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Executive Director Message

October 22, 2020

IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT ELECTION DAY, TUESDAY 11/3

For the first time in many years, Temple Beth Sholom will NOT be a polling site on Election Day. Per our request, in which we raised various concerns, the Camden County Board of Elections has agreed to move the polling location for the upcoming general election on Tuesday, November 3 from TBS to Cherry Hill High School East. Residents of the six districts who typically vote at Temple Beth Sholom will need to go to Cherry Hill High School East to either vote in-person or to drop off their ballot. We previously made the decision to close our Eric B. Jacobs Early Childhood Education Center for Election Day, but since the voting will no longer be held here at TBS, we have notified our ECEC families that our ECEC will indeed be open that day. We will continue to have security at TBS throughout the entire day on Election Day to keep our entire TBS community safe, and to help the Cherry Hill community navigate this change in the polling location. If you have any questions about polling locations or the voting process this year, please contact the Camden County Board of Elections at (856) 401-VOTE (8683) or visit their website here.

As far as in-person services, we will once again hold in-person services this coming Shabbat, Saturday morning October 24. While the current maximum number of attendees for in-person gatherings in the state of New Jersey is 25% of capacity – which would be 90 people in the main sanctuary based on seating of 360 – we determined that we would host a maximum of 25 people total for Shabbat services. As we have stated since March, although the Governor’s office has allowed a certain number of attendees for indoor gatherings, we have approached our gatherings with caution and with fewer numbers than allowed. In addition, we have been further cautious with the distancing guidelines as an extra measure of precaution. For example, while the recommended distance for social distancing is 6 feet, we will maintain a distance of 24 feet between the Rabbi’s and Cantor’s lecterns and the first row of congregants, which starts with the fourth row in the sanctuary. And we will maintain a distance of 12 feet between the next row of congregants, and a minimum distance of 10 feet between congregants in the same row. In addition, we opened our movable walls to the Friedman Social Hall and Helman Auditorium to create extra seating for those who want to distance themselves further. We will stick with this number of attendees, as well as the distancing guidelines, for the foreseeable future. We are asking that our congregants sign up in advance for attending services and to bring with them a completed COVID-19 questionnaire that we will send to you in advance. Everyone entering the building will have their temperature checked upon arrival. For the safety of our entire TBS community, anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed in the building. Everyone will also be asked the following COVID-19 screening questions to confirm that there have been no changes since filling out the questionnaire: 

  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Have you been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?  
  • Do you have a fever, dry cough, or any other COVID-19 symptom?  
  • Have you traveled to a COVID-19 “Hot Spot” in the last 14 days?

For the safety of our entire TBS community, TBS reserves the right to deny entry into the building to anyone who answers “yes” to any of these questions.  

Please note, for the health and safety of everyone attending, all kippot and tallit have been removed, so be sure to bring your own.

Be sure to check here each week for any changes to our attendance limits as well as any changes to our building guidelines and procedures. Please see information below regarding signups for in-person services:

We are inviting the congregation to attend in-person Shabbat services but attendance is being limited to 25 people. At this time we ask that children do not come. As hard as it is to say this, we need to be able to keep people within the designated spaces. Please be aware that priority will be given to those who have not attended services yet. If you have attended in-person services in recent weeks and would like to attend again, email Laura Padersky to be placed on the waiting list.

If you are healthy and interested in coming, then we would be happy to have you. Here are the details:

  • We will only have 25 people at services (not including clergy), so the sign-ups will be first come first served. After you sign up, you will receive an email confirming your registration.
  • You must wear a mask at all times in the TBS building, including throughout the service, and observe social distancing. For the health and safety of everyone attending, all kippot and tallit have been removed, so be sure to bring your own.
  • You will have your temperature checked upon entering the building. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4 will not be allowed into the service.
  • We will have designated sections in the sanctuary for seating to maintain social distancing for the service.
  • The service will be modified and abbreviated as appropriate for our circumstances.

We ask that you print out and complete the COVID-19 screening form and bring it to synagogue with you. If you wake up not feeling well please do not come to shul. Please note that after this Shabbat, October 24, the next congregational in-person service that will be open for sign-ups is scheduled for November 14. Details will follow.

Sign up to attend Shabbat Services in-person on October 24 - CLICK HERE

Screen sharing is not available in the Livestream format; therefore Siddur Lev Shalem will need to be obtained in advance. A PDF version is available HERE or can be purchased at the TBS office for $54 each.

Please contact Laura Padersky if you have any questions, if you would like your name added to the waiting list, or if you would like to be notified each week that there is space available. We appreciate your support and partnership, and hope to see you in shul!

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom with your families and I look forward to seeing you soon! If you have any questions, comments or concerns, you can always reach out to me at rons@tbsonline.org or (856) 751-6663 x218.

B’Shalom,

Ron Safier

Executive Director

Mon, October 26 2020 8 Cheshvan 5781