Since March, how we gather for CBI events has been dramatically altered by the coronavirus pandemic. Also since March, our congregational Executive Committee has met many Monday nights with Reb Lisa and Reb Steve to review our choices and actions based on the latest COVID findings. Over these months, our decisions have relied on governmental guidelines and information from public health experts. We have also been guided by what other religious clergy and religious communities, including synagogues, have done. Our goal was, simply put, to provide for the spiritual well-being of our community while at the same time safeguarding our physical well-being.
As states and counties continue to open up, we must now grapple with the important questions of when we are going to resume in-person gatherings and how those gatherings will look. At our meeting on June 9, we made the following two decisions:
CBI will continue to meet on Zoom through at least July 15th in lieu of gathering at our building. Our decision was based in part on California’s Pandemic Roadmap guidelines. We are in Stage 2 now and in-person religious services should only begin in Stage 3. It was also based in large part on Reb Lisa and Reb Steve being off during the first 2 weeks in July; services in our building are unlikely while they both are gone.
We created an ad hoc committee to develop detailed plans of how we will conduct our gatherings once we reopen. There are so many guidelines and details to review and consider, including issues of spacing, singing, sanitizing, schmoozing and so much more. We need to start designing the “new normal” now.
We know that these last few months have been hard on all of us. While we miss gathering together in our building, we also know that CBI has met the challenge to remain connected and remain active. We have been reminded that our congregation is not the building but the people. We pray for the continued health of our community and our loved ones and look forward to the day when we can celebrate coming together in our building once again.