COVID-19 Updates

During the COVID pandemic Adath Israel is open for Shabbat and holiday services in person and on Zoom. Our office is open to visitors. Please send us a message or call 609-896-4977 for more information.

August 11, 2021:

COVID Mask Requirement Update

Dear Friends-

As you may know, in June the Health and Safety Committee recommended and the Board of Trustees approved the temporary suspension of Adath’s Reopening Plan and Policy. Unfortunately, since then the more contagious COVID Delta variant has spread throughout the country. As a result, the CDC recommends that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in locations of “substantial” or “high” community transmission of the virus. Both Mercer and Bucks counties currently fall in the “substantial” category. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Adath has been committed to putting in place guidelines that meet or exceed the recommendations of the CDC.

Therefore, the Health and Safety Committee is reinstating a facemask requirement effective Friday, August 13. While in the Adath building everyone must wear a well-fitting, proper mask (as defined in the Reopening Plan and Policy) at all times except when eating or drinking or alone in a room.

While we hope that the rate of community transmission in our area will fall, the mask mandate will remain in effect until after the High Holy Days, regardless of any change in the status of Mercer or Bucks counties. The Health and Safety Committee will reassess the situation after the holidays. You will be receiving more information about the High Holy Days soon, but we wanted to let you know a few more details about our plans.

Services will be open for both in person and Zoom attendees. We highly encourage any unvaccinated people to participate on Zoom, and we ask that you stay home and join us virtually if you feel sick or experience symptoms. We plan on opening all of the walls separating the sanctuary and the social hall to allow for maximum space to spread out.

We are all disappointed that we have not been able to put the pandemic behind us, but we must all do everything we can to protect the health and safety of our entire community. Our tradition teaches “kol Israel areivim zeh ba zeh” – “all of Israel is responsible for one another”. We are in this together, and we ask that you please consider the well-being of everyone by following these guidelines.

With best wishes for year of health and joy for us all,

Rabbi Benjamin Adler

Daniel Brucker, President

 

Past Updates

June 21, 2021:

It has been a difficult 15 months since the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores and upended our lives. In that time Adath Israel has had to make many adjustments including closing our building, switching on the fly to an all-virtual community, then reopening with many new health protocols. As we enter a new phase, we are excited to announce the easing of some of the restrictions put in place over the last few months.

Now that there are widely available safe and effective vaccines, and the number of cases have decreased significantly, the state of New Jersey has lifted its public health emergency and ended its mask mandate, social distancing requirement, and gathering limits for most locations, including religious institutions. As a result, the Adath Health and Safety Committee recommended, and the Board of Trustees approved, the temporary suspension of our Reopening Plan and Policy.

What is New in our Policy:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals (those who are two weeks beyond their final dose of the vaccine) may chose to remove their masks in the Adath building and need not maintain social distancing.
  • There will no longer be a health screening, assigned seats at services, or reserving of seats ahead of time.
  • There is no longer a gathering limit in the Adath building.
  • Bathrooms are fully open.
  • Singing will be allowed at services.

What Remains the Same:

  • In accordance with CDC guidance, unvaccinated individuals (including children 2-11) are required to continue, based on the honor system, to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should not come into the Adath building.

Frequently Asked Questions

May I continue to wear a mask even if I am fully vaccinated?

  • Yes, anyone who is vaccinated and would prefer to wear a mask is welcome to continue to do so and should feel comfortable in the Adath building.

Will I be able to maintain social distancing even if I am fully vaccinated?

  • Yes, fortunately Adath is blessed with a spacious sanctuary and social hall. Even with the removal of assigned seating, anyone should be able to space themselves at least six feet apart from others.

Will Adath continue to stream services on Zoom?

  • Yes, our services will still be available virtually on Zoom for anyone who would like to participate that way.

Will I be asked to show my vaccine card?

  • No, we will not be asking anyone to present a vaccine card. Adath is a community built on trust and we are asking that each of us take the responsibility to protect each other’s health in the spirit of pikuach nefesh, saving a life.

Do the above changes to Adath’s policy apply to indoor or outdoor events?

  • The changes apply to both outdoor and indoor events.

How will Kiddush, Oneg, and other events with food be handled?

  • We have learned over the past few months that it is unlikely that one can become infected with COVID-19 by touching surfaces. Nevertheless, we anticipate some changes in how food is served at Adath. The Kiddush Committee is beginning to plan for a resumption of operations with individually served options and other ways to minimize the number of people who touch food before it is eaten.

