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Hybrid Services

Multi-Access Services

Information on In-Person + Zoom Services at Beit Am for Fall 2021

The Beit Am board has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and assessing our plans for in-person services in light of the emergence of the delta variant of the virus. Oregon and the US are experiencing troubling increases in cases and hospitalizations, and the data indicates that the virus circulating in our communities is more transmissible among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. It is profoundly disheartening for the pandemic to disrupt our plans of fully resuming Beit Am services and programming, but safeguarding the health of our members and broader community continues to be of the utmost importance. 

Through the month of August, Beit Am will continue to offer mixed-access services with both in-person and zoom options. Masks are required for all attendees age five and older at indoor services and events regardless of vaccination status. This measure reflects the necessity for all of us to take steps to stop further transmission of the virus in the community and protect those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Please see https://beitam.org/hybridservices for complete health and safety expectations and service sign-up links.

Since state and health officials predict this situation will continue into the fall, we are also reconsidering how to hold High Holiday services in a way that honors both Beit Am’s traditions and our responsibility to public health. These are especially difficult decisions, since so many of the things that make the High Holidays special - like gathering our full community together and sharing meals - also carry a high risk of transmitting the virus. But the essence of the High Holiday season will always be encapsulated by its Hebrew name, aseret y’mei teshuvah, the Ten Days of Repentance. We will do the work of prayer and self-reflection, even as our concern for pikuach nefesh, preservation of human life, precludes some luxuries. Based on the current trends in the disease, guidelines from the CDC and Oregon Health Authority, and assessment from independent public health experts, we are implementing the following guidelines for High Holiday services at Beit Am:

RSVP is requested to attend services in-person. This will help us plan seating and help with contact tracing in the case of a potential COVID-19 exposure. Zoom access will remain available, and care will be taken to integrate in-person and virtual participants into one prayer community.  A list of sign-up links to RSVP for in-person attendance is found at the bottom of this page.

To protect the health of service attendees and those in our community, Beit Am has established the following guidelines for in-person events:

  • Do not attend if you are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, have recently tested positive, or have had a close contact with somebody who has COVID-19. Please refer to current guidelines for quarantining.

  • All in-person service attendees age 12 and older must be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19. Beit Am will not be directly verifying vaccination status. We are a community built on trust, and we trust that you will have taken this crucial step to protect yourself and others.

    • Children who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated are welcome at all services. More details for youth services and activities will be announced soon. 

  • Masks will be required for all attendees age five and older. We request you choose a cloth or surgical mask instead of a face shield if possible. 

  • Advanced registration will be required for High Holiday services. 

    • More details about this process are coming soon. Depending on sign-up numbers and public health conditions, we may need to limit capacity at some services. A Zoom option will be provided for those who are not able to attend the in-person services.

  • Attendees will have the option to seat themselves with social distancing. 

  • We will not be holding sit-down onegs or meals, but are planning for lighter or to-go treats following services. 

  • We ask that you notify Beit Am if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 within one week of attending an in-person event.

Beit Am will update this page with sign up information for future services, along with any necessary updates to guidelines and frequently-asked questions. We appreciate your flexibility and patience as our community navigates creating a hybrid service experience that is both safe and meaningful for all our in-person and online attendees.

As we plan for in-person services at Beit Am, we are also looking for volunteers to serve as Greeters at services. Greeters serve an important role as a friendly face to welcome attendees, maintain awareness of potentially-unsafe situations, and assist in the unlikely event of an emergency. No special training is necessary right now, but we will review our safety and security plans for outdoor services. If you are interested please contact the Beit Am office.

Requests for accommodations regarding face covering and vaccination requirements based on disabilities or medical conditions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All requests will be handled in confidence. 

We want to emphasize that these decisions were not made lightly, and took into consideration a number of factors including Jewish values and persistent inequities in access to the vaccine. But given the current public health situation, we do not feel it is safe for adults who are not vaccinated to attend large gatherings that include children and people who are at high risk for COVID-19 complications. If you have any questions or concerns about the guidelines or processes behind these decisions, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

The full High Holiday schedule is on the Beit Am website at https://beitam.org/vba7/spiritual-life/high-holidays.

Here is the list of Sign Up Geniuses for the September services

Sim Shalom: Saturday, September 4th  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4cafa628a3f5c52-simshalom

Shabbat Shuvah - Or v'Simcha Service: Saturday, September 11th https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4cafa628a3f5c52-simshalom

Sim Shalom service: Saturday, September 18th https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4cafa628a3f5c52-simshalom1

 

 

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