Dear community members,
We’re excited to share with you our plans for a staged reopening of our building.
The Reimagining Committee met recently to discuss the improving COVID situation in NH, including new guidance from the CDC and NH Department of Health on mask-wearing indoors and outdoors. We are working to revise our reopening plan in light of the many beneficial changes taking place. Our goal moving forward is to present simplified rules on mask-wearing and other COVID-mitigation steps that follow the science, are easy to understand, and reasonable to maintain. At present, we continue to observe the city of Portsmouth’s mask mandate, in effect through June 30. Congregants are expected to wear masks within the building. Masks are also required outside wherever six feet of distance between members of different households cannot maintained. Fully vaccinated clergy and service leaders may remove their masks on the bimah during the service. Also, participants who are fully vaccinated may remove their masks while on the bimah.
We recognize that, for some time to come, a percentage of our membership will not be able to enjoy the benefits of vaccination, due to youth or other factors. That is the primary reason why mask-wearing indoors remains necessary.
Meanwhile, our state has progressed along the Covidactnow.org color chart from code “orange” to code “yellow,” which means that we can open the building for hybrid services.
To that end, we will be running a pilot program this weekend with indoor Shabbat services. We ask that those interested in attending in person on Friday night, May 28 or Saturday morning, May 29, please register before 2:00 pm on Friday, May 28, via the website calendar. Friday night services will be at the usual 7:00 pm; the previously scheduled Shabbes Tisch is postponed.
We appreciate your patience as we run through our safety protocols and look forward to seeing you soon!
Robert Zimman, President