Oct 30 2020
Heshvan 12 5781
Simhat Torah 2020
We have been working diligently to plan for a safe and joyful Simhat Torah. Below are the details about each component of the plan. Please read everything with care so you will know what to expect at the synagogue on Simhat Torah this year! If you are unable to follow the below protocols, please do not attend services. Security will enforce all protocols and ask those who are not compliant to leave the premises immediately.
On Sunday morning, we will have an early minyan service for Simhat Torah. The service will be held in the midrash, unless the size of the crowd approaches the 33% capacity of the room, and will then move to the social hall. Hakafot will take place on the Terrace.
We have secured a permit to close the street in front of the synagogue. On Saturday night Hakafot will take place on the terrace, unless the size of the crowd exceeds the capacity and will thus be moved to the street. On Sunday morning the Main Minyan will begin in the Main Sanctuary until the conclusion of the Ámida. From Petihat HaHekhal and on, the minyan will move outdoors. Seating outdoors will be spaced out to allow for proper social distancing. While indoors, we will only allow up to 33% capacity of the room. Once we move outdoors, there will be no entry into the building except for the use of the restrooms. Face Coverings/Masks, covering both nose and mouth, are required for the entire duration of the services, even while outdoors.
Simhat Torah is a very special time for children and we need your help in making it work safely. This year especially, children cannot be permitted to walk or run around freely, and must always be accompanied by a parent/ guardian. Children must also wear face coverings/masks covering their nose and mouth at all times. Please only bring your child if your child is capable of wearing a face covering/mask and remaining at your side. We reserve the right to ask families whose children are not compliant with our distancing and face covering/mask guidelines to leave the services. We will be distributing children's backpacks at the conclusion of Hakafot.
For safety and in order to keep the service length to a minimum, there will only be a limited number of aliyot given out.
For reasons of safety, dancing will be restricted this year. A limited number of Torahs will be removed from the Hekhal and used to encircle the Tebah. Torahs will only be transferred to people wearing gloves, which will be available outdoors. During each Hakafah we ask everyone to ensure they remain at a proper distance from each other. We will accomplish this using ropes. Each person in the circle will hold one end of a rope and ensure the rope is taut between them and the next person in the circle. No hand holding or excessive clustering will be allowed except with members living in the same household.
Annual Simhat Torah Luncheon
Unfortunately, we will not have the synagogue-wide luncheon this year, please make other plans for lunch. We will have pre-packaged mazza boxes available during the hakhafot. These boxes are available for sponsorship.
All of the above are subject to change based on weather conditions.