At Congregation Shaarey Zedek, it is our priority to keep everyone healthy. As a Jewish organization, we are guided by the values of Pikuach Nefesh – “Safeguarding Life,” Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh – “We Are Responsible for One Another,” and Chesed – “Profound Love and Kindness.” We also abide by governmental guidelines whenever possible as we strive to balance public health concerns with the needs of our sacred community.
While we are implementing various protocols to ensure your safety, it’s up to you and everyone in our CSZ family to execute these protocols every time you participate.
We understand that many members do not wish to re-enter the building for some time to come. We encourage, support, and honor that decision, and would especially encourage those with higher risk of COVID-19 infection to avoid attending anything at CSZ (or other locations where gatherings take place). These groups include:
– Older adults
– Those with pre-existing respiratory issues
– Those sharing a household with people described above.
-Those (including children) who don’t understand and are not able to practice social distancing.
We understand that every person’s situation is different and encourage those with specific risks or concerns to speak confidentially with our Return to CSZ Team.
For initial phases, attendance at services will be capped beginning at 10 families (defined as living in the same household) and increasing as it can be safely managed.
Our CSZ leaders have helped to craft guidelines for our return to participating in and around our building, which we are calling the TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR COVID-19 SAFETY:
I. Pre-register and Complete a Health Inventory to Reserve your Space in Shul. The first and most important screening procedure is conducted by anyone contemplating entering the building before they leave home. If you are ill in any way, we urge you to stay home and participate in our activities through virtual means. This especially includes anyone with fever, aches, cough, or other upper respiratory symptoms.
All those entering the building are required to pre-register for each service or event. This pre-registration form requires a self-certification of health, and an agreement to follow the procedures included here while on CSZ property. You may also pre-register by calling the Synagogue office at 248.357.5544. For health and safety reasons, in-person services and events are limited to a maximum number of attendees. When that maximum is reached, the event will be closed. No walk-ins are permitted.
Click HERE to set up an account with MI Symptoms, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services online health questionnaire, and respond to the questions. If you pre-register by phone, you will be asked to verify that you are healthy enough to attend.
II. ALWAYS Wear a Mask.
Until further notice, all those within the CSZ building are required to bring masks and wear them for the duration of their stay on our property. Those unwilling to wear masks will not be granted entry, or will be required to leave. The only exceptions to this policy are:
– For those clergy leading prayer who are not required to wear masks. They are asked to put on masks upon the conclusion of their prayer-leading.
– Children 2 years old and younger. Please note that in the initial phases, it is strongly encouraged that children age 13 and younger do not attend services or programs in the building. Children have a tendency to touch everything, and could easily expose themselves to the virus in doing so.
– Others medically unable to wear a mask.
– Members are asked to provide their own face coverings in accordance with CDC guidelines.
III. Get Your Temperature Checked at the Front Door.
Thermal screening will be conducted in the main foyer, using a handheld device, at activities and services taking place in the building. People yet to be screened should line up outside the building on markers (placed on the ground) six feet apart. Those who show a fever higher than 100.4°, and those refusing to be screened, will not be granted entry.
IV. Always Keep the Proper Social Distance – No Hugging, Shaking Hands, Kissing, etc.
All those at CSZ should follow social distancing best practices, including but not limited to the sanctuary, lobby, restrooms, and outdoor areas. Specifically, everyone is asked to:
Stay 10 feet away from others whether praying, walking, or otherwise engaged when indoors and 6 feet away from others when outdoors.
– Avoid conversations and tasks that require close face-to-face contact with others.
– Avoid contact with others (e.g., handshakes, hugs).
– Avoid touching surfaces that may have been touched by others when possible.
– Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the facility. Everyone should only enter and exit designated areas.
– Follow any posted signage regarding social distancing practices.
– Avoid touching your face.
– Avoid nonessential gatherings.
V. Follow the Proper Path Through the Building: Enter Through the Correct Doors Outside and in the Sanctuary, Follow the Flow of Traffic, and Follow the Usher to Your Assigned Seat
Members should enter the building through the right-most building door. Pathways have been designated for safe passage through the Weisberg Lobby and Eisenberg-Forbes Reception Lounge to the right-most entry door to the sanctuary, which is marked “enter only” and remains open. Members should proceed to an allowable, marked seat through the right-most aisle. Ushers will assist in identifying appropriate seats for each family. The coat room and drinking fountains are closed until further notice.
VI. Pick Up a Siddur and Chumash From the Table on the Way Inside, and Deposit it at the Other Table Near the Exit.
A rolling rack is placed near the right-most sanctuary door for people to pick up a siddur and chumash, and another near the left-most sanctuary door for them to drop off their siddur and chumash after use. Between weekly services, these are rotated.
VII. Only the Clergy are Allowed on the Bimah – Even for Those Who Have Aliyot.
Standing microphones are placed at the front of the left and right aisles. Aliyot are conducted from those microphones, so as to maintain distance from the clergy on the bimah. No one except clergy is allowed on the Bimah, and the clergy will not leave the Bimah (including backstage areas) during the service. Those called to aliyah are asked to bring their own siddur to access the blessings, if needed. Hakafot around the congregation is suspended until further notice.
VIII. When Going to the Bathroom, Follow the Proper Flow of Traffic! Wash Your Hands BEFORE and AFTER Using the Toilet.
Those entering or leaving the restrooms should not touch the doors with their hands – rather they should use their elbow on the automatic door opener panel. Alternating stalls, urinals, and sinks are marked as off-limits. Members are asked to wash their hands before using the restrooms and after using the restrooms. Hand sanitizer is also available immediately outside of the restrooms. Disinfecting wipes are also available to wipe down toilet seats and faucets, if desired.
We have turned off the forced-air hand dryers, and will provide paper towels instead. The family restrooms can also be used, though these require touching the door to open them. No restrooms should have more people within them at any time than is consistent with social distancing of ten feet between those not residing in a single household.
IX. When Exiting, Do So in Phases as Directed From the Bimah.
Members should exit via the center or left-most aisle (looking toward the front) and back to the right-most door as you face the exit. A pathway to the right-most main entry door is marked. In essence, “keep right”as you go, and signs are posted to that effect. No schmoozing on your way out, please! Exit quickly through the lobby, all the way outdoors, before pausing for conversation.
X. Be Prepared for Change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertain times and resulted in unprecedented changes. We ask that everyone remain patient and understanding of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may require our plans to evolve.
Together, we will get through this situation with a stronger, more connected, and more healthy CSZ family. Let us continue to pray for peace, for strength, and most importantly, for life.