For the children in our community, opportunities for gathering in-person at the Beth Jacob building on Shabbat will also begin the week of June 12th. Recognizing that each family’s ability to attend and comfort level with participation in these opportunities will vary quite a lot, our goal is to create a welcoming and safe environment as much as possible. In order to create such an environment, the education committee and Rabbi Tamar recommend the following:
- Attendance and Participation: Children are welcome to attend shul with their parents and socialize both inside and outside the building in the same manner as the adults, following the same restrictions that are applied to the adults in our community:
a. Vaccination: Adults and children over the age of 16 must be fully vaccinated in order to attend (and after July 1st, anyone over 12; vaccinations for the latter group are underway, but we need to allow time for this group to get vaccinated). All children age 16 and under may attend and need not be fully vaccinated to do so until the time when vaccines are available to them.
b. Masking while indoors: children age 3 and older should wear masks when in the building. Children under three are welcome and need not wear maks. No masks are required for anyone when outside the building.
2. Access to various parts of the building: Children are welcome in all spaces in the building including, but not limited to the following:
a. Outdoors: Children are welcome in any of the outdoor spaces at Beth Jacob and do not need to wear masks while outdoors.
b. The Sanctuary: Children are welcome to attend with their family and come up to the bimah to carry crowns.
c. Classrooms: Children are welcome in the classrooms when an adult is present (as has always been the case) and need to wear masks (ages 3 and up).
d. The Nursery: Families are welcome to have their children play in the nursery as long as there is an adult supervising. Children 3 and over must wear a mask.
e. Bathrooms, hallways, etc.: Children may use all these spaces as long as they are wearing a mask (required for ages 3 and up).
3. Programming for children on Shabbat:
a. Minyan Katan: Beginning June 12th Minyan Katan will meet outdoors on the lawn at 9:30 am. Children of all ages are welcome to attend, although the services is geared toward the younger set (2nd grade and under). As always, parents are asked to attend with their children. If it rains, Minyan Katan would move into Room 4/5.
b. Shabbat On Screen: Beginning the second week of June, a Shabbat video for the week will be made available on Fridays. The video will include a short learning about the week’s parasha and/or a Shabbat story for the week. This will continue through the summer if there is continued interest/viewership.
c. Kayitz Bachutz: We will be offering some fun, relaxed, outdoor summer programming for children of all ages, but geared toward PK-4th grade, led by our amazing teacher Tauby Mintz. In case of rain, programming would move into Room 4/5. Look for more information to come soon regarding dates and timing.
d. Childcare: families are welcome to use the nursery/playroom with adult supervision. Anyone who would like childcare provided should reach out to Rabbi Tamar by the Wednesday before that Shabbat. While we cannot guarantee the availability of childcare at this time, we will do our best to make arrangements.
e. Other Programs: We hope to have a few Kabbalat Shabbat programs, seudah shlishit, and other opportunities for smaller gatherings when there aren’t as many people in the building.
Again, while we know not everyone will be comfortable or able to participate in these opportunities, we want to help our children who do attend to have a positive and welcoming experience in and around the building. We hope everyone who does choose to attend can help create that welcoming space and help our children acclimate again to being part of a shul community, creating a strong sense of shared responsibility and belonging.
Beth Jacob Children