Message From the President

Message From the President

Shalom,

It has been quite some time since I have written to you, and still longer since we have seen each other face to face. I am excited to announce that we are reopening our shul to full usage and that June 2021 has been designated as our HOMECOMING MONTH.

Based on guidance from our medical professionals, federal (CDC), state and local authorities, we are immediately restarting our regular programs, as well as new and interesting ones intended to welcome you back to your energized and vibrant Jewish community. We are creating opportunities for you to get reacquainted with old friends and meet new ones, recapture your spiritual health, provide opportunities for growing Jewishly and do so in a safe and responsible environment. The last year has taught us that we need each other! Please see below the (growing) list of our upcoming programs to kick start our HOMECOMING:

  • On Sunday, 5/30/2021, you are invited to a BBQ—both sit down and carry out are available.
  • Starting on 6/5/2021 Rabbi Smason will be conducting his weekly, in person, “Starting Points” Shabbat program at 10:15 am.
  • Starting on 6/5/2021 Rabbi David of Aish HaTorah is restarting his weekly, in-person “Learners Service” Shabbat Program at 9:15 am.
  • As a welcome back, on 6/5/2021 we will have a special Kiddush
  • On Sunday, 6/13/2021 we will host an Ice Cream Social
  • On Sunday, 7/25/2021 we will have a full BBQ event in Irv Zeid Park
  • And…every day, and every Shabbat, we have our regular religious services at our regular times. Please join us for services, and hear our Rabbis share uplifting words of wisdom, and flex those “social” muscles.

(Obviously, if the situation changes, we may need to alter these based on the protocols that will be required at their scheduled times. We will, of course, provide you with notices in such an event.)

Rabbi Smason has approved the opening of our shul for services and programs, including the ones listed above, with still responsible but far less constraining protocols. The protocols for attendance have been frequently changing. So, I want to summarize, in a hopefully understandable fashion, the protocols for the foreseeable future:

  • The shul is open without any restrictions concerning the number or ages of attendees.
  • Vaccination cards and advanced registrations are no longer required.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals do not require masks, nor practice social distancing, indoors or outside.
  • For their own safety and that of others, those who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks and social distance at least three feet when indoors.
  • As you can tell from the upcoming events, we have begun to serve food, practically a hallmark of NHBZ. And this is being done with appropriate safeguards. Shabbat Kiddushim and Seudah Shlishit on Shabbat afternoon have restarted. Only fully vaccinated individuals may work in the kitchen and be involved in food service at any synagogue event. For the time being, we are serving food with single-serve distribution and less congregating in lines rather than our normal “buffet” style.
  • Whether vaccinated or not, anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms may not attend shul until any fever subsides, and they have received a negative COVID-test result. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or Rabbi Smason.

Upon your return, you will notice that we have installed a permanent pergola on the patio, and awnings and security bollards at our entrances. When you come you will see your shul with a facelift. Besides these, many other infrastructure projects were carried out, some visible and some less so.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Directors, the Executive, the various committee heads and their volunteers, professional staff, and, not the least, Rabbi Smason and Assistant Rabbi Okin, for doing their utmost to keep our shul as actively engaged as has been possible. I would also like to thank the “Minyanaires” who consistently attended our services during weekdays and all the men and ladies who came for Shabbat services. And, of course, a thanks go out to all the attendees on our daily ZOOM programs. Yashar Kochachem.

I hope that you will find these guidelines sufficient to return. As always, our goal is not merely to make it possible for you to attend your shul, but to provide opportunities that compel you to attend. We want and need you back and hope you appreciate that you need to come back. It has been too long. We hope to see you very soon at our Services and Programs. And do not forget to bring your friends.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish you and your family, health and safety.

Menachem Szus
Shul President
5/26/2021