What is Adath’s plan for the High Holy Days?

  • We expect that the High Holy Days will be very similar to “normal” years before 2020. However, there are certain aspects of these holidays that present challenges, including the number of attendees and children’s services. As a result, we will continue to monitor the public health situation and develop a plan so that our community can feel comfortable attending either in person or virtually.

Are the rules for community and private events the same?

  • The policy applies to both community and private events. Anyone holding a private event who has a special request can do so in writing to the Health and Safety Committee.

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to Rabbi Adler at (609) 896-4977 or rabbiadler@adathisraelnj.org. The Health and Safety Committee and the Board of Trustees will continue to evaluate our policies as the situation develops. We look forward to seeing you soon in the beautiful Adath building.

Bivracha, with blessings,

Rabbi Benjamin Adler and Abe Abramovich, President

May 13, 2021:

Full Reopening Plan and Policy Version 2.5

One-page Reopening Guidelines

March 24, 2020:

My Fellow Adath Israel Congregants,
I’m writing to you again to provide the latest update on the evolving situation with the Corona virus, (COVID-19). Adath Israel is diligently monitoring the situation and is being proactive with our response. Your Officers, Clergy, Executive Committee, and Board of Trustees are fully supportive of the actions being taken, below.
The actions below are supplementary to the ones discussed in my March 18th letter to you:
  1. As a consequence of Governor Murphy’s Statewide Stay at Home Order (https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/general-public/governor-murphy-announces-statewide-stay-at-home-order-closure-of-all-non-essential-retail-businesses), Adath Israel will suspend all on-site operations until the order is lifted, with the exception of Kosher Café’s distribution of hot lunches to seniors.
  2. A revised phone system greeting was prepared to summarize our status and request that voice-mail messages can be left for Rabbi Adler, Hazzan Katlin and Amanda Arena. The staff will check for messages three times a day.
  3. Our dedicated staff of Rabbi Adler, Hazzan Katlin, Amanda Arena, Lisa Miller, and Nancy Sobin, our bookkeeper, will continue to do the synagogue’s business using remote internet-based technology. Frank Fabian, our custodian will be on call for should any maintenance issues arise, and Rolando Archila’s staff’s hours have been reduced to compensate for our decreased demand, but they will still be in regularly to keep the building clean and disinfected for the time, in the near future, we hope, when we can all get back together.
  4. If you need to reach Rabbi, Hazzan, or Amanda, directly their cell phone numbers and email addresses are as follows:
    Rabbi Adler: (646) 812-7392; rabbiadler@adathisraelnj.org
    Hazzan Katlin: (609) 468-5175; hazzankatlin@adathisraelnj.org
    Amanda Arena: (732) 763-7441; amanda@adathisraelnj.org
    They are all available to you just to talk.
  5. Kosher Café will continue its takeout food service for seniors. This is considered an essential service. The seniors drive under the portico, roll down their windows, and a food package is given to them. The Kosher Café staff will clean and disinfect the kitchen surfaces each and every day.
  6. All the building’s thermostats were set back to around-the-clock heating temperature of 60 degrees, and cooling temperature of 80 degrees. We should conserve some energy and much needed financials resources.
  7. Rabbi Adler and Hazzan Katlin are continuing their on-line Services and educational programs, which are well-attended, from their respective homes. Look out for the eBlasts announcements with the schedules and respective links.
  8. The religious school teachers are developing distance learning plans for their classes and plan to introduce remote classes using online video services, like Zoom. In addition, there will be personal outreach to keep in touch with the students. Rabbi Adler is spearheading this effort.
  9. Lastly, although so many of us are facing the loss of work and uncertainty about the future, we would greatly appreciate any financial support you can muster. Our synagogue and its dedicated staff are here for you now and will be on the other side of this traumatic episode in our collective lives. If you want to make a contribution, please contact Amanda Arena to work out the details.
Always remember that you can be sure that Adath Israel, its clergy and resources are available to support its community of members. We are grateful for your understanding and continued support during this potentially difficult time for our nation and our beloved Adath Israel.
Thank you,
Abe Abramovich
President

March 18, 2020:

Updated notice about COVID-19 from Adath Israel:

My Fellow Adath Israel Congregants,

I’m writing to you again to provide the latest update on the evolving situation with the coronavirus.  Adath Israel is diligently monitoring the situation and is being proactive with our response.  Your Officers, Clergy, Executive Committee, and Board of Trustees are fully supportive of the actions being taken, below.

