From the desk of Rabbi David Lyon

The only miracle we celebrate at this season is the victory of the Maccabees over their foes and the oil that lasted eight nights. The story is about our resilience to honor our tradition and faith under all circumstances. But there is no victory in a pandemic that lingers even another day. The news of Omicron is worrisome only because we know little about it. Currently, our Taskforce, guided by Dr. Ed Septimus and Dr. Jenny Guss, urges us to remain calm and maintain our latest protocols. We have done very well by letting science and wisdom guide us. We’ll continue to learn from science and let wisdom lead the way.

To date, Congregation Beth Israel has succeeded in promoting life and health, engagement, and meaning with life-saving advice about COVID-19, and protocols to allow community gathering, worship, and learning. Until further notice, we will adhere to common-sense protocols:

  1. You may remove your mask in the sanctuary and other Temple spaces* if you have been fully vaccinated and feel comfortable doing so.
  2. If you have not been vaccinated, stay home and livestream, or continue to wear your mask and physically distance.
  3. We will continue to offer livestream and online programs and services.
  4. Children under the age of 5, or any children who have not yet been fully vaccinated, should wear masks, physically distance, and follow guidelines specified by their parents or guardians.

*Shlenker School will remain a mask-only setting until further notice.

As the Chanukah lights still burn, let’s focus on the Talmudic teaching to increase light and holiness. In good health and much joy at this season, please take care of yourself and your families. Read updates from Beth Israel’s Taskforce for data-driven and leading-Jewish advice on our shared future of good health and peace.

Happy Chanukah,

Omicron 3