Cambridge Minyan is proceeding with plans to hold full high holiday services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur indoors at the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Harvard Square. With the public health situation constantly evolving, we want to share a few updates on the protocols and precautions we are putting in place so that we can come together as safely as possible:
All attendees over the age of 12 must be vaccinated. If you have a medical reason that prevents you from being vaccinated, please reach out to the reopening committee at email@example.com.
Masks for Adults
All attendees (including those leading services, teaching, leyning, etc.) must wear a mask at all times, and masks must have a minimum filtration of a KF94. Cambridge Minyan will provide you with a KF94 when you arrive at services.
Masks for Children
Children over the age of two are also required to wear masks. Child-size KF94s will be available and are recommended, but are not required (having a well-fitting mask that children will wear is more important). We recognize that younger children may struggle to keep their masks on at all times; we ask that the community be aware and understanding of this, and we also ask that parents help their children keep masks on and help them not to wander around the adult space to other pods. There will also be a separate room for childcare where children can play (masks are expected in this room, too, but this will provide a less confining space for kids). Additionally, if anyone (including adults or children) needs a mask break, you are welcome to step outdoors, as masks are not required outside.
To eat a snack, please step outside the main davening space and maintain at least a 6 foot distance from other people. Taking a quick drink of water is allowed inside the main davening space.
Chairs will be set in pods that are six feet apart from each other. For the initial room set up, the pods will include sets of two chairs each; however, if your party is larger, please feel free to pull chairs together from unused pods. If you do rearrange the chairs, please make sure that you are still distanced from anyone outside your pod.
The main davening room we are using at the Sheraton Commander Hotel has 12 air changes per hour, which is very high. The hotel is also providing additional HEPA filters.
When you sign up for services, you will be asked to attest to your vaccination status. Additionally, by attending services, community members attest to their health. This means that you have not shown signs or symptoms related to COVID-19 in the past three days, have not had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, and have not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by a doctor or local health official. All attendees must also follow CDC guidelines around travel. Please refer to the CDC guidelines for COVD-19 including symptoms, vaccination, and travel.
We encourage all who are able to get a PCR test within a few days prior to attending services. While this is not required, it would provide an extra layer of confidence that we are coming together safely.
We are meeting in a large space, but social distancing requirements inherently limit the number of people who can fit in the room. At present, we anticipate having plenty of space. However, if at any point we reach the limit of the number of pods that can social distance according to the guidelines above, we will be forced to suspend entry of new arrivals, regardless of registration status.
We plan to hold a full shofar service by enclosing the end of a shofar in a mask and having our shofar blowers take a PCR test in the days leading up to chag. We are continuing to evaluate the impact of blowing shofar indoors, and we may move the shofar service to an outdoor location near the hotel after services if needed.
Cambridge Minyan's reopening committee is continuing to monitor the public health situation, and we will adjust our plans if needed. In the meantime, we are hopeful that we will be able to come together for the high holidays as planned. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the high holiday committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. For general questions related to reopening and our COVID-19 policies, please contact the reopening committee at email@example.com.
We recognize that not everyone will be comfortable with coming together indoors for the high holidays this year. As such, we encourage you to explore other Camberville options including Temple Beth Shalom (TBS/Tremont Street Shul) and Minyan Tehillah.
Finally, as we plan for the new year, we invite and encourage you to become a member of Cambridge Minyan. Cambridge Minyan is dependent on membership contributions to support everything we do, including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. High holiday davening is once again included in membership this year. Although $218 per adult is the suggested membership donation, all who wish to join are welcome at any level. We encourage you to contribute an amount you feel is appropriate according to your individual means. Go to www.cambridgeminyan.org to become a member and make your contribution. (For those who would like to solely attend Cambridge Minyan's high holiday services, please click here.) While we do not require tickets to attend high holiday services, we ask that everyone fill out the membership or high holiday form. Thank you in advance for your support!
We have nearly reached capacity for Yom Kippur services. If you are still looking to attend services and have not yet registered, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
With wishes for a meaningful month of Elul and a happy and healthy new year,