The actions below are supplementary to the ones described in my letter to you of March 13:

  1. All Religious Services, and related religious activities, such as Oneg Shabbat and Kiddush, have been cancelled until it is safe to resume these activities.
  2. Instead of in-person services, we will hold morning minyan via teleconference and save the date for our first Sharing Shabbat: Adath’s Interactive Call-in this Friday, March 20th at 5:30 PM. Check your email for details.
  3. Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are being postponed until it is safe to have them.
  4. Religious School will be closed until the state of New Jersey deems it safe to resume these activities. Distance learning options are being explored.
  5. The office staff respectfully requests that synagogue business be conducted by phone or email. If you need to come to the office, please call in advance to make sure that someone is available to help you.
  6. Kosher Café meals are provided as a takeout service only, and will be distributed by the front door. Café Europa, and Memory Café programs are cancelled.
  7. Organizations which rent space from Adath have cancelled their meetings.
  8. Bridge Academy has suspended its classes until the state of New Jersey deems it safe to resume them.
  9. Board and Committee meetings will be conducted as virtual meetings (video or call-in) until further notice.
  10. MOSAIC events such as the Bucks Broadway Connection and the Ellis Island hardhat tour are postponed, and are expected to be rescheduled. If you have already paid for either event, your money will be refunded.  Torah Fund dinner and One Book One Jewish Community have been postponed to a future date.  The Yom HaShoah program has been cancelled.
  11. We are communicating with the Pearlstone Retreat Center to discuss our options for the Kallah Retreat. We will update you when we have more information.
  12. The Board of Trustees is currently calling all Adath members to connect and check in to see if anyone needs anything during this difficult time.

Should the need arise, you can be sure that Adath Israel, its clergy and resources are available to support its community of members.  We are grateful for your understanding and continued support during this potentially difficult time for our nation and our beloved Adath Israel.

Thank you,

Abe Abramovich

President

COVID-19 – 2ND LETTER

March 17, 2020:

Some resources for staying connected in a time of social distancing.

March 16, 2020:

Morning Minyans, Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat Morning services are cancelled until further notice.

March 13, 2020:

Please see below an important notice about COVID-19 from Adath Israel:

My Fellow Adath Israel Congregants,

Your health and safety are of the utmost importance to the Adath Israel officers, clergy and your
Board of Trustees. I’m writing to let you know how Adath Israel is responding to the
coronavirus (COVID-19).

The precept of Pikuach nefesh, saving a life, is the principle of Jewish Law which demands that
the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious rule or mitzvah. In this
case, it is our commitment to adjusting our programming and protocols to prioritize public health
and safety for all. We’re following updates from various local government agencies to stay
informed and aligned with current advisories. We understand that circumstances will likely
remain fluid in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Here are some of the steps that we’re currently taking:

1. Our cleaning crew was instructed to wipe down all door handles with disinfectant
wipes, each and every evening.
2. Although hand sanitizer is in very short supply, a limited quantity was obtained for use
in the office and kitchen.
3. Behavioral Modification posters regarding anti-viral hygiene will be posted
throughout the building.
4. Kosher Café, Café Europa, and Memory Café programs are being modified or
cancelled.
5. Organizations which rent space from Adath: Their meetings are cancelled.
6. Due to the closing of Lawrence Township Public Schools, Religious School will be
closed until after the end of Passover and will resume Sunday, April 19th. Distance
learning options are being explored.
7. Religious Services: No change to schedule, but recommend dispersed seating (see update March 16, 2020)
8. Oneg Shabbat and Kiddush are suspended for the balance of March.
9. Board and Committee meetings: We’ll use virtual meetings (video or call-in) until
further notice.
10. Other programming such as: MOSAIC events, Torah Fund dinner (postponed), One
Book – One Jewish Community are likely to be postponed. Please check the
synagogue’s calendar.
11. Bridge Academy: will be asked to wipe down tables and chairs in Social Hall 3 and
the Chapel with disinfectant wipes.
12. Office hours will remain the same, subject to state or federal regulations. If possible,
synagogue business should be conducted by phone or email.

We are grateful for your understanding and continued support during this potentially difficult
time for our nation and our beloved Adath Israel.

Thank you,
Abe Abramovich

COVID-19 Letter

 

Call Adath Israel Office for further information 609-896-4977