COVID-19 Safety at Beth Jacob

Current status: updated May 25

We are currently transitioning from a rotating schedule to a schedule where masks will be optional every Shabbat. See below for details on the updated policy.

  • This week, May 27: masks will be optional (consistent with rotating schedule)
  • Next week, June 3: masks will be optional (different from rotating schedule for the first time)
  • Note: Masking is still required for indoor youth education programming.

For congregants unable to attend in person, all services will be available to livestream at For those who would like to gather in a masks-required space, room 4 (or another space), and Section D in the sanctuary will remain masks-required every week.

Please send us your feedback and suggestions! Email or reach out to Jamie or Rabbi Rubin.

COVID data: updated May 25

The CDC hospital admission levels were last updated May 25, 2023, and levels are currently green for Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsay Counties.

The Met Council wastewater 7-day average viral load was last updated with data from May 13 2023, at 37.9 M copies per person per day. (For reference, this is down by about 28 M from two weeks prior; the highest number during fall 2022 was 256.3M on December 16, and the lowest was 102.4M on Oct 11. The lowest of 2022 overall was  22.3M on March 17, 2022.)

Masking Policy as of May 2023

Shabbat Morning Mask Policy Guidelines 

Adopted by the Beth Jacob Board of Trustees in April 2023.

Recommendations from the Science/Data Task Force using Met Council Wastewater numbers, based on reviewing the most current research and public health recommendations available regarding COVID transmission and community rates, including consultation with Dr. Ruth Lynfield. Assuming tri-county level indicators remain green as they have been since January:

  • We recommend going to masks-optional every week starting as early as 5/6/23 if wastewater has been at or below 130 M copies per person per day (7 day averages) through 4/29/23.
  • If wastewater levels are consistently trending higher than 130, remain on the rotating mask pattern until we reach a similar bullet to above
  • Going forward, if wastewater levels show an increase of 60M copies per person per day over the course of 3 weeks, the task force chair will confer with the science/data committee about whether additional meetings and/or changes to the masking recommendations are needed.

Recommendations from the Policy/Implementation Task Force (with with a few additional suggestions for some items):

  • Required masking on the bimah during crowded parts of the service should continue
    • a basket of extra masks should be kept on the bimah
    • improvements in the sound system would still be beneficial
    • speakers can be reminded that unmasking is allowed when alone on the bimah, but we request that no one should shout at speakers to remove their masks
  • Families or organizers should still be able to request that masks be required for a simcha or event
  • Lunch seating should continue to be provided outside whenever weather permits
    • Regarding lunch: as the main rationale for the hallway table (providing a masked area for gathering food away from the social hall on mask-required weeks) is no longer relevant, it could be a good option to put a second food table in the social hall instead of the hallway to allow people to get through the line quicker. We do still recommend offering some takeaway containers in that case.
  • Required masking in Section D (or another section) should be continued unless congregants who sit in that area are surveyed and do not think it is important to keep it.
  • We strongly encourage everyone attending events at Beth Jacob to be fully vaccinated if they are eligible
    • Since guidelines for “full vaccination” are no longer clear and enforcement is extremely difficult, we recommend strongly encouraging rather than requiring vaccinations.
    • New boosters are available to people over 65 and immune-compromised folks, and we recommend that Beth Jacob should encourage members to get vaccinated if they are able and eligible
  • Two weeks’ (two Shabbatot) notice should still be given before a change in policy is implemented.

Morning Minyan Policy 

Last updated May 2023

  • Masks are worn around the amud during the Torah service on Monday and Thursday; otherwise masks are generally optional with the following exception:
  • Anyone attending minyan who would feel more comfortable if everyone wore masks, should speak with the minyan leader and their request will be honored.
  • Sunday morning minyan is held at Temple of Aaron and their mask policy is masks optional.

Staff Policy

During business hours Tuesday through Friday, staff will be able to decide as a group how and when they will wear masks while working.

COVID Exposures
Please follow the MDH’s recommendations for COVID-19 exposures.
For questions or concerns please email