Temple Ohabei Shalom Phased Reopening Continues

Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman, Rabbi Daniel Schaefer, Shari Churwin

We’re writing today with an update on our TOS operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As so much is changing, here at TOS we are also beginning to plan for more in-person events. As a Jewish organization, we continue to be guided by our sacred values of Pikuah Nefesh “Safeguarding Life” and Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh “We Are All Responsible for One Another.” It’s our job to look out for the mental and physical health and safety of one another, from our students to our congregants to our employees.

We’ve been able to have our schools (TCEE, ARS, and HomeBASE) open this year, providing opportunities to scale our operations in many ways. As we plan our reopening for TOS events, we want to be clear: we understand that each and every member of our community needs to evaluate their personal readiness to attend TOS programs and services in person. Here, we hope to clearly communicate our plans moving forward, highlight protocols in place to protect your safety, and establish a level of comfort for everyone as we make it possible for you to re-enter our physical congregational home.

In spring and summer, we are planning for a variety of in-person, hybrid, and virtual programming experiences. Our building and synagogue offices will “officially” reopen on June 1, 2021. We will, of course, have extensive health and safety measures in place including: limiting the size of in-person group interactions, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and mask-wearing along with physical distancing when appropriate. Preregistration/RSVP will be REQUIRED for anyone to participate in in-person TOS programming, worship services, and lifecycle events. In addition, a health attestation form will be required to be completed on the day of the program. Our health and safety committee has decided that anyone can attend TOS programs and events regardless of vaccination status. However, we urge anyone eligible to be vaccinated to do so; we believe that it’s a moral duty for each and every member of our community. Click here for more information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the coming weeks and months, as we begin to transition to our “new normal,” some of you may prefer the intimacy of a Zoom service without masks and in the comfort of your home. Alternatively, some of you may be ready to experience an in-person community. No matter the choice you make, we are here for you; you will not be alone.

Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating an exact timeline for resuming full “normal” operations is not feasible. We will continue to monitor applicable state and local guidance, practices within the Jewish community, and surrounding religious and non-religious organizations to determine next steps for services, programs, in-office staff operations, and outside events.

Click here for our calendar of upcoming activities and events. Please note that Shabbat services (and most other activities) will continue to be live streamed so that we can always be as inclusive as possible.

Click here to review our current protocols so you can decide if you feel comfortable attending in person, and also whether you can adhere to our health and safety expectations.

Our clergy and ritual committee have already begun to plan for the coming High Holy Days. We anticipate an inclusive multi-access model – with holiday worship and educational experiences both in person and virtually. As we make our way to a new normal, let’s be mindful that our return from intense separation and restriction needs to be gentle and gradual. We are looking forward to this process and are here for you. We look forward to connecting/reconnecting with you in the coming weeks.


Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman
Rabbi Daniel Schaefer
Shari Churwin, Executive Director of Education and Administration